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Project Managers please advise me..

By ANaq110 ·
Greetings all,

I needed some advice on a new job I just landed. I was a IT Manager for about 6 years and was laid off 6 months ago.. I finally got a job but the position is Project Manager. I have strong knowledge of AD, Exchange,Cisco routers and deploying new project but it seems like a Project Manager is a very different role. For example they have just asked me if I have strong knowledge of Microsoft Project which I dont. Now PMs out there can tell me what will be different about my role? Will I be able to adjust at this position? What advice can you folks give to new comer?? How hard is the PMP Certs compared to MCSE, CCNA??? And most importantly, some good resources which I can prepare for in 3 days.. Thanks in advance..

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Welcome to the PM Zone

by Tig2 In reply to Project Managers please a ...

Only slightly different than the Twilight Zone.

First- research sites. The PMBOK will cause you to break out in naps but do give it an overview. Speaks to the basics.

Go to It won't put you to sleep. Read everything you find.

Read Tom Mochal's articles here. Tom is the top of the food chain (in my opinion). I use his advice frequently.

You have been a functional manager with direct reports. In all liklihood, you will be working with teams that are not 100% dedicated to you. Or if they are 100%, they answer to another functional manager. You are now in a world that operates from "Influence without authority". That will be somewhat different.

I don't know what your management style has been. Prepare to adapt to a different viewpoint.

In my opinion, the primary job of a PM is to be tha liason between business and IT. From business, the challenge will be to get them to define requirements in terms of solid deliverables. Once you have the requirements, GET SIGN OFF!

Be an assertive and active communicator. Create a communication plan, communicate the communication plan, manage to it. It will help you to reduce the odd phone calls ("Where are we with this?") and will keep your team on the same page.

MS Project is not my favourite tool but a necessary one. Find a tutorial that works for you- there is one built in to the tool itself. Is it the best? Not really. But it will get you up to speed quickly.

Unless the company is requiring the PMP, don't worry about it for now. I am not PMP certified. I have been leading complex projects successfully for about 10 years. When I spend my certification dollars, it will be on CompTIA's IT Project+. The PMP, while improving, is a generalised project management cert. It is not focused in IT.

Your question is a good one, just VERY complex and difficult to answer in a single post. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to find a mentor. Find a PM you respect and start asking questions.

As your questions get more defined, post them. You will get a variety of feedback from the peers here. There is some really good talent in this area.

Don't forget to breathe. You'll be okay.

Good luck!

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Hope you did not lie

by Prefbid II In reply to Project Managers please a ...

I hope you didn't lie when they asked about experience in MS project. While MS project is actually rather easy to learn, it is also easy to spot a novice.

In 3 day? Start reading. Kerzner's book is still considered the primer on PM. A bit long, but a good reference. You can also check out for some detailed reading.

Don't sweat the PMP. If you find that you like the stuff and want to specialize in it, then work on it in your spare time.

Key things to develop first
1. Project Charters - they will save your hide if you do well at them. Write one for every project even if they are not required for your new job.

2. Work breakdown structures. You will probably find this to be a simple jump from what you did as a Manager. The concept is simple and it will help get your mind to see the connection between your previous job and your new one.

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by agalindo In reply to Project Managers please a ...

Your actual background is a great asset for your new PM role. In it, you are going to deal with resources, like people, money, time, providers, machines,as well as with costs and risks, etc. I'm, sure you can learn basic MS-Project fast; maybe your new department also has available templates, rules or procedures to create a new project file.
For reference, you can review this site:

Good luck

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Thanks Guys... : )

by ANaq110 In reply to

Thank you for your great responses. I didnt lie about my knowledge of Project I told them I have no working knowledge of Project. I played around with Primavera P3 and Expedition but that's about it. As any IT Guy you have to learn on the fly and so Project is no big deal. Now the biggest fear I have is loosing my technical edge working as an Project Manager. I know over the years as I progressed as an IT Manager I lost some of my techie touch and become 75% Managerial 25% Technical. Current PMs are you folks in the same boat? Now how does the Comptia Project+ compare to PMP in value? I cancelled my CCNP classes because I feel it might not benefit me as much as PMP or Project+ Certs.

I want to Thank all you guys for your advice and regret not coming here before for some inside tips.

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Get some training

by pmgal In reply to Project Managers please a ...

I'd find an online college, like Capella for instance that offers distance learning PM courses. Also, I purchased a MS Project self-learning CD from Tech Republic which gave some PM overview information before diving into the software learning. Another resource is Check into membership, you can probably find some learning opportunities on that website. Good luck.

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Microsoft Project Training, MS Project Tutorials and Advice

by amakar In reply to Project Managers please a ...

My recommendation would include:

Visit and for the latest trends in project management as both sites offer tips and how-to guides on Microsoft Project.

I've found to be a useful source of Microsoft Project topics and articles.

You can even check out my Project Management Tactical Tips blog that features <a href="">microsoft project training</a>, ms project tutorials and project management advice.

It is located at:

I hope that helps.


<a href="">MS Project Tutorial Schedule Development</a> Learn how to EFFECTIVELY develop a project schedule

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