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Programming to Project Management

By Tim Leedy ·
I have been programming professionally for a about three years and have worked as a lead on both IT projects and Web projects for the past two years. I even did a little QA work on a shrink-wrap product recently to get the hands-on experience of testing. The only problem I am facing is breaking into the Project Management. What are the skills companies are looking for in a Project Manager?

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Programming to Project Management

by RealGem In reply to Programming to Project Ma ...

I started out the same as you. After three years, I started doing my MBA part-time. While it is very relevant to PM, I don't recommend this to everyone. I've been a PM for four+ years, and I have my Project Management Professional designation from the Project Management Institute.

Project managers are expected to be able to plan and schedule projects using a PM tool like Microsoft Project. They must also have excellent communication skills. While that may seem cliche, the PM straddles the gap between the non-technical clients and the technical workers. The PM has to be able to speak both languages clearly and concisely (this is why the MBA was so useful to me).

Project managers should also have a general understanding of accounting and finance - enough to prepare a detailed financial cost benefit analysis.

You should consider joining PMI and pursuing your PMP designation. While this won't be a short term goal (give yourself three years minimum) it will guide you in theright direction).

The PM must understand the PM processes, such as defining and managing scope, time, cost, risk, etc. At www.pmi.org, you will find a free download that will give you a survey-level view of the skills that a PM requires.

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Programming to Project Management

by Tim Leedy In reply to Programming to Project Ma ...

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Programming to Project Management

by Debfromca In reply to Programming to Project Ma ...

I've been a project manager for a dozen years and leading project managers for the last four or five. Presently, I'm consulting, for a large buck, in building a PMO for a retail company.

The biggest challenge that you will face in "breaking into" project management is really not that difficult. All client companies want to see is that you are aware of the industry standards, such as PMI's standards and apply those to projects that you are working on or have worked on. They want to see a logical "trail" of project-based activity. To show "proof" of that, when hiring project managers, I'd like to have a technical project manager describe their most recent project, "walk me through" the project, and show me their documentation trail...in other words, tell me a story about how they managed that project and what the outcomes were. I am equally as interested as to what went wrong and the way the prospective project manager describes that.

Your steps are:
Understanding a PM model, such as PMI
Developing "tools" for adapting the model (show me your paper trail..meeting trail...progress trail...deliverable trail, etc.)

Also, maturity and the ability to build teams is extremely important, as is breaking down barriers between functional areas and crossfunctionally.

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Programming to Project Management

by Tim Leedy In reply to Programming to Project Ma ...

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by Tim Leedy In reply to Programming to Project Ma ...

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