Project Management for Non-Project Mangers

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In this article, I want to take a slightly different approach and look at careers other than project management. That might seem a rather odd thing to do on a site dedicated to project management, but bear with me. My hypothesis is that you don’t have to be a project manager to practice project management; rather, it is something that is applied to many different careers.

In some cases, it may be peripheral to the job; in others, it may be core to the work (even if people don’t recognize it). I’m not suggesting that this means that anyone who is a project manager can do any of the jobs referenced in this article, nor am I suggesting that anyone with a job title that I mention below can be a PM; rather, I am suggesting that basic project management skills are becoming more and more a part of the core skills that people need to succeed in their role--and that’s something that HR teams should be aware of.

The Basics: Definition of a project
We don’t have to go very far into project management to see where there might be opportunities for people to be managing projects as part of their role. At the most basic level, a project is a unique set of tasks with a defined beginning and end. I don’t intend to turn this into an “everything is a project” article, but that definition alone helps us to identify roles where projects …

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"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

- Groucho Marx

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