Project Management

The Project Manager’s Three Critical Factors in Career Development

Neil Berman

Much  has been written about how to manage a project. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fourth Edition (Project Management Institute, 2008), as well as many other texts, provide a wealth of guidance in helping us manage projects. But where do we turn to for guidance in managing our careers as project managers? We are certainly a different breed, compared with most other professions. We move from team to team, navigating our way through our organization swiftly as we travel from project to project. So what do we need to do to make our journey a fruitful one? What do we need to focus on to ensure we manage our own career development as effectively as we manage our projects?

In this article I will present the three critical factors to the project manager’s career development, which I believe are the key drivers in our journey towards career success in project management: (1) Belief, (2) Strategic Commitment, and (3) Reputation.


In order to understand the first key factor, which we will refer to as Belief, we should first consider its building blocks: knowledge, personal organization, and consistent project delivery.

The Building Blocks of Belief

Let’s start with knowledge. Every organization needs to retain knowledge. Yet knowledge is difficult to acquire, and if key staff leave…

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