Since publishing this blog, I've received numerous messages asking how a person can break into project management. There are many answers to this question, but at a basic level, there are some fundamental requirements that need to be met. I will outline some core considerations in this entry.
- Know what you're getting into: Before you commit to becoming a Project Manager, it's important that you understand the role and its responsibilities. Project management is not simply about administration. It is about planning and detail, communication and leadership, problem solving and contingency planning, mitigating risk and absolute perseverance. Project Management is a dynamic, intensive, and challenging career choice, so the decision to pursue it should not be taken lightly. It can represent a lifelong career with substantial responsibility, but equal reward, so before you commit to it, do your research!
- Understand the medium: If you are planning on pursuing interactive project management, you must be familiar with the online medium and have an understanding of the production lifecycle. This knowledge could be gained through exposure by working in an agency setting, through education in a multimedia program, or through self-learning, although this option will not provide any practical experience. I've seen people approach this job from all angles, and without a doubt, a combination of targeted education, coupled with agency experience, will provide the best foundation for a serious career in interactive project management.
- The straight goods on certification: So many newcomers to project management strive for PMP (Professional Project Manager) accreditation. This, alone, will not prepare you for the job, but once you have gained the minimum experience required to take the exam, certification will give you well-rounded credentials and a very solid foundation. There are requirements that must be met before you can take the final test which you should be aware of - details can be found here.
Like any other profession, particular people will be better suited to a life of project management than others. The best advice I can offer is to understand the day to day requirements of the job and the lifecycle of web development before pursuing this path. Do some research, look into educational options, review project management job postings and talk to people in the industry. For the right person, a career in project management will bring much satisfaction and security.