Project Management and Controls
Roles within the Project Management and Project Controls Management function have many commonalities with other industries; these transferrable skills give you a great chance of being able to Sector Jump.
It is usual that nuclear experience is desirable, put not essential and the with the new build scope of work comprising of 80% 'non-nuclear' there are ample opportunties for project managers, project engineers, project administrators, project control managers, project planners and costs engineers.
Project Manager - the Project Manager is the single point of contact on the client/customer-facing side and the single point of accountability on the business/delivery aspects of the work. They are responsible for the ultimate success of the project.
"Project Manager" is a loose term at the best of times, and it is probably more loosely used in the UK Nuclear Industry than any other due to the extensive range of work. You will find the job title "Project Manager" can be easily interchangeable with Project Engineer, Sub-Project Manager and Project Lead. Varying responsibilities from the management of £10k tooling job to a £100m decommissioning project - the candidate for both these roles may have the same job title; however, the skill set required to fulfil the position is very different successfully.
So how do you know when looking at potential opportunities which ones are for you? We have tried numerous ways but continue to find that the best way is to search existing live roles; you can find these at our Where To Find Jobs In The Nuclear Industry page - you can explore at the bottom "Nuclear Project Manager".
We will be providing further posts that offer more information on the qualifications and experience required to get into nuclear as a project manager and provide links to live roles and training courses applicable to the position. Will will email you as these go live.
Project Controls Manager - the Project Controls Manager is responsible for project monitoring, providing the project manager, the client, and senior management with information on the scope, progress, costs and forecast completion, and ultimate spending while actively managing project risks. Typically, the PCM has a team of resources to help manage all of their responsibilities, such as a Project Planner, Cost Engineer and Risk Practitioner. This support may or may not be central pooled resources via a Project Management Office (PMO).
A Project Controls Manager is quite a senior role, and you usually tend to find that they have been part of the project controls team as one of the critical resources above for some time. A PCM would tend to have detailed experience of reporting, managing, and dealing with the function's demands.
We will be providing posts in the future that will detail the qualifications and experience required to get into nuclear as a PCM. Will will email you as these go live.
Project Planner - a Project Planner is responsible for managing the project schedule, monitoring progress, and forecasting future work to aid in managing resource requirements and scheduling any upcoming review points or delivery milestone dates.
A project planner will be a planning software practitioner, e.g. Primavera or Microsoft Project (MSP). There are many courses available to develop your skills and have the relevant qualifications to demonstrate that you can drive the software. Excel is also a much-used application for either creating spreadsheets used to manage a schedule of activities or to link directly to the project plan.
Cost Engineer - responsible for dealing with all things related to cost on the project. The Cost Engineers create the project budgets based on the team's estimates, analysing the spending to date and forecast to go, dealing with cash flow, payment applications, monitoring timesheet, and making accruals. The perfect role for someone who loves a spreadsheet!
Experience requirements vary depending upon the role, from being literate with Microsoft Excel to someone who has experience working on more complex systems such as SAP.
Risk Practitioner - a specific role for a Risk Practitioner is typical in most larger companies and on most of the more significant projects. You may find that the project management community manages the risk process in a smaller organisation (to varying success, it must be said).
A Risk Practitioner is quite a specialist role. Still, it is in reach via the correct training courses and transitioning from similar positions in other industries, which involved identifying and managing project risks throughout a project's lifecycle.
NB- there is no reason why someone could not fulfil a number of these roles. Particularly the Planner and Costie roles have very similar skill sets. It is, however, very rarely acknowledged by companies in the industry that this is possible. As such, you will tend only to find a position for one of the above, i.e. a project will require a cost engineer and a planner.