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What is Project Management? Everything you need to know

project management guide

What is project management?

Project management involves overseeing the opening, planning, implementing, and closing stages of tasks done by a team with the intention of successfully completing specific goals in a specific time frame.

The project management process

Project management is centrally focused around achieving goals within a process. As a project manager, one needs to ensure that resources work together in cohesion to achieve the project’s goals, and that all team members involved perform their function flawlessly. The purpose of any project is directly linked to it achieving its goals successfully and efficiently.

Project management in 2020

Today, project management organisations have built upon the process that has been developed over time and has become more streamlined than ever before. The roles that people fill in modern times have become flexible and encompass a great range of tasks.

General project management is a skill required for people to stay on top of their work. To ensure you are making yourself the best you can be, take a short course, earn a project management certificate, gather new skills and stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing.

MasterStart has an array of exciting, time flexible online courses that will keep you up to date in today’s modern world while offering flexibility.

Project management in industry

Project management in construction

At the core of construction project management, there is planning, coordination and the execution of a construction project. The construction industry handles an assortment of various projects including agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil and environmental.

Project management in finance

The project manager in a financial project is responsible for making plans, leading and taking control of activities within finance-focused tasks, systems changes and technology improvements in the department of finance.

Project management in the insurance industry

As an insurance project manager, one is expected to collaborate with team members effectively to keep an eye over project scope, ultimately reducing scope creep.

Project management in healthcare and social assistance

Healthcare project managers are primarily concerned with lowering cost outputs. However, the biggest benefit of a healthcare project manager is the ability of the institution to be a step ahead of any potential risks.

Project management in science and technology

At the core of the scientific and technology world is the aim to improve life. Project management in these industries allows for greater control and execution of tasks. A project plan is implemented and executed accordingly on time and within the budget constraints, mitigating any potential risks in a project.

Project management in mining

As a mining project manager, one is required to ensure that the relevant project management phases are completed in a timely manner. Ensuring that the right people with the relevant qualifications and experience are on your site is critical as well as seeing that the mining equipment used on site is well maintained and upgraded constantly to achieve the best results in all the project phases.

Project management in retail

The retail market is highly competitive, within local, regional, national and international markets. This leaves the gate open to an assortment of potential challenges, so a project manager needs to be constantly up to date in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) project management industry.

Project management in education

Project management in education aims to promote the quality of learning to make it more interactive and enjoyable. Web based tools allow for real time communication and collaboration, enhancing learning experiences.

What to study if you want to change your career to become a project manager

If you are interested in a career change or if you would like to incorporate project management skills into your C.V, a project management course from MasterStart can help you achieve new heights effortlessly. Download the brochure here.

Technology in project management

The digital world has taken the pressure off emerging businesses for physical project managers. Now, business owners and startups can use project management software to run plans efficiently.

Online project management tools offer the user a variety of unique benefits. This includes the ability to plan projects on demand while keeping everyone in the loop, time management through constant communication and sticking to the company’s culture all while building the business. Useful online tools keep track of what’s ahead; effectively creating a space where project management can exist for non-project managers.

Project management in small to medium sized businesses

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are important to any economy, offering employment and fresh innovation. Project management is significant in enabling this input smoothly. Unlike larger corporations, SMEs require less administrative procedures of project management than those used by larger, traditional organizations.

Project management in large organisations

Project management is essential in big companies. Industries like construction and mining are the backbone of a country’s infrastructure and bring in a wide variety of investments.

The dedicated project manager in a large organisation will manage the entire company’s workforce effectively, to achieve the best project management life cycle.

Project management steps

Project managers require a very specific set of skills. They need to implement distinct project phases to help them achieve their goals. There are a few project management phases to consider which are essential for successful outcomes:
1. Set clear project expectation
2. Define clear goals in project phases
3. Communicate effectively
4. Plan around project risks

Project management careers

Starting out in project management can be challenging. If you are on the lookout for careers, there are numerous factors to consider. Entry level jobs require some sort of project management certificate to get your foot in the door.
Show potential employees’ dedication to your chosen field by undertaking a project management certificate. This will help you get started within project management coursework that could ultimately lead to a project management internship and then, steady project management jobs

Finding project management jobs

If you are really interested in learning project management, a short hands-on course could be just the boost you need to secure a project management internship. MasterStart in collaboration with the WITS Business School (WBS) have a Project Management online short course that provides participants with real workplace skills that can be implemented on the job almost immediately.

Are project management jobs right for me?

Specific skills are needed to ultimately excel in the workplace. If you are interested in project management jobs, see if your personality fits these ambitious characteristics:
· Detail-oriented
· Communicative
· A concise planner
· Efficient at delegation
· Natural leader

Project management salary summary

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.
According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.

According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

Occupational levelAverage annual income
Entry levelR159,950
Project manager professionalR400,000
Top-end manager professionalR767,740


Furthermore, bonus remuneration in the project management industry varies according to your experience and ranges from R4,862 – R101,030.

Project Management certification

The project management online short course offered by MasterStart in partnership with the WITS Business School (WBS) will provide course participants with the confidence and knowledge to create a successful, extensive project plan. The course will guide participants from the inception of project management phases all the way through to final execution of a given project.

MasterStart’s project management online short course aims to bridge the gap between a lack of practical working experience and project management theory. By embarking on this online short course you will obtain a problem solving mindset, where you will learn new and exciting skills from each module.

All skills acquired in this short course will help you build a solid portfolio that can count towards your professional designation as a project management professional.


Grow into a project management role in just a few short weeks, download the Project Management brochure.

The project management process

Costing in the project management process

Cost management in the project management process is estimating, allocating, and controlling the costs of a particular project. It allows a business to predict future expenses in order to reduce the chances of going over the project’s budget. Projected costs are calculated during the planning phase of a project and must be approved before work even begins. As the project plan is executed, expenses are documented and tracked so all costs stay within the budget.

Quoting in the project management process

As a project manager you would need to constantly interact with suppliers. A quotation is a supplier’s response to a customer’s request for goods or services. Once a quotation has been issued the supplier is legally bound to the price of the initial quotation for the time period that it is valid against.

Client management in projects

Client management in the project management process is about improving the project experience, simplifying the processes, exceeding expectations and reducing stress for the client. It focuses on creating powerful client relationships and puts the client first.

Communication in project management

Leadership and communication are key to the project management process. As a project manager, you need to have strong leadership and mentorship abilities, not only to help people accomplish project tasks but also to help them grow and learn practically.

Reviewing the project management process

Reviewing project tasks is also apart of briefing people. The project manager will review tasks and work on deadlines with the team accordingly. In the review process the project management phases start to take shape and the goals start to build towards the end result holistically.

Resourcing in the project management process

In the project management process, resources are required to complete the project life cycle. Project managers need to ensure that the correct resources are used appropriately, so as not to waste, keeping the project plan within the specified budget. Resources are machinery, workers, equipment, facilities and even financial capital. Resources ensure that the project management phases run smoothly and efficiently. Without resources the project would ultimately fail.

Time management

Time management is crucial as a project manager. You will need to organise and plan the time spent on tasks each day. Mastering the art of time management will boost your team’s effectiveness and productivity. The easiest way to achieve effective time management is through strategic planning in all the project management steps.

Efficiency and profitability in the project management process

The project management process is built on efficiency and profitability. These core values allow the project management lifecycle to play out as planned. A project management professional needs to achieve goals efficiently, utilising resources effectively in order to achieve maximum profitability.

A day in the life of a project manager

A project manager has a vast array of responsibilities and daily tasks that he or she must implement on demand daily. The daily project management process encompasses many activities including:
· Planning and Defining Scope
· Activity Planning and Sequencing
· Resource Planning
· Developing Schedules
· Time Estimating
· Cost Estimating
· Developing a Budget
· Documentation
· Creating Charts and Schedules
· Risk Analysis
· Managing Risks and Issues
· Monitoring and Reporting Progress
· Team Leadership
· Strategic Influencing
· Business Partnering
· Working with Vendors
· Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis
· Controlling Quality
· Benefits Realisation

Tips for project managers

Tip 1: Successful project managers learn to observe their surroundings

Soak up your surroundings and analyse your team members, learn their strengths and weaknesses and apply each member to tasks accordingly. Successful project managers listen to what their team has to say and implements their suggestions accordingly. This will show cohesion and willingness for an adaptable project management style.

Tip 2: Work smart and solve problems

Planning is the biggest factor that allows project management professionals to mitigate risk. If you do your fair share of planning before the initial project phases, then you will be able to solve problems much more efficiently and mitigate potential threats.

Tip 3: Utilise tools effectively

Successful project managers stay a step ahead and look to optimise working platforms in any way possible, to make the project run more efficiently. Keep taking notes on what works and what doesn’t and stay on track of the project’s goals.

Tip 4: The customer is king

You need to learn what your customers want and how to give it to them. Successful project managers listen to their customers’ needs and adapt the project management strategy around that.

Tip 5: Successful project managers sharpen their skills

There are a variety of options available for a project management qualification, especially in today’s digital age. You can study a project management degree, opt for a project management online course or even a project management short course certificate. Your qualification or furthering your studies will show your employer that you are committed to a successful project manager’s mindset. Pursue your qualification with passion and you may soon find yourself a member of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA).

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