The Accidental Project Manager

As a company that trains a lot of Project Managers, I often ask students the question “How and why did you become a project manager”, and it is interesting to listen to the various replies.

The first thing I noticed was that surprisingly few students set out to be a Project Manager, and it just became part of their role as they progressed through their career.

This made me think about all the roles that many children aspire to, such as Vet, Doctor, Nurse, Engineer, Astronaut, yet I would think it very rare that at an early age anyone declares, “I want to be a Project Manager when I grow up”

Stumbling across ‘the accidental project manager’

I started to research this and found the common term ‘the accidental project manager’ where you get assigned to a role because of your knowledge, specific technical expertise or even your interpersonal skills. This leads to you managing projects for the first time, with lots of expertise in the company and stakeholders, but no real Project Management training, as it is a secondary responsibility.

Only as you start to plan and execute the project that you realise that many of the technical aspects of planning and scheduling, resourcing, managing risk and reporting, and many more areas, needs more knowledge to be effective.

It is these companies or individuals that recognise they are in a great position, and better more formal Project Management skills would make a great contribution to the success of this and future projects, that invest in formal training and benefit from the knowledge gained.

There needs to be a formal programme of mentoring and training, with strong support from other Project Managers, or senior management, that provide the essential project management skills needed.

Training Byte Size support a number of paths to becoming a qualified Project Manager, following proven routes from the APMG, such as the Praxis Framework, and the APM from starter through to chartership. Whatever your requirement we can help to turn the ‘accidental project manager’ into an effective one, delivering Projects more successfully, and set out a career path to becoming chartered, alongside Civil Engineers, Architects and Accountants, the ‘gold standard’ recognised world wide.

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