Friday, July 15, 2005

PM Skills???

Recently I noticed that most of the local IT companies (SMEs) do not understand the importance of the role of a Project Manager., Or they understand it but still they like to forget about it and save few dollars by appointing a programmer as a “Project Leader” who will be expected to do development work as well as coordination work of the project.

Some of the senior managers do not accept project management as a full time task. Its just that “Why don’t you share your time with some coding work.. or some testing too” As a result, the companies pay back with cost overruns and project failures. Still they do not understand or accept the cause, and they will continue by doing the same mistake over and over again.

Recently I worked with some IT guys in the industry for a government project. (They were appointed from some well-known Software Development Company) When I was introduced to them first, I asked, who is the project Manager for this project?.. Every body looked at each other and one guy said., ok I’m the project leader. In our company we do not have such positions called “Project Managers”. I really don’t understand what the heck is that “Project leader” role is. Are they project Managers?.., Program managers ?…(Managers who manage multiple projects in PMO concepts) , coordinators..? or just bad programmers who are not “Techies”??? Or are they real project managers but the companies wont like to label them as “Managers” due to various financial or structural reasons. ??

I do not believe the title “Project Leader” is given in terms of building true leadership” infact no use of having only leadership skills if they do not have management skills. (Effective project manager should have leadership skills as well as Management skills)

Not only the employers, most of the IT professionals seems have no idea about the role and the demand for project management skills. They hardly work hard to study methodologies or to improve their skills. When we run an advertisement to recruit project managers., its just a nightmare to short list them., we have to reject at least 95% of them at the 1st round of the interview. I thought this is a problem in Local IT industry only., But recently I had some discussions with Niels Malotaux, an EVO evangelist from Netherlands and I was telling him about the lack of project management skills in Sri Lankan IT industry. But what he said was”

"Not only in Sri Lanka. It's the same everywhere. So if you can do something significant about it, it can make you stand out. “

Most of the IT companies spend quite a lot of their training budgets for their programmers’ /designers’ skills improvements. But very few do something about their project management skill development.

Unless the companies and IT professionals really understand the importance of the role of the “Project Manager” and adapt to good project management methodologies, they cant whine about their project failures.


Rajesh said...

Hi Thushara,

I read you article on PM, I am planning to take up the PMP certification in Jan/Feb 2008, prior to that i have about 13 Years of Experience.

My request to you is "please" let me know how do i relate my projects in the PM Certification applcation form " I am Confused" Any help will be greately appreciated.

If you can send me a copy of your Project details how you have clarified between the Projects, that will be of help.

Thanks in advance

Rajesh Henry


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