Career Path – Project Manager

Career Path – Project Manager

In a previous post, we wrote about one our personal favorite roles: business analyst, which is a specialist that speaks business and technical language. If you want more detail, you can check it out here

In this post, we will be speaking about another role that is one of our favorites: Project manager.

According to the PMI (Project Management Institute) Project management, “is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements” *1

In summary, a project manager is someone that makes things happen.

NOTE: The PMI is the official institution setting up the standards and validates your credentials as a project manager

What does a project manager (PM) do?

Sometimes, for people in a team who hasn’t had the role of a PM before, a project manager is mostly the person bugging you to finish documentation, meet deadlines and report your hours.

In their eyes, a Project manager doesn’t do anything more that gather hours and be sitting on un-productive and boring meetings.

However, this is not only what a PM does (talking about a good one, anyways).

If the PM is assigned from the beginning to the end of the project, he/she is ultimately responsible for its success, and they have to make sure that all stages of the project are successfully completed, and especially they are responsible for meeting the project objectives.

What functions the PM performs?

A PM is like a juggler, who has to get the equilibrium between the main constraints: Time, cost, Scope, and more recently quality, benefits and risk

Roles of a PM.

In previous years, a PM had more of a “director” approach, mostly driving all the decisions and actions, to meet the deliverables.

Recently, with the agile methodologies, a PM now has more of a “coach” approach, working closely with all team members to reach the project objectives.

Challenges of a Project Manager:

One of the main challenges of a project manager comes from the fact that team members assigned to your projects usually don’t report directly to you. As a result, your influence is limited, and you have mostly to monitor and gain the team trust to have them perform as expected.

How do you become a Project Manager?

If you want to become a certified PM, you need to pass the official PMP certification, offered by the PMI.

What skills does a project manager need:

Mostly, you need soft skills, specially communication, as you need to speak with stakeholders, executives, teammates, any other person that can make your project go or fail.

A good project manager has skills for:

  • Communications
  • Leadership
  • Risk management
  • Negotiation
  • Team management

Do I need to be “technical” to be a Project manager?

You don’t need to know all the technical details of the project you are managing, but it certainly helps to understand the fundamentals of the processes or technology to be implemented

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References

*1.- Website Project Management Institute. Link: https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management

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