Project Management is without a doubt a profession, one that adapts to the needs of the organization, but still keeps many of the key characteristics.
Like Roberto Gimenez, I have also been in this area for over 10 years. In all this time I have noticed the professsion does have some areas of concentration, not all PMs work in the same kind of business, nor do they need to use the same business lingo. That is the reason probably you felt confused about the apparent dual roles you mention related to development, business analysis and of course management. All those areas relate to IT Project Management, arguably one of the larger areas today.
Project Managers are without a doubt an important middle layer of management between the top leadership, and the actual teams that make things happen. Given that they work in a variety of industries you will notice that many times they do use different titles, but the career is quite similar. The main two areas where PMs work for are in two big functional specialties:
- Inside of Software Development or IT. In this area the agile movement has brought different titles, and the role has also changed a bit, but in essence it is about leading teams. The most common role you will see is Agile Coach, Scrum Master or Agile Project Manager.
- Outside of IT. This may be in the construction industry, professional services, movie making, the military, or just about any other area where teams of people need to build and deliver solutions. In this case by far the most common title you will see is either Project Manager or Program Manager, but on ocassion you may see especialized titles such as Director or Risk Manager. Agile in these areas is still in its infancy here, but growing steadily.
Within the Agile movement the two most important Agile methods and frameworks would be Scrum and Kanban. Scrum mandates roles, and has a defined approach. Kanban is much more fluid, but also agile. I recommend you take a look at both.
Within traditional Project Management the Project Management Institute is the most influential organization in the world. In the UK Prince 2 is a strong competitor to PMI. Both are fine institutions.
I would certainly recommend this profession to anyone serious about working with teams and delivering solutions. It never ceases to grow, and give you positive challenges to apply your intellect.