What is project management? That’s the big question, isn’t it? How does one define what is essentially a temporary position that doesn’t necessarily have its own department? This is a question that the variety of project management courses in Australia tries to answer.
In a nutshell, project management involves overseeing a project of any kind (e.g. construction, product launches and landscape architecture) from start to finish. This means that project managers have to come on board during the concept stages of a particular project, so they can run with the planning, make the necessary arrangements, get the ball rolling, monitor progress and sign off when all is said and done.
Project management courses have to enable students to manage all of this, and provide them with the tools required to work within budget constraints, settle union disputes, liaise between departments, report to executives and meet impossible deadlines.
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), an international association overseeing the development of project management as a credible profession, there are nine key areas of knowledge that courses need to focus on if they are to have any worth:
- Human resources
- Risk management
To ensure that project managers are au fait with these nine areas, the PMI established the Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation which is awarded to project managers from chapters around the world. Australia has chapters in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Queensland, Sydney and Western Australia with a number of project managers with PMP certifications who meet the stringent criteria and undertake continuous management training and development through workshops and online courses and webinars.
There are three ways in which you can obtain PMP certification:
- You need at least a four-year degree (Bachelor or Master) with project management related courses and at least three years experience of project management, as well as well as 4500 hours of project leadership and 35 hours of project management education.
- Or you could have a secondary diploma with at least five years experience as a project manager with 7500 hours of project leadership and 35 hours of project management education.
- Or you can complete the Project Management Institute’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification courses.
All applicants, no matter what their qualifications are required to pass the PMP exam. After receiving this illustrious project management certification, managers have to participate in the Continuing Certification Requirements program which stipulates that members have to at least 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) over a three year period. The PDUs are only available from Registered Education Providers (R.E.Ps).
Australia offers a number of project management courses online and at many prestigious universities and colleges.