Project Management Central

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Topics: Career Development, Consulting
How did you realize that Project Management was the career you wished to pursue?
Network:42



I've studied Mechanical engineering thinking I would work as a technical specialist.
However, my first work experience was as a project manager.
I wonder if I should establish professional technical knowledge and then go towards PM or if going directly is best on the long term.

I'm interested by the manufacturing industry.
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Network:193



Early in my career I saw PMs who were polished leaders and public speakers and I was attracted to that aspect, so I went down that path. Now, the organizations I have been in since have been a bit of a different animal ("weaker" project management PMI calls it) but I don't regret the decision.

For manufacturing industry - I would recommend getting a base of technical experience first. I find in some industries, specifically manufacturing, they will discount your ability to be a successful PM if you don't have the technical knowledge. These organizations think you will get lost when it comes to complex issues.

Personally, I don't agree with the viewpoint. A team should have a technical team/lead to complement the PM and a good PM can lead a successful project developing anything from Space Systems to Toasters - it's more leadership and process oriented. Nonetheless, not everybody agrees with my viewpoint.
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1 reply by Bogdan Opris
Apr 16, 2019 8:09 PM
Bogdan Opris
...
Thanks for the feedback!

The combination of technical background with PM knowledge is well suitable for SME's which cannot afford distinct resources.
Now, I've heard that PM as per PMBOK is not quite what happens in the job market.
To such extent that some even discredit the PMP certification.

Any thoughts?
Network:42



Apr 16, 2019 7:58 PM
Replying to Patrick Dicey
...
Early in my career I saw PMs who were polished leaders and public speakers and I was attracted to that aspect, so I went down that path. Now, the organizations I have been in since have been a bit of a different animal ("weaker" project management PMI calls it) but I don't regret the decision.

For manufacturing industry - I would recommend getting a base of technical experience first. I find in some industries, specifically manufacturing, they will discount your ability to be a successful PM if you don't have the technical knowledge. These organizations think you will get lost when it comes to complex issues.

Personally, I don't agree with the viewpoint. A team should have a technical team/lead to complement the PM and a good PM can lead a successful project developing anything from Space Systems to Toasters - it's more leadership and process oriented. Nonetheless, not everybody agrees with my viewpoint.
Thanks for the feedback!

The combination of technical background with PM knowledge is well suitable for SME's which cannot afford distinct resources.
Now, I've heard that PM as per PMBOK is not quite what happens in the job market.
To such extent that some even discredit the PMP certification.

Any thoughts?
...
1 reply by Patrick Dicey
Apr 16, 2019 8:10 PM
Patrick Dicey
...
PMP is the gold standard of PM certifications. I would say that is irrefutably false. Commercial organizations and smaller programs seem to give it higher credence than heavy manufacturing and massive programs such as defense, though.
Network:193



Apr 16, 2019 8:09 PM
Replying to Bogdan Opris
...
Thanks for the feedback!

The combination of technical background with PM knowledge is well suitable for SME's which cannot afford distinct resources.
Now, I've heard that PM as per PMBOK is not quite what happens in the job market.
To such extent that some even discredit the PMP certification.

Any thoughts?
PMP is the gold standard of PM certifications. I would say that is irrefutably false. Commercial organizations and smaller programs seem to give it higher credence than heavy manufacturing and massive programs such as defense, though.
Network:50



I was working in a IT Security company as a Project Coordinator. I didn't know much about Project Management back then. When I came to know about PMBOK and Project Management, I realized this is what I actually do. I just don't have the designation.
Also I agree with Patrick. Smaller organizations give more credence to PMP than heavy manufacturing organizations.
Network:2329



In 1988 I finished my first project, with about 12 team members, HW/SW/design integration, subcontractors etc.
Though I was a systems engineer at this time, I relied heavily on specialists and focused on communication, steering committees, all user meetings every second month, newsletter (printed at this time).
This was considered the success factor of that project.
I then noticed that dealing with people would be a skill I can build up over my lifetime, any technical skill was not. I decided to become project manager because of that, cut all my ties to engineering and software.
Good decision.

Agree with what has been said by Patrick, Bogdan and Sumeet.
Small companies have a cost problem with too many roles, so they tend to give one person multiple roles. They also tend to have a more holocratic structure, even though the owner might be a despot, the staff understand they can only survive if everybody is fully committed to the same goal.

PMBoK is giving a stable structure to project management and many I know gained a lot of self-confidence and lost insecurity about the role with becoming a PMP. They believe project management is helpful for project success. This distinguishes PMP from other certifications.

Some industries have developed specific competency sets and certifications, they do not rely on PMP so much.
Network:1906



I was Systems Administrator that implemented many projects. I wore many hats. I'm an accidental PM. I found my calling.
Network:22050



As an industrial engineer, I usually have to deal with projects and are involved with them. So to be a good team leader and to be able to lead the projects, I started myPM studies.
Network:312



I am a Software Engineer so can speak for the IT industry. Most IT project managers have worked in core technology for a few years before becoming project managers. After a few years of experience, they either take up PMP, finish their MBA etc. and then move up as Project Managers. By that time they understand the software development life cycle very promptly. They can relate business requirements to technical requirements because they have worked in the field as either software developers or architects.

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