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  1. Junior Member
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    Default Becoming Project Manager

    Hello all,

    I've browsed TE for a while now and finally decided to sign up. I'm not even sure this is the right section to post this in but I don't think there's a PM forum.

    I'll quickly describe my current situation. I will be graduating with a bachelors in MIS come April. I currently work in a jr. systems position in a 5 person IT department of a non-IT firm. I'm basically a jack of all trades, work on a little bit of everything. I actually enjoy this position early in my career. When I'm exposed to many different facets of IT, I take it upon myself to dig a little deeper and learn more than is necessary about the technology I'm working with.

    I'm currently taking a project management course, and ultimately want to end up as a project manager. I'm just not sure which route I should take to reach my goal. For example I could really focus on project management methodology and such, maybe go after Project+ and CAPM and somehow try to fall into a project management position. Basically what I'm trying to say is that in my current circumstance, it doesn't benefit me to have Project+ or CAPM type of knowledge so I'm confused as to where I should devote my studying time. Learning about project management in preparation for the long term, or dedicate myself to a specific technology and worry about management knowledge later.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Try to first learn more about the IT industry, learn different ways to do things.

    Keep studying but remember you can become an average PM or an outstanding PM, this requires time, knowledge and experience of the IT industry and if possible learn from the best.

    Try to learn how to manage your time, small stuff you can arrange them as a project and you can arrange your dpmt taks as projects within certain amount of time and learn from that.

    Try to apply PM knowledge and best practices to everything you do and with the time you can become a PM.

    A PM who has never worked in IT and is dropped into an IT project is a disaster. I have seen it happen over and over again. Even PMs who have come from an ITIL background (I am mixed as to whether ITIL is actually useful, ever) struggle with IT projects. Same thing with insurance and probably the same thing with projects in other specialized fields that I am not familiar with.

    IT consultant said in another topic:
    I say this mainly based on experience. There are probably PMPs out there that have never touched an IT project that could drop in and rock my world, I have simply never seen that happen. An IT PM really needs to know the difference between POTS lines, hosted PBX, internal digital PBXs, IP PBXs, Databases, servers (platforms), developers, implementors, end users, end user experience, business workflow, backups, redundancy, Windows, Linux, web servers, front-end, back-end, etc. I have never seen any PM or manager without a 30,000 foot overview of these technologies succeed.
    Last edited by chmod; 02-18-2012 at 06:00 AM.
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  4. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #3
    Hi friends, I am new to this forum.From where i can get free books for preparation to CAPM.
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  5. Junior Member
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    Thanks for the response chmod. What you said makes sense. Maybe the position I currently have isn't so bad because I get exposure to many different things. I guess the question I need to answer is what types of certs should I go after once I finish school in the next couple months. No certs will help me get anywhere in my current organization, and I need to determine the best path to take to obtain my long term goals. I mainly want to go after certs next because I want to continue to learn but I can't just blindly start studying without having an end goal like a certification to strive for.

    On a side note I think my entire rant might stem from the fact I'm realizing the 5 years I've spent obtaining this degree appears to be a waste at the moment. By no means am I part of the group that expected an instant-100k job the second I graduated. I guess I did expect at least a little ROI from all this time and money spent. But as it stands right now, I think that fancy piece of paper actually makes me LESS employable overall. It didn't qualify me for any new positions and it made me appear over qualified for the type of jobs you get with not even a high school diploma lol. Obviously that's an extremely poor way to view my situation but you get the idea where my heads at.
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  6. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bertstare View Post
    Hello all,

    I've browsed TE for a while now and finally decided to sign up. I'm not even sure this is the right section to post this in but I don't think there's a PM forum.

    I'll quickly describe my current situation. I will be graduating with a bachelors in MIS come April. I currently work in a jr. systems position in a 5 person IT department of a non-IT firm. I'm basically a jack of all trades, work on a little bit of everything. I actually enjoy this position early in my career. When I'm exposed to many different facets of IT, I take it upon myself to dig a little deeper and learn more than is necessary about the technology I'm working with.

    I'm currently taking a project management course, and ultimately want to end up as a project manager. I'm just not sure which route I should take to reach my goal. For example I could really focus on project management methodology and such, maybe go after Project+ and CAPM and somehow try to fall into a project management position. Basically what I'm trying to say is that in my current circumstance, it doesn't benefit me to have Project+ or CAPM type of knowledge so I'm confused as to where I should devote my studying time. Learning about project management in preparation for the long term, or dedicate myself to a specific technology and worry about management knowledge later.
    Personally I think you should just tell the agencies you want to be a a project manager and just try and get a start in this area. The certifications are fine but you learn PM by doing PM. Some very well qualified PMs are crap at it.
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  7. Junior Member
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    Personally I think you should just tell the agencies you want to be a a project manager and just try and get a start in this area. The certifications are fine but you learn PM by doing PM. Some very well qualified PMs are crap at it.
    I could probably go this route. But why would you recommend doing this versus expanding my knowledge on the actual technologies I want to one day manage? I think what chmod quoted is a legitimate reason why well qualified IT PMs are crap at it, their overall knowledge of IT is poor. And I don't want to be a horrible PM obviously.
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  8. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bertstare View Post
    I could probably go this route. But why would you recommend doing this versus expanding my knowledge on the actual technologies I want to one day manage? I think what chmod quoted is a legitimate reason why well qualified IT PMs are crap at it, their overall knowledge of IT is poor. And I don't want to be a horrible PM obviously.
    Most PMs are crap at it, but make a living. As a technical specialist who has worked with hundreds of PMs, I can tell you, I have educated many of them. Your technical knowledge is fine, much better than many PMs. Apply for jobs now and try and get a start, meanwhile by all means further your education!
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    Most PMs are crap at it, but make a living. As a technical specialist who has worked with hundreds of PMs, I can tell you, I have educated many of them. Your technical knowledge is fine, much better than many PMs. Apply for jobs now and try and get a start, meanwhile by all means further your education!
    Correct

    In 2009 the Standish Group reported that only 32% of all projects came in on time at or under budget and met the requirement identified in the scope aka required functions and features.
    Last edited by N2IT; 02-20-2012 at 01:50 AM.
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  10. Junior Member
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by N2IT View Post
    Correct

    In 2009 the Standish Group reported that only 32% of all projects can in on time at or under budget and met the requirement identified in the scope aka required functions and features.
    I have minimal experience with PMs (and the methodology) other than sometimes communicating with the 8 or so that work at my firm. They are PMs for automotive related projects that are non-tech related. Anyway, how much of that 68% failure rate is attributed to unrealistic expectations and other pressure from project sponsors etc. and how much is due to bad PMs? I'm guessing these expectations are supposed to be worked out before the project starts and my argument is completely invalid but I could be wrong.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bertstare View Post
    I have minimal experience with PMs (and the methodology) other than sometimes communicating with the 8 or so that work at my firm. They are PMs for automotive related projects that are non-tech related. Anyway, how much of that 68% failure rate is attributed to unrealistic expectations and other pressure from project sponsors etc. and how much is due to bad PMs? I'm guessing these expectations are supposed to be worked out before the project starts and my argument is completely invalid but I could be wrong.
    It's ultimately up to the project manager to manage those expectations of the stakeholders. That's why you go through the scope management knowledge area and all the subprocess associated with it. If there are unrealistic expectations concerning any of the constraints you must call them out early. You must be able to explain why you won't be able to deliver, but you need to do that. That's why you go through planning (scope, time, cost, quality, risk, etc).

    That's why it's critical to take the requirements from the requirements documentation and document them in the project scope statement. This will help manage scope creep and gold plating and allow the PM to go back to the formal document if a stakeholder insist on a change. Which leads me to my next point change management. You must implement a change control mechnism, so once the plan has been signed off on and the stakeholder/holders want to add something, you can analyze it and put it through the change control system for approval.

    Everything come at a cost and without the proper controls your project will end up in the 68%.
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    That's why it's so important for an IT PM to have experience and be an specialist or to work with/be surrounded of the best guys to get advices and accurates action plans.

    First learn yourself how to deal with project, set a goal for you department define dates and action plans, work with budget and try to improve your IT dpmt expenses, design good solutions that improves company Software usage or network or whatever, learn how to deal with management.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    This blog and this story is great and i think is a summary of what i think/feel is been an IT PM.

    IT Project Manager Skill Sets - Salary Stories
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  14. Junior Member
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chmod View Post
    This blog and this story is great and i think is a summary of what i think/feel is been an IT PM.

    IT Project Manager Skill Sets - Salary Stories

    I enjoyed reading this article thanks again. I took the time to speak with some of our project managers and had the opportunity to sort of shadow them in a sense. The results weren't what I thought they would be. I was thinking I might be able to work my way into a project manager position here even though it's not IT projects they are managing, and I'm not sure I want to anymore. Without getting into too much detail and boring you to death this is what I witnessed: Customer talks to salesman, salesman crunches some numbers gives a rough time estimate. Once job is approved the description is sent to the department coordinators and they do the work that you would normally think a project manager would do (schedule budget etc). Then a project manager is sent to the job site once it's underway and basically just babysits the employees doing the work. And once in a while kisses customer's ass when necessary.

    Maybe this firm just does things a little differently, but I don't see myself wanting to obtain what they consider 'project management' experience as I don't see any REAL project management experience available in that position. Or maybe it would be a good position to pursue anyway because I can slap it on the resume and keep studying actual project management material.
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