In last month’s post we discussed the similarities between a PhD and a project and the first two lessons from the world of project management. This month we turn our attention to three further project management techniques that can be effectively deployed through a PhD.
Firstly the biggest single barrier to project success is lack of clear scope. Continue reading The PhD as a project (Part 2)
Long before I threw caution to the wind and (as a mum with 2 small children) began my part-time PhD my Professor Andy Gale (@AndrewWGale) gave me a very wise piece of advice “Don’t be afraid of a PhD, it’s really just a project”. As a new academic who had previously enjoyed a career as a project manager in industry (and one whose last serious academic study had been 10 years previously) I found these words both reassuring and encouraging. Now that I am entering the 3rd year of my part-time PhD I want to reflect on the similarities between a PhD and a project and offer some tips on how to use the tools and techniques of project management to make sustained progress in a research degree. I will share these lessons in two successive blog posts as there is a lot to cover – Happy reading!
Continue reading A PhD as a project
I have been teaching part-time masters students in project management for a number of years now and have always been impressed by the dedication that delegates have to the course and the associated challenges of completing assignments whilst holding down a full time demanding professional role as a project manager. To date however this has been admiration from afar, with no real conception of the reality of life as a part-time student. I have been fortunate in that all my academic studies to date both undergraduate and masters level, have been of the full-time variety, completed at a time of my life before real responsibility in the form of husband and children arrived. Continue reading The challenges of the part-time student