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Wanna Be a Project Manager?

Page 3 — Right Job for You?

Consider the pros and cons before you take on a project management job. It's stressful work, but can also be very rewarding. You'll have to deal with tasks that appear to have nothing to do with building an actual website: living up to your boss's expectations, managing a team, vying for resources, and dealing with criticism and politics.


The factor that will most motivate you to better manage a project is accountability. Being a project manager means being accountable for everything from engineering to design to production. If a deadline is missed, or some work is done poorly, it's on your head. If you didn't account for all the stages and the project takes twice as long and costs twice as much, they are going to blame you. This will motivate you to stay on top of the schedule and the people doing the work.

If you procrastinate don't even bother trying to be a project manager. Everything everyone else does is dependent on you making decisions, and getting others to make decisions.

Of course, accountability can be taken too far. I worked at an e-commerce site during its first launch. They hired a San Francisco Web development company to do the bulk of the site’s production and design under brutal deadlines and were quickly on their third production manager (the first two quit).

Project Manager No. 3 tried to impress the management by promising to be available 24/7 . He gave us his office, page, cell, and home phone numbers so we could ask him anything at any time. This was not a good idea and soon he stopped answering his phones altogether and was barely accessible via e-mail. The key is to schedule and set boundaries so you don't need to be accessible 24/7.

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