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Where do Project Managers come from?

Trudy Robinson - Monday, May 10, 2010
I'm often asked what makes a good Project Manager, why do projects fail - why do bad project managers continually get good work opportunities and a range of other questions that are a challenge to answer.  However, there is one clear challenge that many will need to face to get into the project management field.

Project Managers that are working as project managers are often not qualified as such.  They are in the PM role because they were best in their field. So the best architect will become the project manager for the architectural company, the best carpenter will become the builder's project manager or the best designer will control the projects for the Multi media company.  This is good, but also not so good.  It means they can manage what they know really well, but they don't know what they don't know.  Many people who are already in project management roles get qualified and realise there is an entire raft of appropriate management tools and processes that they haven't been using - or if they have they haven't always known why.

When doing a PM qualification, you will often learn things you will rarely use.  For example most project managers in most projects would not need to develop a Procurement Plan.  However, if you know what one is, the purpose of it and what it can assist with - at least if you chose not to do one for a particular project, you do this with intent and not through ignorance.  You may chose, for example, to do a one page procurement summary rather than a full Procurement Plan.  But, at least it has been considered and dealt with appropriately based on the level of risk and project complexity.

Lifetime learning, it's a great cause.

Happy days

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