We interviewed one our of experienced Project Planning Consultants to learn more about what he does on a daily basis, how did he broke into the industry, and the ups and downs of being a successful Project Planner…

Describe what your previous experience was and how you moved into your current position:

My previous role was clinical and environmental scientist. This role gave me all the valuable skills in data handling, interpretation, analysis, and subsequent reporting of findings. The results would aid in developing the strategy and direction of future work.

I was responsible for coordinating various studies giving me the confidence and ability to develop relationships with people with varied backgrounds and capabilities, allowing me to coordinate them into achieving the common goals of the particular study.

Describe the qualifications you hold that are relevant to your job:

If you are interested in breaking into the industry, you will need a project qualification and if you want to specialise in a particular area of the marketplace, you will need further qualifications and certifications. I hold the following qualifications:

  • BSc Hons degree
  • Association for Project Management (APM) Project Fundamental Qualification (PFQ)
  • Association for Project Management (APM) Project Management Qualification (PMQ)

I actually joined PL Projects after enrolling and successfully passing my PFQ because they were looking for a Project Support Officer to assist in supporting client requirements.

If interested in learning more about the PFQ and PMQ qualifications, please review our APM Accredited Training web page: https://www.plprojects.co.uk/apm-accredited-project-management-training/.

Describe the type of project you are supporting:

IT transformation, application stack development and business transformation project at an international IT organisation.

Describe what you are responsible for accomplishing daily:

  • Essentially a planner is responsible for planning different parts of the project so the project meets the correct milestones. This means tasks can be planned effectively with the correct number of resources needed to complete the project’s tasks. Here are some more details about my main responsibilities in the current project:
  • Obtaining progress updates from task owners and transferring these to plans.
  • Ensuring the project is on track.
  • Identifying any prospective problems with the delivery of work before they occur and mitigating against them.
  • Reporting progress to a wide variety of stakeholder audiences at the correct level of detail and the correct format.

Describe what you like about your role:

I love being involved in the development of the strategy behind project delivery. It is equally enjoyable to identify and troubleshoot prospective problems related to project delivery before they happen. Developing the various analysis and reporting techniques required to do this is also good fun.

Describe what challenges you face in your role:

Stringent deadlines – projects move fast. You have to be able to be ahead of the curve to ensure everyone that requires information gets it before they need it to facilitate their own timely delivery of the work they are responsible for.

Difficult people – many people do not immediately accept change. Getting buy in and understanding from people that are often impacted by the change associated with the projects you work on can be very challenging, but also very rewarding when it pays off. Working away from home can sometimes also be hard, so it’s a good job my work is enjoyable and rewarding.