Project Management Central

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Topics: Leadership, Talent Management
Project Manager job title: overused?
Network:102029



As most of you, I get notifications for "project manager" open positions on online job boards.

Does anyone else feel that the title Project Manager is used for positions where the requirements are totally wrong?

Here is an example that I saw this morning.

"As the ideal candidate you possess 5+ years of project management experience coupled with an Engineering degree or CET diploma plus equivalent experience. You have worked in the material processing industry (food manufacturing or stainless equipment fabrication experience would be preferred) and have been involved in designing and/or installing material handling equipment. "
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Network:124135



Stephane,

Thanks for raising this up ... I definitely agree with you. Sometimes I receie job ads for PM's and when reading the requirements and/or duties, I get surprised because they do not define the role of a PM at all.
Network:1880



Lot of examples like you stated Stephane. Along the world what organizations wants are subject matter experts not project manager (generally speaking). And as you know is the same discussion inside the project manager community when lot of people think that to be a project manager you have to be an expert in the domain you will work on.
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1 reply by Anupam
Dec 15, 2016 11:39 AM
Anupam
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Sergio, I think by domain knowledge they mean subject-matter expert (SME) or domain expert in a particular area or topic.
Network:9714



Completely agree. As I'm looking for a new IT project, sometimes in internet job boards using the filter project manager, I'm finding from Sales Rep, account manager, to developers with managerial skills.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 17, 2016 9:06 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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This is a common point in ERP implementations like SAP. The Project managers are usually the functional leader that belongs to the function where SAP will be implemented (finance for example). If you ask me, the place where we need to search why this things happend is inside the Project manager community itself. You can read things like "PMI methodology" outside there or if you as to people, including those that earn the PMP certification, what is a Project manager you will surprise.
Network:4568



Yes I do see lot of positions, where title and requirement do not match. Even calls/emails from recruitment consultants and company HR sometimes are not matching.
Network:4568



Dec 15, 2016 10:26 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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Lot of examples like you stated Stephane. Along the world what organizations wants are subject matter experts not project manager (generally speaking). And as you know is the same discussion inside the project manager community when lot of people think that to be a project manager you have to be an expert in the domain you will work on.
Sergio, I think by domain knowledge they mean subject-matter expert (SME) or domain expert in a particular area or topic.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 17, 2016 8:54 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Not at all. To have knowledge is not the same than to be a subject matter expert. For example, I am a subject matter expert in Project management by a I have knowledge about the domains where I am program/portfolio manager today. The subject matter expert in this case are the business people (and application people, and technology people, and security people) that Works with me to créate the solution. In fact, the same when I perform as business analyst.
Network:7380



I see these ads too. I often get asked "what does a project manager do?", "what does that mean?"...and within my own industry there is often confusion between the role of a Project Manager and a Business Analyst. There are Business Analysts in the healthcare industry who can manage projects for hospitals - which is what I do as a Project Manager. I have a little elevator speech ready when these questions come up - I try to explain that we have a lot of positive energy, experience, training and skills that align with our corporate strategies to help us manage projects from the beginning stage of imagining the project to the end stages well after the deliverable has successfully completed - I try to add insight about lessons learned and project knowledge sharing with other PM's. I talk about our certifications, etc. Our Benefits Realization documents at the end of each project are another way I try to reinforce the important PM role. But there still remains much confusion about project management. It takes all of us continually helping others understand our PM role and realizing the benefits, responsibilities and importance of it.
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2 replies by Andrew Craig and Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 15, 2016 3:46 PM
Andrew Craig
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Lori, I also used to work in the Healthcare arena. In that case there were Project Managers, and Implementation Consultants. IC was essentially, a BA and PM, whereas could fill the PM role for 'smaller' clients, or act as the BA in larger implementations.
Dec 17, 2016 9:02 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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I am working from the "génesis" of business analysis role with the IIBA and now with the PMI. There is a lot of work to help people to undestand the hugh difference between both roles mainly in the focus. I hope with the new guide about business analysis that the PMI will publish in 2017 all the missunderstanding wil be clarified.
Network:151



It seems that the corporate lack of understanding about the roles and skills of a legitimate project manager directly translate to their insecurity about hiring a project manager who is not a SME, domain expert or rising engineer/architect (who they expect to have managerial skills and they are often mistaking ongoing managerial skills for project management skills because ongoing managers also have to make sure things get done).

When you consider the percentage of corporate projects that fail for refusal to engage in the legit project management process because of corporate misunderstanding of it's purpose and value, this is not surprising.
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1 reply by Andrew Craig
Dec 15, 2016 3:44 PM
Andrew Craig
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Good point Heather.
Network:2276



I also agree Stéphane, and all above points are certainly valid examples. Knowing the right questions to ask the recruiter can help to avoid wasting anyone's time.
Network:2276



Dec 15, 2016 12:07 PM
Replying to Heather DeGeorge
...
It seems that the corporate lack of understanding about the roles and skills of a legitimate project manager directly translate to their insecurity about hiring a project manager who is not a SME, domain expert or rising engineer/architect (who they expect to have managerial skills and they are often mistaking ongoing managerial skills for project management skills because ongoing managers also have to make sure things get done).

When you consider the percentage of corporate projects that fail for refusal to engage in the legit project management process because of corporate misunderstanding of it's purpose and value, this is not surprising.
Good point Heather.
Network:2276



Dec 15, 2016 11:41 AM
Replying to LORI WILSON
...
I see these ads too. I often get asked "what does a project manager do?", "what does that mean?"...and within my own industry there is often confusion between the role of a Project Manager and a Business Analyst. There are Business Analysts in the healthcare industry who can manage projects for hospitals - which is what I do as a Project Manager. I have a little elevator speech ready when these questions come up - I try to explain that we have a lot of positive energy, experience, training and skills that align with our corporate strategies to help us manage projects from the beginning stage of imagining the project to the end stages well after the deliverable has successfully completed - I try to add insight about lessons learned and project knowledge sharing with other PM's. I talk about our certifications, etc. Our Benefits Realization documents at the end of each project are another way I try to reinforce the important PM role. But there still remains much confusion about project management. It takes all of us continually helping others understand our PM role and realizing the benefits, responsibilities and importance of it.
Lori, I also used to work in the Healthcare arena. In that case there were Project Managers, and Implementation Consultants. IC was essentially, a BA and PM, whereas could fill the PM role for 'smaller' clients, or act as the BA in larger implementations.
...
1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Dec 16, 2016 10:37 AM
Stéphane Parent
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Andrew is correct. My current position is Executive Consultant but my current title is Senior Project Manager. Consultants are expected to assume various roles according to the need. So far, I've been a project manager, resource manager, financial analyst, business analyst, and enterprise architect.
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