The Difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Project Manager?

Two Road Signs Facing in Opposing Directions Stating “Qualified” and “Unqualified”
9 Dec 2015

The Difference between a Real Estate Agent and a Project Manager?

Only One Needs a License to Practice!

Under Australian law, a real estate agent needs to undertake successful training and be certified to sell or lease property. However, anybody can call themselves a “project manager”, despite lacking qualifications or perhaps having limited experience. There is no legal or regulatory requirement to prove that they have the ‘know how’ to effectively manage a business project from start to finish.

Despite the lack of a legal requirement for training, project managers are given primary responsibility for managing huge amounts of risk, resources and money. The risks involved in larger projects can span across many different areas, from workplace health and safety through to environmental damage or a severe blow to your finances.

Projects that end up either hurting your staff, harming the environment or causing financial loss for your stakeholders also damage your brand, reputation and good standing with the public.

Most Project Budgets Blow Out

Due to poor management, an average project can run over budget by up to 190%! Capital bleeds and other harmful aspects of a mismanaged project could be prevented if the people in charge of them were actually trained as project managers.

Properly trained and qualified project managers have the skills to  react to unexpected changes professionally and effectively. As anyone with exposure to projects knows, projects don’t always go precisely to plan, and this is mostly due to the human element.  A good project manager needs to be able to think on their feet when this happens, using not only common sense but by drawing on the body of project management knowledge and all the project learning’s engrained within this growing discipline. A trained project manager or management team can also help to ensure that business strategy is practically applied to the nitty gritty of the project – aligning projects with organisational goals and realities.

Project Management Education

Elemental Projects offers a number of accredited project management training courses, which are available for public enrolment or can be customised to your organisation and delivered on-site by expert trainers. These courses include the Diploma of Project Management and Certificate IV in Project Management. The courses include specially designed team-based activities that simulate real workplace projects, situations and activities. This training gives your staff the practical skills needed to effectively manage your businesses projects. The training provides in-depth knowledge and capability in each and every stage of the project lifespan, from planning through to execution, closing, and final evaluation. There are four project phases, ten knowledge areas and 47 potential processes according to the PMBok methodology and 7 processes according to the PRINCE2 methodology. Regardless of which project management framework is favoured by your industry or organisation, that’s a skills and knowledge gap common sense cannot adequately fill!

If your staff study project management, they will learn industry best practice as well as how to optimally manage human resources. This is essential because good people skills and talent management are as important to successful project management as strategy integration.

The Future of Project Management in Australia?

The UK is currently in the final stages of making project management a “chartered” profession, like accounting and dentistry. This means that project managers in the UK will no longer be able to use the title without holding specific credentials that adequately (at the very least) demonstrate and validate their knowledge of industry standard concepts, terms, tools, techniques and processes.

Will Australia follow their lead, or will we continue to allow under and un-qualified people at the helm of important projects with a continued risk of budget bleeds and other risks to brand reputation? Don’t just give your staff responsibility for projects and budgets; give them the training, resources and capability to succeed and deliver for your business.