Project Management Institute

Switching gears

As organizations increase the number of projects they implement, executives often promote their best technical experts into project management roles: Many executives erroneously believe that technical experts are the persons most qualified to oversee technical projects. Because of this, these executives perceive such promotions as the natural progression in a technical expert's career. This article examines this often false assumption--that technical experts make the best project managers--and suggests that such promotions are often detrimental both to the technical expert and to the organization. It explains that many technical experts do not want leadership responsibilities, that many are comfortable acting in their technical roles, and that those companies who do promote their technical experts to oversee projects often experience a drop in quality because the expert is no longer developing project solutions but is instead managing and monitoring the implementation process. It then recommendsan alternative
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