Project Management

Finding a Voice in the Company as a Junior PM

Kenya Chapter

Stephanie is a project process specialist, trainer and mentor. She is the Lead Consultant at Jaeger Consultants Ltd in Nairobi. Stephanie specializes in the human aspect of project management and leadership, and encourages discussion and feedback. She also writes regular blogs on jaeger-consultants.com.

The first time I was thrown into the role of a full-time project manager, I only knew that I knew nothing about formal project management. I was appointed and tasked to establish a project management office (PMO), which was supposed to solve all project management-related issues company wide.

Suddenly, I found myself as the perceived project management “expert” and had to hit the ground running. At the same time, I was the only woman in senior management in a slightly chauvinistic company set-up. Establishing my voice became a sensitive balancing act as I was learning on my feet.

Previously in my career as a nurse and a healthcare administrator, I had found myself in similar situations. As a junior staff member, we nurses knew we needed to change things—but I seemingly did not have the clout. However, for the sake of our patients, we did speak up. I drew on this experience when I suddenly found myself a project manager

Many young PMs find themselves in a similar situation. They are subject matter experts in project management, but they seem to have no real influence given where they sit in the company hierarchy. However, as a project manager you are a leader and you can have influence. You do not need a senior management title!

As long as you use diplomacy, document your facts and present them in the right way to relevant decision makers, you can …


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