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The Accidental Project Manager: A Risk or an Possibility?

Excellent Working day All

Are you an accidental project manager?

We hope that no just one get offended by this phrase considering the fact that the use of this phrase in our see is not offensive at all, rather it displays a frequent reality. Nonetheless, in circumstance any one object to the phrase, we certainly apologize in progress and humbly question you to study on and you could possibly find out that our intentions are excellent-hearted.


So what is the accidental project manager? Is it another person who is clumsy and stumbles into also many incidents? Absolutely not!

It is a phrase that somewhat frequent to use. It ordinarily refers to a qualified who is educated, skilled, and training in just one operate or area, these kinds of as: engineering, programming, marketing, human means, finance, standard enterprise, artwork, and health care, between many other fields. This qualified, at just one time or one more, is tasked with running a project connected to their operate or department, these kinds of as an engineering connected project, studying and development project, a media project, or any other project. Now, the challenge is that additional often than none, this qualified could possibly not have any practical experience or education or training in project management however they are however requested to take care of a project.

In other words and phrases, the qualified is accidentally, or by opportunity/coincidence, get to take care of a project although that was not possible a desired occupation selection. Running the project can be on a element-time or comprehensive-time foundation. After the project is total, the qualified resume his or her usual functional obligations and possibly by no means take care of a project once more.

The Possibility

For many experts the over carry about a terrific opportunity. An opportunity to get on a new challenge, and purchase new and really precious capabilities management capabilities. These capabilities are in need in present-day financial state and everyday living and are transferable to many domains, including running own non-perform initiatives.

If the particular person does a excellent career in running the initially project, she/he could possibly be offered an opportunity to take care of one more, and one more, and possibly shift entirely into project management and come to be a occupation project manager. A occupation PM is another person who chose project management as a occupation selection and shifted from no matter what occupation they have been in prior to. The changeover could possibly not be straightforward but would be very satisfying.

The Threats

The danger to the qualified and the organization is that the accidental PM could possibly not be all set to take care of a project and as a outcome they could possibly not do perfectly on the initially project. If the project has a important diploma of complexity, then the project could possibly even are unsuccessful and we are possible to blame the project manager. Could this be the mistake of the accidental PM? In essence, the qualified is offered a new “challenge” as the boss could possibly have explained, however this qualified who is offered the challenge could possibly not have the traits that is needed for a excellent occupation project manager. Even further, this particular person could possibly not have been offered the needed education or know how to take care of the jobs and would not be good to blame her/him.

For that reason, the danger in this circumstance is double edge: on the own areas, the accidental project manager is possible to really feel accountable for the failure and this circumstance could possibly harm them professionally and personally. In some situations the consequences could be intense and harmful to the person’s occupation. The other aspect for this circumstance is the organizational aspect. Here we have a unsuccessful project with price and plan influence – at least. If the project is for a consumer, the harm could be important.

In brief, all associated eliminate in this state of affairs.

The Remedy

Just one alternative is to have all project supervisors educated and educated in project management but we do not feel this is needed for all form of jobs. For significant money financial investment jobs, and jobs that are really essential for an organization we need to have the needed preparation prior to we should put a project manager in demand.

Nonetheless, many jobs, specially individuals in our working day-to-working day everyday living and enterprise, can be managed efficiently with accidental project supervisors with some preparation. But we should not toss the particular person into the ocean and assume them to access the shores safely and securely if they do not know how to swim. We need to have to instruct them the needed to endure, possibly in a massive pool and not the ocean for the ocean we need to have an skilled swimmer.

How can we do that? Have the qualified functions on jobs to see what it is like. Deliver some basic project management studying options. Have the particular person perform as an assistant project manager underneath the supervision of a additional skilled qualified. All of these steps will boost the opportunity of success and minimize the opportunity of failure. This way, we would have efficiently managed the risk of the accidental project manager and the qualified gain new capabilities whilst the organization enjoys the advantages of a new service or item.

For all experts out in the entire world, welcome the opportunity to take care of a project and it may well adjust your everyday living. If the organization offers you the process devoid of getting you all set, prepare on your own – search for the new expertise and ideal of all understand how to implement it.

We desire you an pleasing and remarkable journey of studying and growth.

By the way, the writer commenced his occupation as an engineer and then moved to jobs.


About Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff are the volunteer members behing the Troubled Projects SIG publication. It is formed by top referent experts globally recognized. The Editorial Staff directs and performs quality control and assurance in all the articles published.