Guidance on the capabilities and expectations of Project Managers in our sector
It is not so common, but on occasion an experienced project manager will move from another sector, such as construction, aerospace or IT, into ours. There usually follows a shock to discover the PM culture we have! In our world, processes are followed more loosley; there is sometimes a lack of clarity between different parts of a company; it can feel like decisions are continually changed and delayed. Project management is a lot about pulling together the views of highly opinionated individuals who may seem to relish disagreeing well past any deadlines!
Much more common is the experience of the scientist working in our sector, who transitions into project management for the first time. The sudden lack of direct authority (which is normal in our in project teams), plus the challenge of taking the lead, without having a full knowledge about all of the expert disciplines in the team, can be very scary.
Yet it can also be a highly rewarding and successful career option!
See below for some industry experts on their experiences in organisations of varying sizes: