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Managing Projects

a decade of figuring it out

Project Management is a funny thing.

Some Background

I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 2013 with a plan to become a professional designer like I’d done on a number of internships throughout my schooling, but was granted an opportunity to work as a Field Engineer for a construction company right after graduation.

“Great!” I thought. “I’ll work in construction for a couple of years to learn how things get built so I can become an even better designer.”

Except something happened. I loved construction. And I loved project management. 

The fast-paced environment of construction project management was a completely different world than the thoughtful, meticulous design offices I’d worked in before.

Don’t get me wrong, my engineering degree was definitely useful for providing context to the projects I was helping build, but most of the skills I needed in the field were missing from my post-secondary education. 

I spent 5 years in school learning mechanics, statics, and dynamics. 

Now I was scheduling, budgeting, and managing.

The company I worked for offered basic on-site training, but most of what I learned I was picking up on the go. I made a lot of mistakes. I felt constantly overwhelmed. I often had so much to do without knowing which task to do next. I didn’t have any idea what I should be doing.

There was this unspoken assumption that one becomes a good project manager by osmosis.

“Hang around other project managers and you’ll get the hang of it.” 

But that didn’t cut it for me. How did I know if the guys I worked for even knew what they were doing? Was there way the best way? I set out on my own.

I took a 2-month course in scheduling, I developed complex spreadsheets to manage costs, I read dozens of books, and consumed hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours of content on the subject of project management. I developed my own process for managing all the finer details of project management.

After a decade in the industry, I’ve had the opportunity to meet project managers from all different disciplines and industries. As it turns out, my experience isn’t all that unique. 

Most project managers I’ve met have backgrounds in subjects other than project management. They got a job in a field related to their area of study, only to find themselves in a project management position with little-to-no training.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Which is why Project Manager Factory was developed:

A place where young professionals new to project management can develop the skills they need to accelerate their careers and become confident, industry-leading performers.

You should always be learning and growing in life but you shouldn’t need 10 years to feel comfortable in your position. 

Bryan green, p.eng, pmp