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Why Did I Become a Software Development Project Manager? – Manoj Kumar Sharma

Manoj Kumar Sharma is a member of the ProjectManagers.Org community. He shares his story on why he became a Software Development Project Manager in the following interview:

Why did you become a Software Development Project Manager?

I did PMP certification in year 2012 and was looking for a job which can utilize my Project management skills. Once I received PMP in good standing, I received offer from my previous company and thereon become a Project manager to actively learn and implement Project management concepts.

 What work were you doing previously?

Before Project manager, I was Business Analyst and worked on various domains like ERP, Egovernance, Utility domain, Insurance domain, Education domain & Healthcare domain.

What are you doing now?

My current role is Project manager. I am managing different projects like ERP and Ecommerce.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

My earlier assignments were managing Support projects. Later on I changed my mind and started looking for managing development projects. Development projects are more challenging and gives you more exposure towards project management life cycle.

 Are you happy with the change?

Yes.

 What do you miss and what don’t you miss?

I certainly miss a Project Organizational structure & task ownership over here. I liked liberty to take Project decisions over here.

How did you go about making this career move?

Jewerly Industry is a new industry to work and I took this as a challenge and thrived while working and gaining experience as Project Manager.

What didn’t go well? What ‘wrong turns’ did you take?

I always focus on deadlines first and stakeholder expectations second. If you are losing your stakeholders expectations, it may backfire you. I learned over here how to survive and excel these things.

How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?

We are doing In-house software developments for Jewelry e-retail business and manufacturing. So if you justify the ROI, money is not a problem.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

When you change role into any management position, the people working for you expect that you know all the Project management concepts. Though I was PMP certified  still implementing Project management concepts in a Non-IT company and to a niche Jewelry domain was always a challenge.

If you make mistakes people will doubt about your credential. So I was cautious to talk about these Project management concepts to right set of people, as everybody will not understand PMBOK concepts, side by side you need to gain practical exposure also by using Project management concepts in your project.

What were other difficulties and how did you overcome them?

If you are updating your project schedule on regular basis and managing unknown risks, then certainly you are using your project management knowledge.

 What help did you get?

I always got help from my CIO & PMO to implement process improvement steps within the organization. I also took some initiatives like implementing project tracking tool, to give better project status to senior management.

What have you learnt in the process?

I learned that if you are leading something in the project from the start, so even if you pass the baton to somebody, you always need to on top of that. So that your team members can always get help from you. This way you will always monitor the progress effectively.

 What do you wish you’d done differently?

I would have implemented Agile scrum in some of my projects, so my team members could benefited and can really understand the Agile concepts. People talk about  agile a lot, they read a lot about agile, but when it comes to implementing agile they do not justify their learning and implementing agile.

What would you advise others to do in the same situation?

Agile is a mindset, so you first need to change your mindset. Be ready for the challenges. You will be able to implement agile when your team take the ownership and team is committed. If your team is missing these qualities then you are putting Agile label and selling Waterfall.

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