Great at stake
VOICES ❘ Project Perspectives
How can you become a great project manager?
Michèle Balogh, CAPM, PMP
project manager, customer and enterprise integration, Schenker of Canada Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
I realized I was perceived as a good project manager when our corporate office approached me to manage a new project. It had a much larger scope, budget and global visibility than I had been previous exposed to.
To get to that level, I studied A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and passed the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® exam, which showed my employer I had ambition.
I applied project management principles, tools and techniques to everything I did. For example, if I identified a departmental weakness that needed a solution, I would build a “mini-project” plan. Management noticed. Then I got my Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential.
Finally, I managed a large-scale migration project, which I completed on budget and schedule. That success was why the corporate office chose me.
Java team lead, sysIQ Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
I am taking a step toward being a great project manager by preparing to take the PMP® exam. Everything I‘m studying is proving to be useful in my everyday work. I‘m also attending a stressmanagement course, which I believe is a very useful skill for good managers due to the nature of projects.
Thinking of yourself as an expert is a strange thing, at least for me. As soon as you see yourself as an expert in one field, new horizons open, and you see new areas where you are a complete novice.
As project managers, we should never stop moving forward and should always try to learn something new to continue the quest toward greatness.
Andrew E. Procca
technical officer, National Research Council of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
The progression from novice to expert was a bumpy but exhilarating road. It was at about the five-year mark that I started to adapt different styles and techniques to suit the project and, more importantly, team culture.
I suggest taking some organizational culture behavior courses. As project managers, we lead and manage people. Having an understanding of how people think and behave in groups is a foundation for project management greatness.
Finally, keep learning. I strongly advocate pursuing knowledge that is peripheral to project management and helps you to be an effective interface between the project team, stakeholders and the executive suite.
Lourdes Pamela Mejes Barron, CAPM
office manager, PMWorks Pty Ltd., St. Leonards, Australia
Project managers are considered “great” if they acquire skills from challenging experiences.
I recently passed the CAPM® exam, and now I‘m researching ways in which I can apply that knowledge. My senior managers have been orienting and exposing me to stakeholder management and project management processes as formidable stepping stones to a more definitive career in project management.
Project management is a growing field, and it interests me that a system and set of structures can be creatively adapted to obtain specific goals. This sort of creative thinking and strategic planning made me believe project management is a more stable path in my career growth.
My advice to project managers seeking greatness: Have clarity on what you aim for and make sure that there is no room for excuses not to attain those goals.
MARCH 2013 PM NETWORK