Friday, 30 November 2007 04:59

Why I Became a Project Manager

Written by Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller’s Monthly Blog

These days there are so many attractive jobs out there that kids coming out of school have unlimited choices. Lawyers and doctors make good money; entrepreneurs have a lot of freedom; big companies offer lifetime employment…just a few generalizations. What does project management offer? All of the above!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are on a growing wave of need, a tsunami of project skills, if you will. Everybody wants project managers. Historically, project managers were limited to construction projects and IT implementations. Now, project managers are wanted for every initiative, no matter how large or small. Large companies are developing their own PM methodologies and setting up their own PMOs. Medium-sized companies are hiring professional PM contractors at a dizzying pace; governments are always looking for a good PM. Even small companies are looking to bring on PMs to manage operational teams.

What do we have that everybody wants? It is quite simple really…discipline. We have the discipline to follow processes; we have the discipline to communicate effectively; we have the discipline to budget someone else’s money effectively; we have the discipline to ensure that work gets done on time. Discipline is, indeed, a very valuable commodity.

Most companies do not have a lot of discipline. Spending is out of control; vendors control relationships; structures are slow and top-heavy, and people follow their own agendas. I bet there are few executives right now saying “boy, I wish this organization just had some discipline” (if you are saying that, please call me, I can help with that).

In summation, pick project management. You can make good money just like a lawyer or a doctor; you can have a lot of freedom just like an entrepreneur and you can have lifetime employment, just like working for a big company. It is kind of like professional Utopia, don’t ya think? Right?

is President of ACM Consulting Inc. (www.acmconsulting.ca), a company that provides supply chain and project management solutions. Andrew is PMP certified and has led a variety of clients through complex systems implementations and organizational changes. He is an Instructor of the Procurement and Contracting course, part of the Masters Certificate in Project Management program through the Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre (SEEC) in Toronto. Andrew has an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business with majors in Logistics and Marketing. He can be reached at andrew@acmconsulting.ca.


Andrew Miller
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