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Bill Dow

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Member Since: Feb, 2008

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Bill Dow

Managing the Virtual Employee
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Too much Water Kills a profession!
by Bill Dow   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, February 24, 2008
Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2008

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Not anyone can be a project manager!

The Project Management industry is drowning. There are too many "Project Managers" out there and we are watering down the profession. How many times have you seen organizations throw bodies at projects and make them the "PM" for the project? Too many. If we keep this trend up, we are going to kill this profession!

What is a PM? Do you have to be certified, have your master's in project management or equivalent to be called a PM? Do you have to have five to twenty years of experience to be called a PM? I am not sure, but there are a whole lot of PMs out there with a variety of skills and experience, all of which exhibit the title of "Project Manager". Should that be? Should the industry set minimum requirements to allow people to call themselves "Project Managers?"

When looking at different industries such as Aerospace, Manufacturing and IT, there seems to be an overall problem. Companies are handing off their IT projects -- large or small -- to very inexperienced project managers. Then, to add to the issue, the companies are not following up with their staff and providing all the tools necessary for them to be successful. They hand off projects and don't provide training, support or overall guidance to these new PM's. The staff themselves are not equipped, not prepared and most of the time are not supported. This translates to the new PM having a very slim chance to be successful and complete these projects. The outcome of this is that we have an influx of "PM's" on the market, which are not necessarily qualified as a "Project Managers." This overload is watering down the profession.

Does this happen across all professions? Does an orderly in a hospital come in and finish off the operation? "No", this seems to only happen in IT. It seems like a Developer/Tester or Project Coordinator can be doing their respective professions one day and expected to manage an IT project the next. Does this make sense? Should IT customers be expecting more? Do they care about the experience level of the person managing their projects? This has to stop!

IT has to start taking the Project Managers leading their projects more seriously. They need to give them the direction and authority to do their jobs. If organizations have projects that need to start, and there are no experienced project managers to do them, the projects waits. Alternatively, maybe companies should hire some experienced PM's to come in and manage the projects. There are clearly other options than throwing the next available person at the project without regards to experience, interest, communication style...etc.

In closing, if we water a plant too much it will die; if we continue to water down this profession, it, too, is going to die!

What do you think?

Web Site: Too much water kills a profession

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