IT Project Management

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Hi all,
This is aimed specifically at those working with a project management function, preferabally those using PRINCE2...

I'm currently working within a fairly technical infrastructure role, which has both project and support elements, although the emphasis is on project work which I enjoy both the management aspect and the 'doing'.

I'm thinking about moving into a more focussed project management role soon having recently completed my PRINCE2 foundation and considering self funding the practioner qualification.

Unfortunately the position I'm in is that although I demonstrate most of the key competencies of a proj manager on a daily basis, I haven't got the experience working within a formal PM function which I think is what employers are essentially looking for.

Is the practioner qualification worth doing in my situation? I'm hoping it may make up for the fact that I'm missing dedicated experience working as a PM.

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated from those working in this field. Cheers :)
 
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I never bothered with PRINCE 2 although for a while I thought I should.

What level PM are we talking about? Will you have a budget? More then £5m? Will you ever be dealing with anyone doing the work? Or just with their managers (and manager's managers)?

Just trying to gauge your level that's all ..
 
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At my place the ranking within the PM function is project office, project leader and then project manager, presumably other large companies work on a similar setup. I'd be aiming for a project manager role.

I would be managing all aspects of the project, including the budget. I'd also be working with the individual contributors as well as their managers, also in close contact with the senior manager/directors.

I'm pretty confident I could make a good PM given the opportunity, I'm just lacking the
experience I think to be considered.
 
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From my experience for IT - the below is a general rule :

People doing the work (developers, testers, analysts etc)
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Team lead (in charge of maybe 5-20 of the above)
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IT manager (in charge of maybe 3-10 leads)
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Project Manager (in charge of maybe 6 managers)
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Programme Manager (in charge of maybe 5 project managers)
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Board of directors (in charge of everyone, but perhaps 4-10 programme managers report directly to them)



Which of the above will you most closely represent?
 
Soldato
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)
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IT manager (in charge of maybe 3-10 leads)
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Project Manager (in charge of maybe 6 managers)
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Programme Manager (in charge of maybe 5 project managers)
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Board of directors (in charge of everyone, but perhaps 4-10 programme managers report directly to them)



Which of the above will you most closely represent?

Interesting. Where I work the project managers (I'm one of them) sit below the Programme Manager who sits below the IT Manager.
 
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Interesting. Where I work the project managers (I'm one of them) sit below the Programme Manager who sits below the IT Manager.

Fairy snuff. Where I have worked the 'programme' is described as kind of 'everything that needs to happen to get the thing in place - not just the IT'.


So you may need

1) A new HR department
2) Some IT project to support it
3) A new building procured for them to sit in.


That's the 'programme' that needs to be achieved - hence the programme manager. The IT manager is only interested in (2).

Just different definitions I guess ..
 
Soldato
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Fairy snuff. Where I have worked the 'programme' is described as kind of 'everything that needs to happen to get the thing in place - not just the IT'.


So you may need

1) A new HR department
2) Some IT project to support it
3) A new building procured for them to sit in.


That's the 'programme' that needs to be achieved - hence the programme manager. The IT manager is only interested in (2).

Just different definitions I guess ..

The past couple of places I've worked, I've seen programme offices shut and the workload moves onto the PMs.
 

Ev0

Ev0

Soldato
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Which of the above will you most closely represent?

Well assuming the OP has actually thought about it, which I'm guessing he has, the clue might be in the title :p

I'm guessing project manager, pretty different role to a programme manager.

If it is programme management then the OP might be better off looking at the MSP course/certification over PRINCE2.

Fairy snuff. Where I have worked the 'programme' is described as kind of 'everything that needs to happen to get the thing in place - not just the IT'.

I've always been told a programme is loosely defined as a collection of related projects.

So in the instance of a new HR dept, the implementation of IT would be run as a project under the programme. There will be someone who is overall in charge of the programme, but that's not to say it's a hard reporting line, likely to be a soft one for the duration of the programme.

Also say you have the programme manager in the business running it, they might have a structure like

Business Programme Manager -------- IT Managers
.......................................................|
.......................................................|
...........................IT Programme Manager
......................................|
......................................|
........................IT Project Managers etc etc

The IT manager holds the line management responsibility for the PM, but the PM is carrying out the work underneath the ProgMan. The ProgMan would have gone to the IT Managers saying "as part of my programme we need to do xyz can you provide this service".

The IT Manager is not 'below' the ProgMan, but is able to provide a service to them.

But it does depend on how your business works, my example is from a large utility company and how they work.

Interesting. Where I work the project managers (I'm one of them) sit below the Programme Manager who sits below the IT Manager.

This was how it was where I used to work.

IT manager is top of the dept, he then has a couple of people who would be deamed IT programme managers below him, who in turn have who would be called IT project managers (or delivery leaders as they like to call them) below them, who then have the analysts/devs etc below them.
 
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Soldato
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From my experience for IT - the below is a general rule :

People doing the work (developers, testers, analysts etc)
|
|
Team lead (in charge of maybe 5-20 of the above)
|
|
IT manager (in charge of maybe 3-10 leads)
|
|
Project Manager (in charge of maybe 6 managers)
|
|
Programme Manager (in charge of maybe 5 project managers)
|
|
Board of directors (in charge of everyone, but perhaps 4-10 programme managers report directly to them)



Which of the above will you most closely represent?

No offence but that is rubbish.

The structure of a company and it's IT hierarchy vary wildly.

As for 'not bothering' with PRINCE 2 well trust me, that's not a great idea. PRINCE 2, ITIL and APM will get your CV noticed and are considered the foundation/cornerstone of the PM market place (particularly contractors).

I guess it depends on your level though, if you 'PM' for less than 40k you're probably not that good, a true PM can command £300-500 per day and a 50k+ salary - I know because I used to work in the field.
 
Soldato
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Pretty much all the places i have worked the programme/project are separated from the IT management in terms of reporting lines. The IT manager and his staff may be used as a resource for a project but having a project manager reporting to an IT manager is not something i come across very often, though not saying it doesnt happen in smaller organisations where they cant afford a full Programme/Project function (or where the project is small in scale/budget, has a direct influence on the workload of IT and the IT Managers staff, such as refreshing 100 PC's etc).

A good way of looking at it regarding Programmes and Projects: Programmes deal with outcomes; projects deal with outputs.

A direct quote from the MSP book defines loosely how things should shape up if the company/organisation follow Prince2/MSP in some kind of way (though they do/can tailor a lot of these to suit their needs):

A programme is defined as a temporary, flexible organisation created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organisation’s strategic objectives. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.

A project is also a temporary organisation, usually existing for a much shorter duration, which will deliver one or more outputs in accordance with a specific business case. A particular project may or may not be part of a programme.
 
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As for 'not bothering' with PRINCE 2 well trust me, that's not a great idea. PRINCE 2, ITIL and APM will get your CV noticed and are considered the foundation/cornerstone of the PM market place (particularly contractors).

Speaking sense here. The qualifications will open doors but to succeed you need to appreciate the environment you find yourself working in and right-size the way in which you conduct yourself. Pragmatism is key.
 
Associate
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I think i am going to sign up for the practitioner course, despite the financial outlay it will hopefully assist me in the transition into a PM role.

I know it won't make up for experience (although I have plenty of experience managing smallish service improvement projects, coordinating other technical teams etc), it will give me the formal qualification at least.
 
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