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Project Manager
Project manager is a career which has its roots in the construction industry and is associated with the coordination of large engineering and construction projects. However over the years the value of the skills used in construction and engineering have been applied and developed for most other industries.

Today the career of project manager can be described as the activities or tasks concerned with successfully achieving a set of goals. This includes planning, scheduling and maintaining progress of the activities that comprise the project. Reduced to its simplest project management is the discipline of maintaining the risk of failure at as low a value as necessary over the lifetime of the project. Risk of failure arises primarily from the presence of uncertainty at all stages of a project. An alternate point of view is that project management is the discipline of defining and achieving targets while optimizing the use of resources (time, money, people, space, etc).

Project management is quite often the responsibility of an individual project manager. This individual seldom participates directly in the activities that produce the end result, but rather strives to maintain the progress of various parties in such a way that overall risk of failure is reduced. Project managers are found in all industries and are most often found in consulting or other team-oriented environments. The role certainly requires expertise in the specific project area. It also requires the ability to lead and manage cross-functional teams.

Typical projects might include the engineering and construction of a building, or the design, coding, testing and documentation of a computer software program, or development of the science and clinical testing of a new drug. The duration of a project is the time from its start to its completion, which can take days, weeks, months or even years. There are various stages in a project life-cycle, but all projects follow a similar methodology and course of problem solving such as, defining the problem, weighing options, choosing a path, implementation and evaluation.

Project management tries to gain control over four variables, time, cost, quality and scope

Satisfying Aspects
- variety of work tasks
- organizing people for teamwork
- reward of seeing projects come to completion
- good remuneration

Demanding aspects
- working with uncooperative people
- the pressure to keep within time and money constraints of contracts
- being let down by subcontractors.

- well-developed communication skills
- management and leadership ability
- technical aptitude
- able to coordinate team work
- prepared to work outdoors
- get along well with and motivate people at all levels
- good communication skills

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Economics

Degree: Any relevant degree which provides a background towards a specific industry

Diploma: any relevant diploma - most universities of technology

- oil companies
- mining houses
- civil engineers
- government departments
- building contractors and subcontractors
- construction companies
- IT institutions
- financial institutions
- retailers and manufacturers in the building industry
- self-employment, as a consultant

Project Management South Africa (PMSA)
P O Box 1714
Halfway House, 1685
Tel: (011) 257-8003 Fax: (088) 011 662-2961