Project managers are responsible for coordinating, implementing and completing new projects for organisations, usually setting up or improving an aspect of business. They manage the strategic, financial, operational and technological aspects of projects. This is done through analysing the project and the resources available, and then maximising the use of those resources to complete the project in the most efficient way, keeping consistent with the company’s strategies, commitments and goals.
A project manager’s work may include:
- meeting project goals on time and to the required standard
- managing the project team to ensure group and individual performance criteria are met
- maintaining an accurate and up-to-date project plan
- managing the project budget and resources; ensuring that team members develop a relationship with stakeholders
- ensuring suppliers deliver the products and/or services requested; ensuring that all project documentation is kept up to date
- hiring staff
- creating and presenting reports for stakeholders
- assessing and evaluating results after completion.
FOR THE GREATER GOOD
Why did you choose to work in health care? I like helping sick people and helping to create a healthier society.
What training did you undergo? I obtained a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery in 2002, a Diploma in HIV Management in 2008 and an MBA from MANCOSA in 2011.
What type of personality is best suited to work in the health care field? Someone who loves working with people, especially people in poor health.
In your industry, is experience as important as formal training? I believe training is more important as it provides a platform for understanding the technical aspects of the job; experience develops better workmanship.
Describe a typical day on the job I arrive at my workplace in the morning, plan for the day with my subordinates, attend meetings, write reports and supervise subordinates.
What do you like the most about your work? Working in my project I get to see my clients (people in poor health) improving and getting well. As we provide free services, I like the fact that anyone in Durban can access the facilities we offer.
Which aspects are you least keen on? Having meetings with bodies like the Department of Health can be challenging as they have the power to, say, change or cease what we are doing at any time.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date? Between 2007 and 2008 I was a country manager for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Swaziland.
What are your goals for the future? I plan to start my own organisation or company so that I can fully express my training knowledge and experience it the way I want to.
What advice would you give someone starting out in health care? Firstly, they should be sure that they have talent and an interest in the field. Secondly, they should excel from the beginning and get a quality degree or diploma under their belt.
Describe your job in three words Motivating • Interesting • Teaching
There are no specific entry requirements to becoming a project manager. However, some employers prefer you to have a diploma or degree in project management, or in an area you might specialise in, such as engineering, or information and communication technology. A degree in business and/or management may also be useful.
WHERE CAN I STUDY?
Skills Certificate: Project Management
University of the Witwatersrand
Certificate: Project Management
University of Stellenbosch Business School
Postgraduate Diploma: Project Management
The School of Project Management
Various Project Management Certificates and Diplomas
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFO?
Project Management South Africa – www.projectmanagement.org.za
The South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions – www.sacpcmp.org.za
Project Management Institute – www.pmi.org.za
WHAT SUBJECTS DO I NEED?
Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended:
• Physical Science