Project Management

Quick question regarding the usefulness of a project management qualification.

Basically, I've had a couple of interviews recently, and each time I'd been questioned about how I would tackle running a project - asking me about the organisation aspects mainly. Now perhaps I am being self-conscious, but I wonder if this because I'm coming across as disorganised during the interviews.

My current level is recent PhD grad (although I have publications etc) and these interviews were for applied/business positions (so they could also be stereotyping me).

I am starting a job in a couple of weeks (within academia) as a research project support officer (I think this is the academic equivalent of assistant project manager - but additionally I'll also be supplying technical skills), and I'm considering if it's worth also doing a project management qualification alongside this role.

Would this be seen as an asset (within industry) with the PhD?
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Thought project management was something to do with Prince(2) or Risk ?
I thought it was about the ideal way of running projects, such dealing with outside agencies, breaking things down etc?

Perhaps I'm completely off the mark, but I thought it might be another good way of demonstrating organisational skills if I do decide to try and make it in industry (as I know people have preconceptions about distractible professors etc).
Project Management, IF employed correctly, pulls together all resources (people, money, materials, etc) and produces an end result within a given timeframe.

PRINCE2 is but one of many methodologies employed in project management: Critical Chain, Process Based, Agile, etc are others.

I have seen many careers fulfilled by people being very adept with the discipline: conversely, I have seen others crash and burn, resulting in many casualties.

My advice is to avoid it as you would a ginger-haired Welsh stepchild.


Book Reviewer
PRINCE2, fully implemented, is a fantastic tool for finding out how much trouble your project is in, eventually. There are many approaches - a drastically slimmed-down, trimmed-down PRINCE2 approach is pretty good, it'll at least cover all the bases and introduce some of the right concepts.

A crusty old PM will tell you that the right approach ensures that all parties have skin in the game and a direct interest in the project's success and good reason not to want it to fail.
Interestingly, I've just searched LinkedIn for Prince2 and PhD and it seems it's not such an uncommon combination.

Even though I suspect running a research project is probably slightly different to running a business project, there is some overlap - in terms of deadlines, stakeholders, different agencies etc.

Also thanks for the replies so far - I am finding this useful (especially as my career to date is eight years mob (unprompted) and then ten years in education (although the PhD was paid/salaried).
I work in a large organisation and interact daily with project managers. I asked about Prince2 with some of them as it seems to be a favourite seller for a few training companies trying to grab some ELC claims. Of the ones who had heard of it, non of them had it as, as has already been said, its a tool of which there are many. Demonstrable organisational skills, communication and product knowledge seemed to be the main area of focus. Can delve a bit deeper if required

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