Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do Businesses Know What Makes a Successful Project Manager ?

There is a disturbing movement in the arena of Project Management that requires Project Managers to be Professional Engineers (P.Eng) or Information Technology (IT) Programmers to be considered as a successful candidate in the field.

Let’s go back to the beginning … and define exactly what we mean by these terms.

Project Management is the discipline of organizing and managing resources (i.e. human, financial & material) in such a way that a project is completed within defined scope, quality, time and cost constraints.

A Project is a temporary and one-time endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service, which brings about beneficial change or added value.

A Project Manager is the person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the triple constraint for projects, which is cost, time, and scope.

A Professional Engineer is a person who holds a licence or a temporary licence

The practice of Professional Engineering means any act of designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising wherein the safeguarding of life, health, property or the public welfare is concerned and that requires the application of engineering principles, but does not include practising as a natural scientist.

A Programmer is someone who writes computer software. The term computer programmer can refer to a specialist in one area of computer programming or to a generalist who writes code for many kinds of software. One who practices or professes a formal approach to programming may also be known as a programmer analyst. A programmer's primary computer language (Lisp, Java, Delphi, C++, etc.) is often prefixed to the above titles, and those who work in a web environment often prefix their titles with web. A programmer is not a software developer, software engineer, computer scientist, or software analyst. These IT professions typically refer to individuals possessing programming skills as well as other software engineering skills.

Knowing and understanding these definitions, I find it very confusing that success in the field of Project Management requires that a Project Manager be a Professional Engineer or Information Technology Programmer. The best/most effective Project Managers are the ones that are NOT the technical experts of the team, but understand the required process and the applicable technologies to successfully complete a project … while, at the same time, being able to appreciate the intricacies of the process and technologies NOT required to complete the project.

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