What advice do you have for someone starting out in this field?
The work, as identified in most textbooks on project management, boils down to the triple constraints of cost, schedule and scope, or, how much money are you willing to spend, how much time do you have, and what do you want? These dimensions play off each other, and project managers must recognize that Newton’s third law of motion must be applied. A change in one of these dimensions must result a change in one or both of the other two. Thus, if you want to get new features (scope) you will need more money or more time or both. Getting the project done faster (schedule) will require more money or less scope or both. Delivering a project cheaper (cost) will require more time or less scope or both. None of these dimensions is independent of the other two and people want to think that a change can simply be absorbed into a project. The project manager must remind people, even when they are agreeing to a change, that there is always an impact to the other dimensions.