The Future of Project Management, Depends on PMs

If you speak with a handful of Project Managers and ask them how they got into the profession, many (if not most) will tell you they kind of fell into it….accidental project managers.  I don’t recall having a Project Manager at career day growing up and I don’t know anyone who said “after my undergrad, I aim to get my Masters in Project Management.”  To make it worse, as most PMs move along in their new careers they have very little guidance. While not a large scope, when asking 50 project managers “who paid for your respective training classes, books, etc?” only 5 said they had received employee assistance in support of their efforts.  10%!  Even though an IDC report states “the amount of training doesn’t need to be massive; when preparing for a project, teams receiving 20 hours of training per member were twice as likely to succeed as teams that received 10 hours of training or less” only 10% actually receive some on-going training by their employers!

In spite of many employers’ lack of support, many PMs often point to a mentor as key to their success.  Someone that shares resources (books, templates, etc), reviews project plans, helps point out the gotchas, etc are a crucial part of a PMs development.  So this week, I want to remind everyone out there of a very basic biblical principle… Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  Today, most say ‘pay it forward.’  Whatever your preference, there is a tremendous site I would like everyone to check out: Stepping Into Project Management  If you are a seasoned PM and looking to give back or are a new PM looking for some help, then you have to check it out!  I just started mentoring a young man from India and it has been a tremendously rewarding experience so far.  Check out this feedback I received when asking about his org and the support there “I am interested in being a member of projects but my PM is not showing interest and he is not supportive.”  Really!?

Below is a short interview I had with SIPM’s creator, Soma Bhattacharya.

Soma, why did you start SIMP?

The http://beta.steppingintopm.com/ site was initiated in 2010 to give back to the PM community. I had gotten a lot of help, met lots of PMs through my blog and I wanted everyone to have that opportunity. While the “experts” could give back and inspire someone else, the “newbies” would get a platform to interact with the best of PM  global community

How many signed members?

Currently, there are around 100 people signed up. I know, it’s not a lot given the potential of the website. Honestly, I haven’t really put in a lot of marketing effort for it. It usually works as word- of- mouth. I have a small team of wonderful friends who help me out with the site development and design and they do it all for free. So, I am very grateful for everyone who signs up in the website, advises or help me out in any way to keep it going.

Success stories?

I know that people interact and once they find each other, they usually take the discussion out of the site through personal email id’s. So, do i have stories to share at this point? I haven’t heard anything…I personally fund the site when necessary and with a full time job, my blog sometimes its tough to keep it going to it’s full potential. But, I have plans, lets see how it works out…

Would you consider SIPM a success?

I would want to think it is. Even if a single newbie gets some direction, help and guidance through the site, I think it is successful for me at least:)

Soma is doing some amazing work and I think the PM Community should jump on board here and support SIPM.  Successfully trained and mentored PMs are a clearly a common trait among successful projects and if employers aren’t going to step up, then PMs need to do it in support of the profession.  Get over to SIPM and sign-up to mentor now!  It is free, I have never received junk mail, and I have never been asked by Soma to promote or add SIPM banners even once.

What is your experience…has your employer provided training or some other on-going development for you?

One more note of support: This Wednesday, my firm KPS will be hosting a free, vendor neutral round-table on Project Management Software: Selecting, Implementing, and Social Media.  Check out the following link for details on the time, free dial-in #, speakers, etc.  – http://focus.com/c/HJ0/  I hope you join and would be honored if you helped share it via Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Again…free, vendor neutral, and no follow-on email marketing!  Thank-You!

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