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Insights How can an experienced project manager add value?

Project manager jobs are multifaceted and complex, but ultimately rewarding. The goal is to plan, coordinate and deliver complex projects on time and within budget, to a good standard. A good project manager knows that in order to achieve this and really add value, they must be skilled in many areas, particularly problem solving, building a strong team, and being agile in uncertain circumstances, all whilst managing risks. At AtkinsRéalis , our project managers thrive by understanding clients’, sharing their vision and helping to drive projects and programmes that shape the future. Read more to find out how you can add value as a project manager.

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Solving problems

Problem solving is a fundamental skill required by project managers and since 2020, COVID-19 has been adding more obstacles to overcome, including reduced workforces and supply chain delays. Yet, regarding the pandemic, KPMG state it has ‘seen the value of the experienced and professional project manager enhanced through the crisis.’ Over the next few years of recovery, project managers will face a range of hurdles around maintaining the momentum and pace of delivery on projects. However, we are ready for this, because identifying problems and creating solutions is our strength, that’s why the best project managers come to work within the AtkinsRéalis group.

Being a leader in a strong team

Naturally, a project manager must have good leadership skills, clearly communicating objectives with different personalities in varied circumstances, and motivating colleagues to be successful. An effective project manager is underpinned by a strong and dynamic team, comprising project engineers, project coordinators, and graduate project managers, with diversity of thought and experience that allows for the birth of new ideas. Simon Collins, Project Manager at KPMG, says it ‘pays to think about project teams as dynamic rather than static.’ This means not being afraid to make changes to members of the team throughout a project’s lifecycle, as it enables fresh ideas to arise at critical periods.

Encouraging collaboration

Annivas Vasilopoulos is a Senior Project Manager based in Hong Kong. Since starting at Faithful+Gould, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, five years ago as an intern in Greece, Annivas has worked on various projects in four countries. Throughout his fulfilling career, he has worked ‘with fascinating team members that hold diverse cultural backgrounds. I used that as an opportunity to always learn from them while promoting an inclusive working environment.’ Project managers, both experienced and new, can improve results by becoming truly collaborative and open to ingenuity, aptitude and strategies from within and across teams, from planning through to completion. By gathering ideas from both inside and outside of the team, colleagues can learn from the achievements and mistakes of others and ensure projects are successful, whilst gaining a sense of collective ownership. Additionally, this allows team members an opportunity to learn new skills, and develop their career, whilst adopting constructive behaviours that can be carried through to future projects.

Embracing innovation

The best project managers are always looking for better ways to get things done. Whether it is to create efficiencies that will save time, money and reduce waste, or to improve collaboration and performance of the team, experienced project managers know to add value by embracing innovation at all angles, pursuing outcomes rather than output. The ability to incorporate and explore new perspectives, and ideas is critical, and at SNC Lavalin, a commitment to innovation is one of our core values. To us, it’s not just a buzzword. Innovation ensures we evolve and constantly improve in everything we do, guiding the transformation that is happening in our industry today. This is just one of the reasons why you should bring your project management career to an engineering firm.

Being agile and controlling risk

Projects don’t come without their challenges. There are inevitably controllable and uncontrollable variables throughout the lifecycle that can cause delays or extra expenditure, just like we have seen with COVID-19. To manage this and mitigate potential effects, a project manager must be agile in the face of unexpected changes, continually evaluating and balancing conflicting requirements to achieve a clients’ goals.

With unexpected change comes risk. To mitigate this, project managers liaise closely with clients and technical teams, controlling and delivering projects to cost and on programme. Their roles are vital in minimising risk, while maintaining safety, achieving quality and maximising investment returns.

Step up the career ladder and find your next job opportunity in project management at AtkinsRéalis

At AtkinsRéalis , we nurture an evolving environment whereby our people are encouraged to continually upskill and re-skill to progress their careers.

If you’d like to be part of a core team responsible for delivering success through effective programming, sustainability, development, cost and building solutions, apply for a project manager job today or skip straight to our senior project management roles. Supported by our suite of digital tools and platforms, you will deliver success through innovation, standardisation and automation, saving our clients time and money, and adding value from day one.