January 19, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

I Want To Be A Project Manager When I Grow Up

Recently I came across a good presentation about taking project management ‘out of the box’. What this means, is to spread the word outside our project management community about what a great bunch of people we are and how project management is a valuable skill to pretty much everybody. It is about telling people what you do and what the typical working day of a project manager looks like.

Thinking back at how I ended up becoming a project manager, I remember landing in project management by accident, but staying here on purpose. It is because it is such a good fit for my personal strengths and skills. But I never grew up thinking that I wanted to become a project manager. I didn’t know of the existence of such a career choice and much less of what was expected of such a person.  So it is to this day. How many young people, school leavers, know what are the duties and qualities of a good project manager?

Also, project management is not a typical career choice. It is usually part of many advanced management courses that are offered at universities and colleges all over the world.  Typically, you would study to become something else. Then by portraying the qualities that would make you fit for an effective and efficient project manager in your industry, often project opportunities would come your way. Before you know it, you would have transformed to become a professional project manager. Read about my journey to project management in my blog: About Project Management Passion.

How important is project management in today’s world?

With one-fifth of the world’s GDP being spent on projects this year clearly business isn’t just about operations anymore. Competitiveness and innovation is what drives projects in this world.

We are part of a dynamic, resourceful and ever evolving world that demands change as part of its survival. And change demands projects and projects demand project managers. So it seems we, the project managers of the world, are pretty important in the scheme of things. Mostly not “life or death” important but still important enough.

Now is the time that it is even more critical to succeed, and succeed with a higher level of certainty than seen before since those projects that will be commissioned in the future, as well as the ones that are allowed to continue in the current climate, will be expected to deliver higher business impact, be under closer scrutiny from senior management and be under far more pressure to succeed.

And guess what, who will be the one that is under the most pressure, the project manager!

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Source: “Getting Project Management ‘Out of the Box'” by Peter Taylor, Author of ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

About the author: Linky Van Der Merwe is a Project Management Consultant and an IT Project Manager with 15 years IT industry experience and 12 years Project Management experience. She consults with small-medium business owners and service professionals about project management processes and tools, best practices and successful delivery through projects. She can be reached at linky@virtualprojectconsulting.com


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