Management of Projects

I’ve recently decided to stop calling myself a Project Manager and start calling myself a Manager of Projects.There is a difference as I hope you will see in the next few paragraphs.

I have 11 years experience in managing and delivering services to clients and during this time I gained plenty of project management experience but even more importantly, I gained experience in managing projects and leading people. The experience I gained as a project manager was excellent and led me to be the person that I am today, but I oftentimes wondered about the value that the project was bringing to the organization (many times, the value was vary small or even negative…but that’s a story for another post).

Everyone in the project management world knows about Portfolio Management and other areas of strategic project management, but I haven’t run across many people that have used the term “management of projects” to describe the overall process of selection, management and control of an organizations’ projects.

Dr. Jeffrey Pinto has defined the term “management of projects” on the IEEE Engineering Management Society’s Transactions website as the following (pay close attention to the last sentence):

The management of projects recognizes that while traditional project management techniques of scheduling, resource assignment, and control are still important, they must be considered as part of the larger challenge in successful projects. Research over the past two decades has demonstrated clearly the importance that client and stakeholder issues and technology management play in project success. What is required is that we broaden our focus to consider the management of external and front-end issues, including technology, design and testing, supply chain and procurement, and project stakeholders.

The last sentence really drives home the fact that a more strategic approach to managing projects is needed and is the area that I am most interested in researching and contributing to in my career. Of course, I am still very interested in Project Management and improving the methodologies and skills within the field, but my focus has been and hopefully will continue to be on the more strategic areas around managing projects.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has been addressing the areas of strategic project management in recent years with their standards for Program Management and Portfolio Management. I hope to see updates in these standards address the more strategic levels of managing projects and I have volunteered to assist the PMI in updating the Project Portfolio Management standard.

As for my career in the field of Project Management…it still exists and I will still use the title of Project Manager as necessary but I don’t want to limit my area of practice to the traditional areas of PM and pigeonhole myself and my consulting practice.

Anyone know of a certification for a “strategic” project management professional? If there isn’t one out there…there should be.

[tags] Management of Projects, Strategic Project Management, Portfolio Management, PMP [/tags]