What Is Project Management and Why Should You Care?

Project management seems to appear in the media mostly when it fails. Studies are released frequently to great fanfare on why projects fail. Senior officials appear in the news to apologize for major cost overruns in public projects.

You’d think that project management would be something to avoid!

But to an entrepreneur it is one of the most important skills they need. And it is one of the most important skills they need to seek out as their organization grows. Unfortunately, it is also one of the least understood skills that a typical entrepreneur brings to the table. And it is the last skill they think of as they build their business.

What is project management? And more importantly, why should you care?

One might think from the term that project management is managing projects. However, that is portfolio management. Project management is a much more difficult and complex discipline. In this article, I’m going to define project management, and explain how it differs from normal business management. Along the way, I’ll also explain why you, as an entrepreneur, need to encourage its development within your business.

First off, let’s get the term project out of the way. A project is a business endeavor, which produces a unique product, service or result. So far, that isn’t very helpful. Most business operations do that. However, a project has two key characteristics that aren’t common.

First, it is temporary. It has a beginning and an end. Most business operations do not have an end. Or at least one hopes not. Normally, business operations begin during the entrepreneurial phase of the business. But they quickly settle into a permanent routine. Project management, however, does not deal with the routine.

Second, projects are unique. They exist to create a single product, different from all other products. An operating business is all about repetition. It’s about creating the same product over and over. Only in that way, can the process be refined.

Building your business is a project. It has a beginning — when you first conceived the business. And it has an end — when the business moves into the growth and stability phases. And it creates a unique result — the business.

Project management, then is all about managing under these two conditions.

Normal operating management is concerned with repeating the same thing over a long period. And it develops the appropriate skills and knowledge to deal with that. For example, a manager learns to keep his team happy and producing at their maximum. He seldom if ever deals with the initial building of a team. And hopefully, he never has to deal with the end of his team.

Project management however, is concerned with building a unique result in a cycle of creation, doing, disbanding. It has developed the appropriate skills and knowledge to deal with beginning and ending a cycle. For example, a project manager learns to build a team and to disband a team. She is constantly in the building and ending phases and often never deals with a static team’s problems.

From an entrepreneur’s view, there are two major points of interest. First, building a company is a project. During that project, the entrepreneur will be involved in both strategic and operation elements. For example, he or she needs to identify the market and niche to address. And they will frequently be involved in selling to major or even all customers. However, management of the process of building a business is a case of project management.

But it doesn’t end with building the business.

In any business, there is a need to identify what is happening around the organization and how the business should react. This is strategic management. Its focus is on change and the future.

On the other hand, the organization needs to carry out its current function. This is the job of the operations elements of the business. Marketing, accounting, production are all concerned with today, and yesterday. Their focus is on continuation and repeating the same processes. Change is their enemy.

Of course, operations can’t be allowed to stay running in the place. They need to be steered or the business will fail eventually. The plans, goals and strategies identified by the strategic managers need to implemented. This is the role of project management. And it’s why an entrepreneur needs to ensure that project management skills are available to the organization as quickly as possible.


A Look At The Many Pharmacist Jobs Available Today

There are many individuals who may be interested in working in the health care field but do not find the idea of working as a doctor or nurse appealing. These individuals may want to consider some of the many different pharmacist jobs that are available. They can involve working in a variety of health care settings from retail stores to hospitals and clinics. Some pharmacists will even work in drug research and development.

In order to qualify for these positions it is important to have the right education. At a bare minimum, a person should have a degree in pharmacology from a college or university. Individual positions, especially those that involve supervision or administration may require a higher level of education and research positions may be easier to get if someone has degrees in other scientific fields.

Some individuals are employed in a retail setting. They work with customers and fill the prescriptions that doctors have prescribed. They may also offer advice to customers on which over the counter products are most appropriate for a given condition. These individuals also need to know which medications will interact badly with one another and be prepared to advise customers of these issues, offering advice on how to correct the situation.

Certain individuals may also work in a hospital setting. There, they will work with doctors and nurses in order to help treat patients. They may work to develop a therapeutic drug regiment and may advise doctors on new medications and therapies that will work well to treat a particular patient. Again, they need a wide knowledge of different medications that are available and know which will work well together. They also need to know about any potential negative drug interactions.

If someone likes the idea of helping to treat patients in their home they may want to seek employment as a home care professional. There are some individuals who need to speak with a professional about their medications but be unable to get to a drug store. They may also need certain medications mixed on site and a home care professional will also perform this service for them.

Some professionals may also work in clinics and specialize in their area of expertise. They may focus on treating cancer using appropriate radioactive drugs or may work in a psychiatric clinic and focus on the treatment of various psychiatric disorders using the appropriate medications. Again, like a hospital pharmacist, they do not work directly with the patients. Instead, they work with doctors and nurses and may compound medications, mix complicated formulas and provide advice on potential drug interactions.

A final area where these individuals are employed is in drug research. They may work with major pharmaceutical companies and test new medications in order to develop more effective formulas that have fewer negative side effects. This is a lengthy process but one which can be a very rewarding one as well. These individuals will generally not work with patients or health care providers directly.

There are a number of different positions that fall under the banner of pharmacology. Their compensation levels may vary from position to position but all pharmacology positions are generally compensated very well. If you are considering one of these jobs it can pay to do your research in order to find out any special certification or additional education that may be required.