Comments On Project Management And The Project Manager

undoubtedly true of project managers. This fundamental lack of organization and structure makes it all the more important that PMs implement good planning and organizational skills where possible, or the chaos becomes unmanageable.

The career path of a PM often starts with participation in small projects, and later in larger projects, until the person is given command over small and then larger projects. For example, the path could be tooling manager for small Project U. project engineer for larger Project V, manufacturing manager for large Project W, deputy project manager for large Project X, project manager for small Project Y, and project manager for large Project Z. If energy, luck, skill, and ambition remain, the PM may progress to corporate plant operations manager, vice-president of manufacturing, president, and chairman of the board.

The actual establishment of multiple career paths to the top of organizations is more talked about than acted on. Wishful thinking aside, with a very few notable exceptions,* we know of no specific career paths that can take project managers to CEO positions. In a great many firms, however, experience as a PM is seen as a mandatory or desirable step on the way up the corporate ladder. The logic of such a view is obvious. The capability of a PM to meet the demands of senior management positions is clearly evidenced by the PM's ability to achieve the project's goals without the need for de jure authority while operating in an environment typified by uncertainty, if not chaos.

* For example, Eli Lilly and Co., the pharmaceutical firm, finds that projects involving new drugs often last 8-12 years. No PM would be willing to manage a project that long without the opportunity for promotion. Lilly, therefore, has established a career path for their PMs that potentially leads to the top of the firm. They already had career paths progressing through "administration" or "R & D" to the top and have clearly demonstrated the reality of both paths.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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