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Project Management Thread

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

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Edited by merkur - 7/31/11 at 5:42am
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkur View Post
OK so I see a lot of "project manager" roles being advertised in various industries ranging from IT to construction and aparently PG is some kind of IT project manager or some such but what the hell actually is project management and what sorts of skills/qualifications are required? Also, why is it relatively well compensated?

Its a broad area but its someone who can coordinate with clients, upper management and employees to take projects to completion. It requires strong people- and resource-management skills and an ability to play the necessary politics and handle high pressure. I personally think its more glamor. That's why I prefer to be hands-on (I'm in IT).
post #3 of 32
Project management is a "keep the trains running on time" kind of job. Hyper detail-oriented, process-driving, systematic, and so forth.

As a project manager, you are basically running the logistics of projects -- making sure everything is running smoothly, meeting deadlines, etc. At the higher levels, you are also responsible for prioritizing projects.

If you're a great ops/logistics type of person, who enjoys getting into the weeds and sorting everything out, it's not a bad gig. If you're not, you will not make a good PM.
post #4 of 32
i suppose it varies greatly with industry but i have done some in engineering projects and it was great when the project was going well and terrible when the project went badly. in my industry, how well the project goes is often decided well before the PM is hired - and alot of it is variable (market conditions, weather etc) its a good role if you are one of those people who likes keeping tabs on everything that is going on. if you like to get your head down in the technical details then its probably not for you (unless you like working 18 hour days)... in my opinion, the stuff don carlos mentioned can be learnt. my company sends people on project management courses and alot of it is being organised. stuff like processes etc are easily learnt - just need to make sure you are regimented in every thing you do. after doing it at work i started running my house like a bit of a project which infuriated my wife.
post #5 of 32
in my experience project management is a great place for managers to grow up - you can get to project management from a variety of different backgrounds or educations, and it really is dependent on your ability to run things and deal with details and time tables. I have several friends who have been project managers and become CEOs of small companies or operations managers, and I know a lot of pm's who simply do it for their whole life.
post #6 of 32
One of my first jobs was as a project manager at a niche little advertising / marketing company and I really enjoyed it. Just coordinating project details, schedules, getting everyone in line with goals and deliverables, dealing with internal resources, external domestic and international vendors and clients.

I didnt take classes or anything, just seemed like common sense stuff and doing what it took to keep the project rolling along before the deadline. Unfortunately it didnt pay that well (40k for a 24 y/o) and I left to greener pastures.


At my last job - a fortune 125 company - the PMs there were rediculous. They all had some degrees and everything was very regimented and standardized. They had to almost immediately jump in and know all aspects of the company, all the different computer systems and ask questions I would never even think or know to ask. They had heavy operations backgrounds but also needed the people skills to delegate and follow up well. I swear they spent 7 hours of their day in meetings. If its a big IT job or company with lots of players I'd never do it.
post #7 of 32
"Project Management" can mean anything. You can mange all phases of a huge infrastructure project or you can be the "project manager" for a segment of a project like the procurement or IT implementation phase. I've done some project management and, as Mr Herbert says, it can be the best of times or truly the worst of times. It's no fun having to go to a project site in the dead of winter in order to mediate between a general contractor and a safety inspector who want to kill each other.
post #8 of 32
I really do wish sometimes everyone at the manager level had to pass the PMP cert.. People have no idea how to get stuff done sometimes, and make all kinds of rookie mistakes. Project management is about executing complex projects within complex, and often ambiguous environments, and a good project manager is worth his weight in gold. Just imagine a large corporation with 100s of $10M+ projects going on at the same time, ranging from R&D, to IT rollouts, to new product introductions.. Every single one of those projects has the potential to go out of wack when it comes to resources, timing, scope.. Every single one needs a skilled PM to keep it on track.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 

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Edited by merkur - 7/31/11 at 5:42am
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Technical aspects of PM are easy.

Managing client relationships takes a lifetime to learn.

Education is headed this way in progressive circles. Look up on YouTube Project Based Learning, it's great and real-world based.
post #11 of 32
Technical aspects of PM are easy. Managing client relationships takes a lifetime to learn.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Technical aspects of PM are easy. Managing client relationships takes a lifetime to learn.
My very, very brief experience with PM confirms that statement times infinity. I get the feeling that being a good PM mostly hinges on your tolerance to having your balls broken.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
My very, very brief experience with PM confirms that statement times infinity. I get the feeling that being a good PM mostly hinges on your tolerance to having your balls broken.

I work with PMs and I see clients abuse the PM far too much. Tough job. Not for me. I just sell the shit.
post #14 of 32
On this note, I've got a question. I'm a young engineer working with a very large EPCM company (Engineering Procurement Construction Management). I've worked for about a year in a technical engineering role, and have now made a shift to Project Controls. Essentially for the capacity of these projects (~ $1 billion dollars) they require an entire team to assist the Project Manager, which is the Project Controls team. Unlike most engineers I have very well developed interpersonal skills and have always envisioned myself in a client communications/sales role. I've never enjoyed the technical aspect of engineering, and feel like my skills would be better utilized in a different facet, more so towards business logistics. What should my next step be to get to a PM role? MBA or CFA? Or should I focus on getting back to an engineering position for a while to develop a better technical foundation. I went to a pretty prestigious and competitive University and being in a faculty I never really enjoyed resulted in me having a sub-par GPA (2.7). I'm worried about being unable to get into any good MBA schools because of this, despite how I perform on the GMAT. Should I consider taking classes to boost my GPA? Or just try to score really high on the GMAT? Sorry OP, didn't mean to hi-jack this thread, just thought my question would fit well in here rather than making a new thread. edit: My apologies, had posted this in here before seeing the MBA thread.
post #15 of 32
CFA has absolutely nothing to do with where you want to be. MBA can work, and there is a thread for that
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