by April 1, 2009 0 comments

In today’s global economic scenario enterprises are continually seeking ways
through which they can manage and complete their various projects affordably and
in the most efficient manner. They have realized how crucial Project Managers
are towards the success of projects and the valuable benefits they bring to an
enterprise’s business. A Project Manager has the responsibility to make sure
that his projects get completed within the given set of restraints, which may
comprise time, money, manpower, materials and quality. It is therefore necessary
that Project Managers possess organization, planning and team handling skills in
addition to the core technical aspects of the project that they handle. They
actually have a much stronger role to play now: analyzing and making sure they
are doing the proper work in the most cost-effective way and separating the
“wants” from the “needs”.

Organizations utilize the skills of Project Managers to assess the overall
data: by keeping an eye on the trends in resources, workload, activity and cost,
and providing valuable information for future management decisions. Many
organizations look for smarter Project Managers who can complete projects within
the stipulated time and budget and also are able to save time and money. Gone
are the days when most Project Managers merely had a given functional area
knowledge and were co-opted as a team member or leader of a team. Rather,
organizations now seek beyond the core functional domain knowledge for such
candidates. They look for subject matter experts who know the principles of
project management techniques as well. This has resulted in emergence of
professional Project Managers, who have no other role in an organization other
than Project Management. Project Management which was an undervalued skill till
recent years has now become a most sought after skillset and has become a career
domain in itself.

To be eligible for a PMI
credential, applicants must meet specific education, project and/or program
management experience requirements

Raj Kalady,
Managing Director, Project Management Institute -India

What are the career prospects in Project
Management domain and what type of job responsibilities does it incorporate?
Traditionally project managers have been ‘grown’ out of their roles on
the job serving on project teams and then elevating to more senior roles in
project management by leading and directing projects. With the increased
scope, larger budgets and higher complexity of projects and more diverse
roles have been defined to meet these needs in the field of project
management. This includes specialized areas of project scheduling and
project risk management as well as the more strategic roles of managing
multiple projects that are aligned with an organizational strategy as in
program management and the oversight of multiple programs through portfolio
management. All of these project management roles provide a variety of
career paths for aspiring or experienced project managers.

What are the requisites for a candidate to
gain PMI credentials? Can an IT professional gain an edge with Project
Management certification?
To be eligible for a PMI credential, applicants must meet specific
education, project and/or program management experience requirements.

Applicants also must pass evaluations
including a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively
assess and measure professional ability. PMI credentials support the
professional growth and advancement of project management practitioners and
also contribute and support organizational growth and maturity through
project management practices.

The five PMI project management
certifications provides the knowledge, skills and experience that positions
project management practitioners in any industry, including IT. IT
professionals are involved in projects from day one. Thus being prepared to
understand and manage projects is a huge benefit for freshers and
experienced professionals. A large percentage of PMI credential holders work
either in an IT function in another industry (e.g. IT function in the
financial/banking industry) or directly in the IT industry.

Opportunities in Project Management
Project managers are becoming critical to an organization during the
slowdown as they offer important IT governance skills in making sure all IT
projects are aligned with corporate goals while also cutting out waste. A
project manager’s primary role is to be a facilitator with the goal being to
ensure that a project is completed on time, within budget, and according to
requirements. Most enterprises now demand Project Management certification for
employment or advancement as a Project Manger in the organization.

Most service organizations are
moving towards the project-based organization. A project based
organizational model provides a means of managing the business through well
defined projects, building teams to work together for a common set of goals
or objectives. Successful projects are one of the key parameters to measure
the strength of the organization.

PMP, Program Executive, Project Management Center of
Excellence, IBM India

In the current scenario, concepts like remote
project management assume great significance as the growing demand for
skilled managers can be met through remote management. Developing and honing
the skills of project management has become the prerogative of many an
organization and keeping in tune with this, IBM has a Project Management
Center of Excellence, a body which is focused towards developing project
management practitioner community.

Project management as a career can take you to different directions and to
many different industries. It is the domain knowledge that you possess which
helps in deciding which industry you are apt for. Coming from an IT industry,
does not bound you to handle the projects in IT industry only. Your IT
knowledge, and project management skills can be suitable for enterprises that
are going through various IT implementation projects–for instance a financial
institution or a bank may require Project Mangers to handle their bank’s
automation project which will require the expertise of an IT professional having
project management experience. IT professionals can aim for the project manager
positions not only in IT companies, but also for the IT functions in another
industries as well.


Executive Vice President & Head — Technology, TechProcess Solutions.

An individual having Project Management
skills is generally in a good position to handle various tasks with various
areas of criticality ranging from employee management, client management,
vendor management, product/process management, quality assurance etc. Being
in the normal course of their operational dispensation, these activities
form a substantial part of their tasks. Project management trains an
individual to handle complexities, which I believe is an essential skill set
for individuals progressing into senior echelons of the management cadre.
While the general perception is that the requirement for project managers is
for the software industry, almost all industries ranging from Infrastructure
execution organizations to manufacturing enterprises require PM.

In the current global economic conditions, enterprises are facing the need to
have better project management processes in place. There is a demand for
efficient project managers who can accomplish projects in a timely and efficient
manner. In contrast to that, the job opportunities are not that high. Due to the
current economic scenario, organizations themselves are not having many new
projects but, as the economy revives and projects start to flow in, the demand
for Project Mangement professionals will again soar high. As it is said, being
prepared for tough battles is half the victory achieved. So, if you aim for such
positions, then this is the right time to get some project management
certifications which will help you to chart out the way forward in this domain.


VP, VSoft

The fundamental skill that Project Management
candidates should possess is organization. A bachelors or masters degree in
an IT- or business-related field, a background in applications development
and five or more years of experience managing complex projects are other
requisites. Potential candidates should also have strong communication,
problem-solving and interpersonal skills; multi-task efficiently; and have a
strong ability to manage client expectations. Individuals with a Project
Management certification would start out as a Project Assistant, then become
a Project Coordinator and then move on to become a Project Manager,
presumably starting on small projects, responsible for a single team and
then working up to a full Project Manager and then on to Program Manager.

Prerequisites for becoming a PM
In an organization, a Project Manager (PM) should be proficient in analysis,
design, project planning, estimation, risk assessment. PMs also need to have
fair knowledge of the technology and domain. Project and program management
skills integrate appropriately with the technical knowledge, the process usage,
domain knowledge, infrastructure constraints, market conditions and process
assets to achieve success. Before an individual enters the project management
stream, it is essential that the person has relevant exposure in software
development and has contributed at the entry level. At the entry level an
individual contributes to the development, delivery and maintenance of
technology-based business solutions. With experience the individual gathers
competence in building the experiential knowledge network, providing project
consultancy expertise and undertaking research and analysis based on past
project data and market trends. Successful project managers not only have to
acquire project management certifications but also have excellent communications
skills, be able to think analytically, and have the ability to multitask.
Becoming a project manager can be a good way to take on management
responsibilities while staying on with development roles.

Career path
In the project management domain, there are two ways that can lead an
individual towards the Project Manger designation:

  1. Natural progression path (in most software organizations) wherein, over a
    period of time most candidates are induced into managing projects and
    generally acquire the needed skills while on the job, which eventually gets
    refined through training programs.
  2. By completing a project management course from a recognized program and
    then getting on with a job.

In software enterprises members who are inducted into Project Management are
generally inducted as Project Leader, Sr. Project Leaders, Project Managers, Sr.
Project Managers, Program Managers and Service Delivery Manager.

Individuals with a Project Management certification would start out as a
Project Assistant, then become a Project Coordinator and move on to become a
Project Manager, presumably starting on small projects, responsible for a single
team and then working up to a full Project Manager and then on to Program
Manager. A Project Manager is responsible for a single project (or indeed for a
number of individual projects) while a Program Manager is responsible for a very
large project or ‘program’ consisting of multiple projects that are inextricably
linked together, combining to form an overall result.

Project management certifications
Though project management requires soft skills of leadership and team
management, these qualities can’t be reflected in an individual’s resume.
Certifications helps in adding credentials to the resume, but also help the
individual to learn the principles of project management and the industry best
practices for project handling. There are industry recognized professional
project management certifications that include PMP, PRINCE2 that can be pursued.
IBM in particular also has accreditation and certification programs for
different proficiency levels in project management. As per a salary survey
conducted by ZDNET, candidates with PMP certifications were the highest paid.
Thus, with a PMP certificate from a Project Management Institute one can broaden
his scope not only for Indian companies but also abroad. Following is the list
of industry recognized Project Management courses which are globally accepted.

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