Why I Like Being a Project Manager

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I have often been asked in the past about the benefits of working in project management.

Having worked for many businesses in various roles, I have learned that what I like most about project management is the variety of roles and the type of environments I am exposed to.

I was always drawn to the concept of managing, but didn't really want to stay with the same environment or be involved in long-term operational work.
Project management appeals to me because it allows me to:

- Manage teams
- Work with different teams on the new projects
- Work in different cultural environments
- Be exposed to various architectures, systems
- Manage my time and efforts against very specific deliverables
- Work in multiple departments or areas, thus being able to gain insight into the ways of managing projects by looking at different angles and listening to different points of view  

The project management cycle is so finite that it creates an opportunity to refine skills a lot faster. As a project manager moves from one stage to another, you get to know the components of project management delivery. Therefore, you have many opportunities to improve how you manage each of them, be it budgeting, generating the scope of work, generating a work breakdown structure or managing the risks.

The opportunity for lifelong learning in project management is also a benefit. While you get to do a complete job with the skills you have -- therefore covering all aspects of the project management -- you also get an opportunity to specialize in a particular area, such as risk management or schedule management.

What other benefits have you discovered?
Posted by Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL on: May 05, 2010 06:32 PM | Permalink

Comments (40)

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I totally agree: Working in projects brings you into new environments (companies, cultures, teams) very frequently. And still you are in one environment (i.e. project) long enough to penetrate, understand and hopefully control it. Unfortunatly, not all project environments are great. Some are hostile, complicated and dreadful. And once you found a great project, you ought to leave once it is over. And you never know what your next project will be like.

Dr.Ahmad Al-Ani, MD, PMP, CPHIMS
I like what has been mentioned. In addition, PM gives me the opportunity to build my knowledge base easily and not limiting myself to one industry or specialty, and thus makes me more dynamic, skillful, and knowledgeable. As my first PM teacher used to say " an inch deep, a mile wide".

Appreciate your thoughts on being Project manager:

According to me, Project Management (PM) also presents us with following gifts:

1) Chance to develop your soft skills faster as you with different teams
2) Chance to travel as you might have to work at different locations for specific times as and when required by the project
3) As every project is unique, it helps us to tailor our thinking into specifics of that project without losing the track of general PM principles
4) As we gain more expertise into PM, it helps us shape our thinking to carry out our personal things (e.g. travel from one destination to another) as well in PM way
5) As PM is industry independent. It helps to contribute to different industries

M. Reza
Working in project means that you're constantly facing challenges and changes. And it forces us outside our comfort zone. If managed properly, it's good for our advancement. On the other hand, being too immersed/obsessed with our role may cause physical and mental breakdown.

My view on managing project is balance, much like we're trying to balance our project's objectives with project constraints, we must balance ourselves too.

Abigail Naa Adjorkor Tetteh
Great insight into project manager's role. it's great to do what you love.

Anthony Konwea
The desire to work with constraints and improve productivity and efficiency is paramount for me. If faced properly, the challenges involved with managing project teams contribute immensely to our individual development. Lessons learned motivate us to always want to improve upon previous performance. Project environments are always unique and different from one another, hence, the more project one manages, the more the managing ability improves as experience from diverse environments help to sharpen the individual skills.

Ahmad Yahya, PMP
Being a PM is a challenging role. You will always be tested on your hard and soft skills, especially the latter one -- hence the ability to communicate to all levels and to articulate your ideas and opinion are essential to survive. Apart from that, 70-80% of projects are less likely to meet their project objectives, thus making the PM role even harder. But, in the end, being a PM is a character-building exercise that hopefully bring out the best in you in all aspect of your life.

I too agree with you all. I like PM work for one reason: people management, which tests our nerves, where we can improve with relation to people. Some learning helps to improve our personal life.

Athif Khaleel Mohammed
Being a PM gives an opportunity to lead & drive. It also gives me an opportunity to learn & excel.

It was kind of a shift from RM-2-PM (Wow! did I discover something here:)), a.k.a. reactive mode to proactive mode. I've learned how to forecast & manage risks.

Way to go!!

You are right: some projects are hostile (as we say, as you said already), but why are they hostile, be it any environment? Does it mean we need to have some other method than the usual project management?

"And you never know what your next project will be like" -- again, what is expected from a Project Manager?

It makes me feel special and confident as a doer every time I take up a new/different project/projects and witness it evolve and happen.

Tanveer D.K., PMP.
Yes, the project management stream is full of varieties. You will not have similar projects, you will not have same team retained in your next project. You may be in a different culture all together.

Thus, every start of a new project is a start zero point for everything.

You got to constantly prove your skills & abilities to down-the-line teams so that it works in tandem to make a project success story.

Thus, changing variables makes this profession dynamic & challenging in nature.

Vagner Vilela
Great article. Can I translate it to my blog in Brazil? Thanks in advance.

Why? ... Once in a while miracles happen!

I like being a project manager.

1. It is very interesting because every project is unique.

2. I am able to feel the difference I am making to the project thru personal initiatives.

3. Project management requires multiple skills and an open mind.

4. It always propels me to develop myself/reinvent myself.


Delia Militaru, PMP
PM allows you to do what you love: adapting to different project environments; facing challenges and changes; improving your knowledge base, your soft skills -- mainly your communication skills and your leadership among your project team. It helps you be more organized and proactive, and it is also a step to improve your personal life as well.

I agree with a previous comment: “PM is a character-building exercise.” Applying lessons learned from the previous projects that I have managed I am trying to be more in control of the “known unknowns,” having the opportunity to develop myself and to improve my performance.

Deepa Susan Koshy, PMP
What i most appreciate about this profession is the learning that it has given me when it comes to managing people. Dealing with people has opened up my mind to basic human nature and some "true north" principles, in the words of Stephen Covey. In short, stakeholder management lets you learn a lot of human nature, which becomes useful in our personal lives as well. Cost, schedule and quality are important, but it is people basically who let you reach these goals.

The project manager role in a construction sector is a challenging assignment. In these types of projects, one has to manage the work force, which requires immense interpersonal relationship and team building capabilities. Other challenges are more in handling the stakeholders’ expectations. Hence, I like to be a project manager to gain experience in handling such projects.

I really enjoy the interaction between project and engineering; project and other project managers; project and team members; project and the project client. It brings plenty of smiles...when the client changes its mind is just about when we want to hand over the project.

These days, a lot of projects failed, which I observed is not because of the talent we have. It is because of the project methodologies we followed to make the project successful. So I have managerial thinking and good iterative skills. To understand the problem, prioritize the work based on importance, etc. Since I have above skills I thought that I can make myself a good project manager!!!!!

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