Project Management

Career Choices During Ongoing Uncertainty (Part 4): The PM Career Lifecycle

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

A typical project lifecycle consists of four phases: initiation, planning, execution and closing. It also includes a parallel process of monitoring and controlling during the execution phase. Measurement is necessary to judge progress against the plan and, if necessary, adjust the delivering mechanisms to steer the results back to plan or resetting expectations based on unplanned events that made the original plan unattainable.

Is the career of a project manager any different? Let’s explore the concept.

The Project Manager Career Lifecycle
This if the finale of a four-part series:

  • Part 1 offered suggestions regarding how an individual that is new to project management may be able to mitigate the affects of uncertainty.
  • Part 2 explored the mid-career project manager and was intended to simulate thoughts regarding continuous development and long-term career planning.
  • Part 3 reflected on a perspective of a project manager who enters the late stages of their career and looks to either maximize their contribution and/or looks to apply their skills in a way that gives back to the profession.

This article draws a number of parallels between the project lifecycle and the phases of a project management career.

Initiating a project management career
Projects are spawned by need. Embarking on a role in project management often begins with a requirement to …


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