As a Project Manager working within multiple industries, the one thing that I’ve always noticed is how similar the work is throughout these varying industries. Project Management has predetermined processes and procedures to carry out projects, these are followed whilst implementing a project or program as required. Equally, similarities may be found when you review the types of people you meet and deal with in each company and industry. The subject matter experts, stakeholders and project teams are made up of people working to achieve a common goal; to implement a project or program.
During my time with Aspira I have worked with a public authority and a private company. The two industries are quite different. The public authority tends to have a more rigid reporting structure and decision making hierarchy than the FMCG private company in some respects. Both industries want to succeed in their deployment of products or services for their customers, and thus want you to succeed in the completion of their identified projects. As a project manager in these industries, my key to success will be a willingness to adapt to the requirements for reporting, communication and team management.
I think you will see the similarities and differences within these 4 key areas highlighted in the chart below.
Moving to a new industry or company may seem daunting because you are not familiar with the industry. In reality, the company is seeking assistance to get a project completed. The goal for this company is to use your expertise for their desire to implement one or several projects. The actual products and services that the company provide should not be an issue for the PM, as they should be able to apply and adapt the tools and skills needed to meet the requirements of the company.
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Author: Sheila Sheehan, PM, Aspira.