Tag Archives: project manager

Dear projects executives, how can we help you?

I am writing this post, including some personal background information. I write to the attention of senior executives in organizations that are leading large projects, capital projects, and mega projects. You are my audience if you are an executive in what we call project owner organization. These include government, semi-gov, and private. Your projects could be oil & gas, petrochemical, unities, transportation, power generation, solar projects, real estate development, or similar. Do you need to build your project management function?

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Does the role of project manager vary from one context to another?

We often see posts that tell us about the role of project manager, with a list of responsibilities. These posts often appear to be by “experts” and the content is presented with certainty. In other words, the post might be erroneous or present the role from a narrow perspective, yet it is presented as THE ROLE of project manager.

There is about 1 hour of content here, so if you are a PMP, you could claim 1 PDU for listening in.


Agile Project Management, Agile Project Manager, Project Leader

I guess it is clear from our introduction that the role of a PM is not fixed. It varies from one context to another. In this article, we share five videos related to this topic.


Role of Project Manager

OK, the role of PM does vary from one context to another. However, are there some general guidelines?

In theory, a project manager is the one who manages a project. However, in practice, the answer to the question: what is the role of project manager (and his/her responsibilities) is it depends on numerous other factors. In this first video, the longest; about 26 min we cover the topic in general.

Do project owners still need a project manager in BOT situations?

Continuing from the first video, this second video address a specific question, which is: do project owners’ organizations still need a PM in a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) situations? The idea is since the BOT company is paying for project and will manage it, would the “utility” or government entity (or others) that is giving out the BOT contract still need to manage? Listen; this is a shorter video.

Project Manager Competence

How can we link project manager competence to project classification? In other words, how can we determine the type or size of a project that a given project manager can manage? OK still not clear, let us say we have a PM with less than 5 years of experience, can this PM manage a large and complex project?

In this third video, we address this question and link it to professional certifications, such as those from IPMA. IPMA focuses on project management competence and their certifications link to the project manager competence.

Do we need project managers or project leaders?

Here we address a highly popular topic, which is to address one of the common misunderstanding on the topic of leader versus manager, then we link this to project management and managing a project.

OK, then, for managing a project, do we need a project manager or a project leader? The answer is in the next video.

Is the project manager doing all PM work?

We close this series with this question:

Is the project manager doing all PM work or are there others to help?

The reason for this video is that many of the posts on PM, even when reading the PMBOK Guide, or preparing for the PMP exam, one can be led to believe that the PM is the one doing everything. Well, maybe in those tiny projects. Other than micro projects, the PM cannot do all of the work. Listen to see if you agree with our views or you think we are wrong.

Closing Remarks

What do you think? What did you like or don’t like?

Are there any topics you would like to address?

Agile Project Management, Mythical Hero

Are we killing the mythical hero, the Agile Project Manager?

In recent weeks, I have been trying not to comment on Agile Project Management and Agile Project Manager topics, on LinkedIn and other social media sites. I have been successful in avoiding these discussions, well, most of the time. But  Continue reading

De Bono Six Hats

Are projects done in a vacuum?

In numerous discussions online, even in guides like the PMBOK Guide, there is so much focus on the project rather than the organization and on the project manager rather than organizational project management.

What I mean is Continue reading

Where is the Beef – sorry Agile in PMBOK Guide? PGR3

We have been hearing about the #PMBOK Guide going Agile for a year now; or more. However, now the new #PMBOK Guide is out, where is #Agile?

This question reminds me of an old Wendy’s commercial about “where is the beef?” Continue reading

A personal post, Mounir Ajam Career Path

I hope this post will not be misunderstood and taken for what it is – sharing a personal career path that started in 1984 in engineering and shifted to project management in 1990 and continuing to today. This is a sample career path and we hope it will inspire others to lead.

النسخة العربية

English Version

Is project management for engineers only?

Is project management for engineers only?

Is it for engineering and construction projects only?

Or, is it for all aspects of life?

Here is the video.

What a 20-year difference will do to the PMP certificate

In the last article, we wrote about the PMP and if the PMP exam represents the real world.

Then, a post on LinkedIn triggered this post where a person posted his newly achieved certificate claiming that he is now “A Certified Project Manager.” A quick look at his profile on LinkedIn shows that this is a young professional, 3-year out of college, and his experience has been pure engineering; technical roles, not a project management role.

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PM Jack of All Trades

What is the ONE thing you need to manage projects? There is not one!

In a recent article, we discussed if the project manager the jack-of-all-trades and the master of NONE. That discussion was due to the numerous online discussions and even publications by “leading” project management associations that cannot make up their mind on what the role of the project manager is.

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Looking for creating a project management culture

Is the Project Manager the jack-of-all-trades?

Did some of the project management associations and organizations screw up the role of the project manager?

Are they (or some of them) making the role of the project manager as the jack-of-all-trades and the master of none?

Or, are some of these organizations confused about the role of the project manager and cannot make up their mind of what this role is about. Continue reading