Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing a piece of work, often dependable on the cooperation and engagement of multiple internal or external stakeholders. Each “project” has the goal to be completed within a timeframe and within budget in order for it to be deemed a success.
A single project could include, the instillation of a new database, an office relocation or company restructure.
Within larger charities there will be Project Management Office (PMO) department, made up of multiple project professionals.
Many project vacancies are interim or short term, mirroring the length of project in question, eg. 12-month Change Management Project or 6-month IT Project Manager
Typical Project Support /Coordinator jobs or Project Assistant jobs involve assisting with projects within, or run by, charities or other not for profit organisations. These roles vary depending on the size of the project and team size but are generally responsible for ensuring the project runs efficiently, and within budget. Many of these roles can be on an ad-hoc temporary or contract basis to cover immediate needs.
Project Assistant or Coordinator jobs involve coordinating, and sometimes managing, a specific project, including maintaining the project budget and ensuring quality assurance.
A key requirement for most Project Coordinator and Assistant jobs is experience of running projects within the not for profit sector, along with experience of working with volunteers and teams involved in the project.
Although no formal qualifications are required for Project Coordinator and Assistant jobs, ideally candidates will have excellent time management and organisational skills, and be innovative, computer literate with good communication skills. A strong interest in project management and commitment to studying towards qualifications such as Prince2 would be advantageous. Project Coordinators or Assistants will often progress to a Project Manager or Project Director job. They will need to influence decision makers and can adapt their communications depending on their target audience.
The role of a Project Manager is to ensure projects are delivered on time, within budget and to a specified standard. Project Managers can be used for a variety of different projects within organisations, eg. implementing new software, organising events or projects related to raising funds etc.
The main duties for Project Manager jobs include planning and implementing projects, handling resource requirements, developing project plans, managing Project Coordinators and Project Assistants. Other duties include managing the budget, ensuring the project is run within the specified timelines and ensuring quality assurance.
Project Manager jobs usually require a qualification in project management, such as Prince2. Experience in people and change management and strategic planning are also important, along with good planning, organisation and communication skills and computer skills. Project Managers also need to be good at problem solving.
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