How do I become a Software Project Manager in three years?

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Hi experts, sorry if this post is too novice. I am an Indian presently living in Iran. I am having 2.5 years of experience in JEE technologies and presently I am working on making blueprints and architecture of ERP module. In coming 3 years I want to become a Project Manager in the software field. What are the steps and plans that I should take to achieve my goal?

I have experience of team management and till now the projects I've led are delivered successfully. My main skill set consist of reasoning a problem, communication, and technical perspective. I am neither a very good coder, but nor a bad one. I've analysed myself and found my interest in managing more than architecture or programming.

Moreover its about the scope. Project management scopes comes within the company or outside. The main point of focus for me is to how to build my PM skills? What are the steps I should follow to reach the level to manage projects and what are the points I should consider to analyse my growth?
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Hi Sinha,

Thanks for posting. There are three areas you can concentrate on to reach your goal:
  1. Obtaining a recognised project management qualification
  2. Building project management experience in your current role
  3. Developing relevant soft skills
A project management qualification is a must if you want to break into the profession. There are several to choose from, PRINCE2, CAPM, APMP, etc. Before you decide which to go for, find out which qualifications are valued in your country. What do employers ask for in job adverts?

You have already built some project management experience in your current role. Continue to develop this and include details of projects you've managed in your resume. Remember to say what benefits the projects delivered to the business.

Project management is not just writing plans and managing risks. It requires many soft skills, for example problem-solving, time management, leadership, motivation, negotiation, conflict resolution. Spend time developing these by attending courses, webinars and reading up on the subjects.

When you do get an opportunity, be confident and precise when talking about how you manage projects. Speaking from experience, I like to see that a person can articulate their approach to project management and give me confidence in their ability.

Hope this helps.

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I believe the latter part of Duncan's assessment of the situation is extremely important when it comes to performing in your role as a PM. Whether its your profession, or whether PM is part of a a more diverse role, you are going to need those soft skills to survive and thrive. I'll put it bluntly here, if you are simply not liked as a person or professional then you may well struggle to gain the support of your stakeholders. Its these very stakeholders who you are going to rely on to give you all the required information you need to ensure the project is successful. I've seen this in action twice in the last 5 years. Two guys who were performing PM as part of their role were more or less having to perform all the roles of user and supplier because no one really wanted to do business with them. They both had good written skills, could plan and were financially astute. However their interaction with human beings left a lot to be desired and they more or less ended up isolating themselves. Both ended up being 'moved on'.

I've ended up picking up the pieces for one of them so their loss is very much my gain. However, I'm finding the same stakeholders who he often accused of not being helpful have more more than engaging with me. Smile a lot, stroke a few ego's, get them believing in you, make them feel like they are a major player in the project and you will probably find them going that extra mile for you.

Thats just from experience.
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