Transitioning from the armed forces to project management can be challenging yet rewarding. As ex-armed forces embark on this transition, they often encounter unfamiliar terminology and concepts, making the path to project management seem daunting. However, this transition becomes much more manageable with the right guidance and demystification. In this article, we’ll explore the process of army resettlement to project management, shedding light on key strategies and insights to help veterans navigate this transition successfully.

What is the project management language?

Project Management can seem a particularly tricky discipline to the uninitiated because of the language that is commonly used, which, to be fair, includes lots of acronyms and terminology that seldom makes sense.

At the heart of it all is common sense and a knack for coordinating activities, planning, communicating, and controlling aspects of projects. Some common terms are detailed below.

Project is a unique and transient activity delivering a product according to criteria.

Programme is a collection of projects delivering an outcome for an organisation.

Output is the ‘thing’ that a project creates that is ultimately used by the customer.

Outcome is the change in behaviour expected following a change.

What is a PMO?

The Project Management Office (PMO) is used in most organisations, as 90% have at least one of these functions.

This (typically) centralised team usually creates, owns, and maintains the standard process, templates, and support mechanisms for project managers. They sometimes also train and coach them.

The PMO collate information from all the projects and review it to provide insights to the senior leadership, they also sometimes audit projects to ensure quality of delivery, and ensure learning and sharing opportunities are available.

What are the different project management associations?

There are several associations that represent the project management industry. This can make picking the right path appear more complex than it is.

Essentially, and at the basic level, your location of work will likely help you determine the best possible path for you.

Association for Project Management (APM)

It is mainly UK-based and is the only Chartered Body for the Project Management Profession, providing qualifications, guidance, mentoring, and events.

Project Management Institute (PMI)

It is a US-based organisation with chapters worldwide, including a UK Chapter providing qualifications, guidance and events.

International Project Management Association (IPMA)

It is a worldwide organisation providing qualifications and guidance and is the parent of the APM.

What qualifications are available for project management?

Certificates for project management can be found across the associations detailed above and commercial companies that design their own. Since the growth in online learning has been seen since 2020, many independent e-learning courses are available across professional media platforms.

Most project management qualifications support a wider journey based on a competence framework that examines knowledge and experience. So, when selecting a path for yourself, you must find something connected to your own experience in this way.

This will lead to greater success as the learning process supports the experiential aspect of becoming a project manager.

The APM path is detailed below.

Specialist PMO & Project Management Training Courses

Below are the Wellingtone specialisation courses, all of which are independently assessed and accredited by the APM and, in some cases, IPMA.

Public Sector Project Management

A course does not make a project manager!

What technology is used for project management?

There are lots and lots of project management software providers who will all believe that there is the best thing since sliced bread. So, at Wellingtone, we keep it simple and align ourselves with the biggest one, and by the way, you will come across the likeliest one: Microsoft.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we specialise in managing projects using Microsoft technology. As a training provider, we can combine these two things and provide technology boot camps that you can access directly using your SLCs to prepare you for the corporate world.

Worried about running meetings online? Or how do you use Microsoft Project to plan some work? Don’t worry. We have got you covered because there is more to the civilian work life than meets the eye.

Project Management as a Life Skill

The APM’s vision is a world where all projects succeed and project management is a life skill.

If you have ever organised a wedding, built a house, or hosted a party, the chances are you have done some project management already. Even on deployment, you will have to plan, deal with ambiguity, communicate, and control a situation, all of which are aspects of the project world.

Discipline that helps us to make a process the same each time, allowing for an efficient use of our people and resources.

Structure applied to documents and approaches helps to ensure that we are delivering in the right way.

Communication is key to motivating the team to get the change done once and done right and make it a change to be proud of.

Control and oversight ensure we can achieve a degree of confidence in the result in an ambiguous world.

Project management is simply the coordination of activities that we need to deliver a change.

Is there a project management community I can join?

Embarking on your project management journey with Wellingtone means you are supported by a safe peer group who have walked your path.

  • Need mentoring to get that first role? We offer that as part of our community for free.
  • Are you trying to implement something, and it didn’t quite work out? The community is a sounding board.
  • Unsure what your next step is? Wellingtone qualification specialists can take you through the options.
  • Need to hone your skills? Our events and boot camps are there to help you level up.

We are passionate about your journey and are here for the long haul.

The Sky is the Limit

Many who have served have moved into the project management industry because elements of it are familiar even in the corporate world. The degree to which you can apply discipline, structure, communication, and control can lead to senior roles in large organisations.

You can find yourself working on multi-million-pound projects and programmes that deliver social good, improved infrastructure, better access to services, and ultimately help communities develop and thrive.

Talk to Wellingtone about your resettlement journey

Whether you’re seeking career guidance, training opportunities or simply a supportive community, we’re here to help. Contact us to discuss your
resettlement options now.

MOD Enhanced Learning Credits

We are an approved Learning Provider in the ELC scheme for project management qualifications, including the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification and the Project Management Qualification.

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Monthly Newsletter

By: Hannah Francis

Hannah Francis

Published: 16 February 2024

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