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Aside from the size, complexity, and length of projects under your guidance, the more responsible for budget, allocation, team reviews, SOW - the more toward the III level. I'm sure we can dive into further details, but from a high-level, provides a basis for decision.
No common definitions for Project Manager levels exist. None can be established because a project contains so many variables that no two are ever exactly the same, thus it would be impossible to use an objective test to compare people's abilities.
When deciding my role, I consider the most complex type of project I’d feel comfortable leading right now, and how that measures up against the most complex projects in my industry. For example, would you feel comfortable leading and being fully responsible for BP's Atoll Phase I project? If so, you could probably rank yourself a Project Manager III or similar high level.
I think organizations in which considerable amount of its processes and activities take place in the form of projects may create levels of seniority among Project Managers (like I,II and III ) denoting the scope, budget and number of projects managed by the PM.
This is taken from PMI's most recent salary survey, however, job descriptions vary by organization, industry and geographic location...
"Project Manager III: Under the general direction of either a portfolio manager, or, in some cases, a program manager, this position oversees high-priority projects, which often require considerable resources and high levels of functional integration. In addition to the duties of a project manager II, the project manager III takes projects from original concept through final implementation. The position interfaces with all areas affected by the project, including end users, distributors, and vendors; it also ensures adherence to quality standards and reviews project deliverables. The project manager III may communicate with a company executive regarding the status of specific projects.
Project Manager II: Under the general supervision of either a portfolio manager or a program manager, this position oversees multiple projects or one larger project. In addition to the duties of a project manager I, the project manager II is responsible for assembling the project team, assigning individual responsibilities, identifying appropriate resources needed, and developing the schedule to ensure timely completion of the project. The position may communicate with a senior project manager, functional area manager, or program manager regarding the status of specific projects.
Project Manager I: Under direct supervision of a more senior project manager, a portfolio manager, or a program manager, this position oversees a small project or phase(s) of a larger project, and has responsibility for all aspects of the project over the entire project life (initiate, plan, execute, control, close). The project manager I must be familiar with system scope and project objectives, as well as the role and function of each team member, to effectively coordinate the activities of the team."
Some more classifications just to confuse us a little ;-)
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