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Taking charge

A project manager is a person in charge of the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. The job title is used in construction, petrochemical, architecture, information technology and many different industries that produce products and services.

education Updated: Jun 06, 2012 14:31 IST

The lowdown
A project manager is a person in charge of the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. The job title is used in construction, petrochemical, architecture, information technology and many different industries that produce products and services. As a project manager you are required to have a combination of skills, including the ability to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions and resolve conflicts, as well as more general management skills. Key among a manager’s duties is the recognition that risk directly impacts the likelihood of success and that this risk must be both formally and informally measured throughout the lifetime of the project. All projects are carried out under constraints – traditionally cost, time and scope. These three important factors, commonly called the triple constraint, are often represented as a triangle. More recently the triangle has given way to a project management diamond, with cost, time, scope and quality the four vertices with customer expectations as a central theme

Clockwork
A typical day of a project manager is like this
8am: Reach office. Check mails. Schedule and check meetings lined up for the day
10am: Take progress reports from various teams on the running project
Noon: Send out mailers tracking progress of the project
1pm: Lunch
3pm: Attend a video conference with team-mates spread throughout the globe
4.30pm: Read the latest on project management
5pm: Leave for home
8pm: Check official mails, in case anything urgent comes up

At times, a project manager may be required to stay back in office or work late nights with team members in other countries for the smooth running of the project. Once the project is delivered end-to-end they hand over the project to respective teams and start working on a new project

The payoff
A fresher after successful completion of a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification can get a package of Rs. 6 lakh per annum and with a year’s experience, s/he can move to the Rs. 9 lakh per annum bracket. Professionals with work experience of five years or more with PMP certification and an MBA in project management can expect somewhere between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh per annum

Skills/TRAITS
* The project manager should be good at planning and defining scope of work for the project. If s/he is not clear in his directions, it can lead to a lot of confusion and the project may suffer
* A manager must be good at documentation. S/he should make reports and should document the progress of the project carefully and share it with corresponding teams for the smooth running of the project
* Should have good leadership qualities
* Should be good at problem solving
* Should have good negotiation skills, in order to get the work done on time
* Good organisation skills
* Very good communication skills
* Good understanding of the business
* Good at computers

Getting there
After completing Class 12 from any stream, preferably science or commerce, go for a bachelor’s dregree in your preffered choice of course. You can choose to get into project management after graduation. However, not many companies will take in freshers. Those with some work experience and a project management certification, (conducted by project management institute) can get into the profession. IT companies prefer candidates with a PMP cetrification, because they are more tailored to their needs

Institutes and URLs
* Project Management Institute, multiple locations
www.pmi.org.in
* Bharti Vidyapeeth University, multiple locations
http://www.bharatividyapeeth.edu/default.htm
* Sikkim Manipal University, multiple locations
www.smude.edu.in/

Pros and cons
* The industry is growing exponentially and offers a bright future to prospective professionals
* There is a lot of demand for skilled project management professionals, not just in the domentic market but, they are extremely sought after in the international market as well
* The money is very good and perks even better
* The job profile may get challenging at times

You can grow by leaps and bounds with the required certifications, and considerable experience. Good negotiation skills can be an added advantage... Rahul Rawat, PMP, Prince2 practitioner, project manager in a leading MNC