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Career path for project manager

By jacob_fen ·
Hello all,

I have been a project technical lead(4 years), and then project manager(7 years), I want to improve my career, but not sure what's the possible career pathes of project manager position. Product manager?

Project director? Anything others? Personally, I'd like to challenge any kinds of position. Do you have any suggestions for me? I would greatly appreciate for any suggestions.

Thanks in advance
Jacob.

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project management

by yelesom In reply to Career path for project m ...

I honestly dont know, but I would like to ask how does one get into project management comming from a IT and business background?

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Thoughts...

by Salamander In reply to project management

One approach is to seek out project team lead opportunities in your current organization. If you're team lead for even a small project, that can help get your feet wet. If you do that well, then there are probably opportunities to lead larger projects.

CompTia offers a project management certification that is sort of an entry-level one: IT Project+. I believe they acquired it from the Gartner Group. In studying for the exam, you do a good review of basic project management principles that can help you on the projects you're working on. It's not an expensive certification to acquire, and it does not expire (last time I checked).

Here's a link that has some good information to help you in your endeavors:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jm2217/

And another one for IT project management:

www.gantthead.com

Best of luck to you!

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The world is your oyster

by amcol In reply to project management

Combining IT and business credentials is a great beginning recipe for a project management career. Add some experience with people management, a dash of education from PMI, stir gently, and you have yourself a project manager.

(I think I just made myself hungry.)

As far as where to go FROM a project management position, that depends on where your interests and talents lie. If you have designs on getting into senior IT management, which you might be qualified for right now BTW, you might want to look for an opportunity in a technology field you've not worked in before to round out your experience. For example, if you've been doing project management on application development projects go work in the infrastructure group for a couple of years.

Product management is a good thought, but no one's going to take your candidacy seriously unless you have a credential (like a marketing degree) or have been doing IT project management for the product development department for a good long while and have distinguished yourself to them. Be prepared to start at the bottom.

Take an entirely different direction. As a good, experienced IT project manager you've developed the skills necessary to succeed in any number of areas that require focus, hierarchial and sequential thinking, tactical and strategic planning, and general management. Think about sales if you have the personality (and thick skin) for it, or finance if you like doing analysis more than management. Auditing is a huge opportunity area right now...people with IT chops and financial credentials are cleaning up doing Sarbanes-Oxley gigs, and that's not going away anytime soon.

Think way out of the box. Go into consulting, either on your own or with a consulting firm, or start your own business...not necessarily IT related. Buy a franchise, take over an existing business, start one of your own with some great idea you have.

The one thing not to do...limit yourself in any way.

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Best advice i've seen - more needed

by sajjad_er In reply to The world is your oyster

thank you! those are very useful advices.. Being positive about your career all the time.. isn't that PM is all about?

I need some advice on next my career move - I have business and computer science degree from university (graduated in 2005) and been working as a team lead / business analyst for an unix support team for last two years. Right now, I want to make a move to PM. I am planning to take a masters certificate course on project management. Do you think it is too early for me to make the move and rather do something else for the time being?

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Look for

by JamesRL In reply to Career path for project m ...

Organizations with Project Management Offices.

They will have roles for project planners, project finance people,etc. Someone with extensive project management experience is required to lead them.

The area I got into at my last employer is strategic planning - once you start looking at all of your projects as a portfolio of things to manage, the next step is how you determine what projects to do in a year. You are more likely to find that function in an organization large enough to have a project management office.

James

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PMOs

by DC_GUY In reply to Look for

Going to work for a company with an IT PMO is a good idea for multiple reasons. They are more likely to be one of the firms that is still around in ten years. That's because they've already taken a big step toward treating software development and maintenance as an engineering discipline, rather than as a medieval craft like the rest of America does it.

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PMO - client-facing type vs. corporate internal projects.

by Pasalo In reply to Look for

Hi James,

Currently, I am making research for the development of a PMO framework ( client-facing )specifically for IT Solution Providers and Design and Engineering firms. I used to work with one of them and honestly, we didn't have a structured center office to support our proceses,the PMs, a KM, neither fruition of lessons learned from our repeatable projects. Every PM is much worried about his project planning and control , and forgot that he and his project is just a part of the enterprise objectives and portfolio.

Now, how would you apply rigorously the techniques of Project Portfolio Management to an environment( in a company)in which your prime business is to deliver all retained services and contrated projects anyway.

I would appreciate very much insights and hands-on experience from the perspective I 've just mentioned above.

Abraham

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No difference in basic structure

by JamesRL In reply to PMO - client-facing type ...

In a centralized PMO, you would still look at all of your projects as a portfolio. Instead of supporting your corporate objectives equally, the profitability goal would be the highest. You would still need to balance the types of projects you do - a certain amount of maintenance projects, a certain amount of projects that push the envelop etc.

I want to make it clear that projects are only those things that have a clear beginning and end, and a "unique" deliverable. Delivering services is not a project.

When looking at external customers, you probably want to look at a mix of long term versus short term projects(balance both, too many of one or the other can emss things up), and a mix of high profit versus investment projects(you profit on the things you have great expertise in, but you learn on the new stuff and they provides potential for future profit).

The advantages of a PMO in your scenario are that you can centralize project accounting(so you can better monitor costs), build and share your PM knowledge and drive improvement. Profit is a big motivator and you should be able to use that to drive improvements in quality as well.

In terms of a PMO, the other thing is that instead of your customer dictating which projects you accept and reject, you do it interanlly with marketing/sales, and can look at things from a profit perspective, if of course you have the luxury of having enough business to turn down any projects.

Hope that helps.

James

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Enhanced framework

by Pasalo In reply to No difference in basic st ...

James, with your new insights on several portfolio drivers, I can enhance better now the frameworks of my PMO's vertical functions, and obviously its integration to other business areas of the organization.

Thanks. I'll get you posted for the new framework upon conclusion.

Abraham

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I would enjoy a trip to Sao Paulo

by JamesRL In reply to Enhanced framework

Where I could explain my theories in person.

James

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