Explain How To Break Into Project Management

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How to break into Project Management http://it.toolbox.com/wiki/index.php/How_to_break_into_Project_Management updated Mar 12, 2011 10:11 am | 12,256 views
Contents [Hide TOC] * 1 Introduction * 2 Certified Associate in Project Management * 3 Start Compiling a Portfolio of PM Related Work * 4 Manage a Project Voluntarily * 5 If You are a Recent Grad, Join a Big-5 "consulting" Firm * 6 Understand the Difference Between General Management and Project Management * 7 Suggested Reading Material
There are many ways to break into project management. This WIKI will cover several of them.
First, there are some basic things you need to understand if you are interested in pursuing a career in project management:
It's important to understand that Project Management is not "common sense."
Of course, this is not to say that you should leave common sense at the door when you enter the office. However, there is much more to sound project management than your "gut feeling" or intuition. The protocols and methods for successful project management are not something that are self-evident. It's a discipline based on both the experience (and lessons learned) of project managers in the past as well as on sound research and empirical scrutiny.
Project managers are not the same as functional managers.
MS-Project plans (and Gantt charts in general) are not project plans.
Project life cycle (PMLC) is not the same as the product management lifecycle (e.g., SDLC in the I.T. domain).
Supervisors and "project coordinators" are not project managers. A construction site foreman or an I.T. technical lead are merely supervising people. They are not managing projects.
Not all project managers have "Project Manager" as their title. At the same time, simply having a title of "Project Manager" doesn't necessarily mean that you are performing in a true project manager role.
Certified Associate in Project Management
If you have enough educational credits and at least 1,500 hours of documented experience working as a project team member or team lead, you may want to take the Certified Associate in Project Management exam from the Project Management Institute. If passed, this specialized certificate could help you to move into a project management position.
The CAPM credential is for team members and entry-level project managers who wish to certify their mastery of PM concepts. * It is based on The Guide to the PMBOK only * Previous PM experience not required * The certification is good for 5 years
CAPM is appropriate for: * Project team members and project support staff * Entry-level project management practitioners (0 - 3 years PM experience) * Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels
The CAPM credential shows employers and clients that you understand the project environment and basic PM concepts as well as familiarity with the Project Management Body of Knowledge and PMI methodologies.
Some important notes: * PMI certifictions (such as CAPM, PMP, PgMP) are professional certifications, not I.T. certifications. * Understand the difference between the CAPM and PMP certifications: * The PMP credential is not for people who wish to move into a PM role. It is for people who already are project managers. The credential certifies that you an experiencedproject management professional with a minimum of 3 years documented experience and have met certain educational requirements. PMI conducts audits to verify the experience and education of PMP candidates. In order to maintain their credential, holders of the PMP credential must maintain 60 professional development units (PDUs) during each three year renewal cycle. Among the ways to earn these PDUs are: publishing articles, completing project management courses, attending PMI meetings and events, teaching or giving PM-related presentations, self-study, volunteering at PMI or PMI chapters, and