All what you may want to know
Project Manager - It sounds quite glamorous right? It is no doubt an adorable role but for those who can shoulder varied responsibilities, an extrovert, a leader who can stand by his team, convince and defend his point of view. Only then he gains respect & pride. The below article provides a wholesome perspective towards the career as a Project Manager.
A project manager is a person who plans, initiates & manages one or more projects. A project is an endeavour that has a specified start date and end date and has certain objectives to meet.
Who should take up this career?
A juggler, a multi-tasker, who can effectively and without much stress execute multiple tasks at the same time
A person with good communications and interpersonal skills
A person who is a go-getter, who can perform given any task with conviction, focus and perseverance
A person who can manage stressful situations with calmness and wittiness
A person who can get work done from others, by virtue of his presence, guidance, and interpersonal relations
Above all who is a leader, not an autocratic but a servant-leader, which is predominantly most widely accepted leadership style across the world.
Future prospects of a Project Manager
As per PMI, the demand for project managers has always been quite high. PMI expects 22 million new jobs in project management by 2027.
Project Managers are required by almost all industries. Be it mechanical, automotive, IT, aviation, travel, finance etc. Thus is always seen as a sought after profession.
A project Manager's salary has always been better than a Programmer's. The average salary of PM in India is INR 14 lacs* per annum while a Programmer's average salary is INR 5 lacs per annum.
An entry-level Project Manager needs at least 3 yrs experience of work experience in any domain/function and there is no limit to experience. The more experienced a Project Manager is, the more valuable he becomes for any organization, provided he hones diversity, intensity and complexity across his projects and assignments.
A project manager may or may not have functional experience. However, it is preferred that a project manager comes with some functional experience.
The thumb rule of present salaries of project managers is 1.5 times his no. of years experience. So a 10 yrs experience the project manager may have INR 15 Lac as salary.
In many industries, especially in IT, the Project Managers also gets global assignments, where they enjoy travel across the globe for carrying out their projects.
The next growth level of a Project Manager is Senior Project Manager or a Program Manager or Portfolio Manager. These roles are different in different organizations, where a person manages multiple projects at the same time.
Nowadays an alternative role to Project Manager or an Assistant Project Manager is a CERTIFIED SCRUM MASTER (CSM). A CSM is a facilitator like a project manager but in a much smaller area of operations.
For this role, a person should be a quick learner, critical thinker, problem solver and a decision-maker.
A Project Manager can also grow by switching jobs and getting better positions like Director or Vice President, where the elevated role brings more responsibilities, whilst the foundation is built on the project management skills.
The highest destination within any organization is the CEO and a Project Manager can also become a CEO, though it is a journey of new learnings, quick adaptations and strong analytical and decision-making abilities.
Path to become Project Manager
You need to have a minimum experience of 3 yrs in carrying out all the aspects of work which you will be going to manage as project manager.
You can get trained and certified as a Project Manager, through PMI (Project Management Institute). The credential is named PMP (Project Management Professional) which is quite a respected credential across industries across the globe.
The cost of doing the PMP is approximate INR 60,000/- (Training + Exam fee)
The efforts required to obtain a PMP credential is significant. Normally it takes around 3 months of dedicated efforts to clear the PMP examination.
The PMP credential is valid for 3 yrs but can be renewed by obtaining some 60 PDU points and paying fees of approximate INR 11,000/- to PMI. Collecting 60 PDU points in 3 years is generally not strenuous.
The other certifications for Project Management is Prince2, which is mostly sought by European organizations.
Alternative, Quick & Easy path to becoming a Project Manager
A CSM is a mandatory requirement for running any AGILE Scrum project. AGILE is a very sought-after methodology for running Projects. Actually, AGILE Scrum was created for IT projects but nowadays its's widely accepted and implemented in other domains also. For more information on CSM, please see the appendix section.
After spending 2 to 3 yrs as CSM, one can go for PMP certification which will be quite a natural progression in the career of a Project Manager.
Life of a Project Manager
The project Manager's role is quite respected within the organization.
It's quite a stressful life, especially at the initial levels of career but as the experience grows, the skills required to manage complexities also grow which in turn provides more stability to career and overall quality of life.
The salary of Project Manager is good enough to lead a decent life, own a house, a car and get his children educated in a good school
Project Manager works for normal 8-9 hrs of office timings. The time zones may vary depending upon the project he is managing.
The Project Manager normally works more with senior stakeholders and customers, so the learning and networking opportunities are immense in this career.
There is a complete structured methodology of how to manage projects, which one learns during his PMP certification. This provides immense learning of the tips & tricks and the processes and tools which are required by a Project Manager throughout his life.
By: Gurpreet Singh Kapoor, PMP, ITIL, MBA
Disclaimer: Kindly note that all articles have been submitted by members in their individual capacity.