Questions for Project Managers

by Marco Bellucci via Flickr
Recently, a business student interviewed me via email. She is interested in project managing and it was part of an assignment to reach people via Twitter to interview them about their work and the state/role of their industry. (My kudos go to the professor for encouraging students use new media to interact directly with professionals in the field.
I asked her permission to share her interview with you. I hope it is helpful. Comment on what you agree or disagree with.
What is the job market for project manager?
It is healthy in general, I would say. Project managers are responsible for leading teams in order to achieve goals. Organizations always need them. Many project management jobs don’t have the title “project manager”. There are many different titles. I recommend that you check out some of the job listings such as and See what you can find in the area.
How can you handle the changes in your field?
I have a blog and a community site. I also read blogs and am a member PMI. I participate in my local chapter as well as several SIGs (specific interest group). I am also a member of the PMI New Media Council, and will be presenting at North America Global Congress 2009 in Orlando (October 11, 2009). There are many niches and personal growth opportunities available, just like any profession. It is important to stay active in project management as a discipline.
Which companies are the best to work for?
Any industry or type of organization can benefit from project management. You will learn the most if you are able to get into an organization that makes its money by completing successful projects. You can work as a project manager within an organization, such as in the financial services sector, and you can do internal projects …. but project management is not given the attention it deserves unless your business model places running projects at the center of the business.
How can you use information systems to your advantage in your job?
Although I am now self-employed, my previous role as the lead contract manager for the LDCM TSSC (building the ground system of a joint USGS/NASA space mission) required me to use information systems. The best thing about IS is its simplicity, accuracy, reliability, and ability to focus on key metrics that will help you manage the project. I’ve seen many systems that are complicated and useless without a degree in how to use them. It is easy to get lost in the data and lose sight on what is really important.
This is what I will say though. Management of projects is about managing people. You can lose sight of this if you become too data-centric. You and your team are the ones that will run the project. Tools and data are not what you need.