Project Management Q&A: How to Step Up from a Support Role

I’m looking to move from my role as a Business Analyst into a Project Manager role, do you have any advice on how to go about doing this?

You’re almost there with your experience of working at the front end of projects and no doubt you’re already skilled working with customers; understanding the requirements; au fait with the project management processes and so on.

You may find it easier to make the transition by opting for a combined BA/PM role which lots of organisations already look for. With this approach make sure your resume clearly shows evidence of both roles and be prepared for interview questions which will also probe both roles.

To feel more prepared for the project manager role it will be useful for you to understand where there may be gaps in your knowledge and experience. A good place to start is picking up the competency framework for project management (The Project Manager Competency Development (PMCD) Framework from PMI) and completing an assessment. Carrying this out will highlight your strengths and weaknesses.

With your weaknesses, you’ll certainly benefit from getting up to speed on your project management knowledge so take a look at the training options available to you such as the PMP. You may also want to go further and look at newer developments such as Agile approaches too.

You may find that the project manager role may differ in two main areas from the project manager one – the level of responsibility and the amount of team management and leadership you’re performing.

With the level of responsibility, it’s also about taking control of the entire project lifecycle so you’ll need to gain this experience too. With the people management side of things, it’s always a work in progress – regardless of how experienced you are as a Project Manager. Make sure you invest in lots of professional development because it can never be enough when it comes to managing people!

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