The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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How to Consistently Have Project Management Work

Table of contents for Contract Project Manager

  1. The Contractor: The Project Management 2009 Trend!

bright-lightThanks for your comments. You have shed some light on this subject. You have said in the comments for this series that what you really want is great work assignments, freedom, opportunity to take long vacations and good compensation aka money. But what is the path to these goals? Being a project management expert!

Making yourself into a publicity machine is a way to consistently have an opportunity to have discussions with project manager hiring decision makers. Don’t be intimidated. I’m not suggesting you are “the” project management expert; only “An” Expert. Project Management is way too big for anyone to claim the king or queen title but we can all be experts in important areas. The world needs more portfolio metrics expertise – we haven’t begun to understand how to be fully effective there. There is a lot of information on Agile but no person has cracked the code on how to actually deliver measurable success in global deployments. What about the lessons learned project management expert on the financial services mess? I would pay to hear that webinar! There are so niches that could be filled.

So why should you be a project management expert in a niche? Here’s a couple of reasons.

•    Gets you to the top of the pile of resumes when hiring managers read your bazillion blog articles, conference presentations and books on your CV.
•    Gives you the guts to not ever be in an interview again as it gives you the credentials to turn the tables and pose strategic questions of the hiring manager.
•    Let’s you swim with the big fish as when you hang out in the speakers room at conferences.
•    Lastly, produces a wow factor. I was embarrassed as my peers bowed down to me at a meeting of project management professionals after I published my first book. My face turned red as I chided them with a “stop it.” But now I would probably pull my Sony voice recorder out of my purse and get testimonials that I would post on my website.
•    Double lastly, its cheap! All it takes is Fitch’s Law; looking at a subject and providing new interpretations.

Leave a comment on your reasons to be an expert.

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Rosemary Hossenlopp, MBA PMP © 2009 All Rights Reserved
http://www.pm-perspectives.com

About the Author

Rosemary trains IT project teams on delivering project success by improving business analysis and project management practices. She is founder of Project Management Perspectives LLC consulting and training in both the commercial and government sectors. She led many global software and hardware projects; created PMO's, and conducted project assessments. Rosemary speaks at conferences on the topics on Planning for Project Success and is a co-author of Unearthing Business Requirements, Elicitation Tools and Techniques and Organizational Project Management (June 2010) Rosemary received her B.S. from Oregon State University and M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and implemented the Tools and Techniques initiative of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
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2 Responses to “How to Consistently Have Project Management Work”

  1. About wow factor – I’m yet to see a project manager who will be able to trigger it. Actually when we look for PMs we most likely look for reliability and experience than for something extraordinary. Project management isn’t like development where great performer can achieve 10 times as much as below-average performer.

    But yes, I’d definitely prefer a person who spend some of private time to write articles, blog and is active in the community over the one who does nothing in the area (assuming everything else is comparable).

  2. I was in 2 minds after reading this; and decided to go with the middle thought process and typing up the output here…

    Like anything else in a democracy, a healthy debate is what these type of topics generate. A VP in my previous company (a premier mortgage company in the US) once commented… I dont know why we have Business PMs and Technical PMs; a PM is a PM! Now, imagine what he would have said, if there were say Agile PMs, RUP PMs, Finance PMs, Mortgage PMs… I think the problem starts with the way the industry has over a period generalised the term PM. I am a PMP and atleast per the PMI, there is always only the PM… now which ‘project’ he/she manages is a different story. If cooking dinner is my project, I need not necessarily become a Culinary PM. I am just a PM who needs to identify/hire the right chefs/cooks and allocate the best resources/ingredients by procuring them from the best of grocers etc. Its easier to get pulled into the thought process of ‘but the more I deal with chefs/grocers/tasters etc the more of a Culinary PM I become’. That may just be personal choice of words, but honestly, if I were to hire a PM for the cook dinner project, I would rather advertise saying ‘experienced in handling ambiguity and managing experts in cooking…’ than ‘…experienced Culinary PM…’

    Now, if a client wants someone who can understand the business jargon of Derivatives and manage the development of the system which automates/aides the work of a business analyst, then he just needs a PM who can manage the business analysts. Not a Derivatives PM as commonly advertised these days.

    Having said that, what I suspect actually happening is that companies have become very greedy and wants the PM to be the business analyst who can manage the system development and hence the facade of Derivatives PM.

    Even though I appreciate the need for the PM of a given project to understand the general business and/or product/service he/she is managing, it is better for the experts to deal with the actual business while the PM concentrates on the processes/tools/methodologies that best optimizes the experts’ time ….

    In conclusion, its better to specialise in the various aspects of Project Management – like Risk Manager, Requirements Manager, Quality Manager rather than Finance PM, Insurance PM etc.. this I think would be the middle approach theory.

    PS: To extend my theory, what the US or the UK needs is a PM who can manage the financial crisis not necessarily a Financial PM? makes sense? I know Obama is not a PM but then we dont need a financial President either. do we?

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