Does Your Corporate Ladder Have the Right Project Management Rungs?
The trajectory of a project management career (in terms of roles, job titles, pay, seniority, and status) varies by organization. But for the most part, organizations institute a career track that is a rather one-dimensional climb to the top, and that “top” can be quite subjective.
This article is intended to offer (for career-minded project managers and employers alike) a different perspective on project management career advancement. It also recommends an alternative model, one that is more realistic, dynamic, and strength-driven. But before we discuss alternatives, let’s revisit the ladder above and the promotional ranks in more detail:
- Program Manager: As we follow along with the stair-stepped diagram above, the first career step beyond “project manager” is “program manager.” Program managers oversee multiple projects tied to one larger initiative (e.g., the implementation of a global human resource system); multiple projects tied to a singular department (e.g., all finance department projects); or multiple projects supporting a corporate strategic initiative (e.g., a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance initiative). Program managers are in a senior command position, where project managers report to them (directly or indirectly).
- Portfolio Manager: Following program management, the next career step is “portfolio manager.&
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