Spreading The YPM Virus
My colleagues are eager to get infected and the virus is spreading amongst our clients. That’s why I’m writing this post. To explain to them what it’s all about. To prepare them for the challenges to come. And to inform whomever is interested in what it’s like to be a Young Project Manager (YPM).
Where It All Started For Me
Hi, I’m Steven. Two years ago, I started my career at Threon, during which I worked as a Project Support Officer (PSO) and as a Junior Consultant at diverse companies. As a PSO I provided operational support to project managers and the project management office (PMO). And as a junior consultant I developed, documented and rolled out project, program and portfolio processes in organizations. Hanging out with top nodge project managers the past two years was an eye-opening experience. I learned from the best and I saw from the front row what it takes to be one! Becoming a YPM was the logical next step in my career.
My Job Right Now As a YPM
Currently I'm working as a Young Project Manager (YPM) for Alpha Card. As a YPM, I'm responsible for managing less complex, lower priority projects from A to Z. In other words, projects which can get lost out of sight easily, but that are still of vital importance to an organization.
My biggest challenge was to gain the trust and support of the organization's employees. That's why, in pursuit of delivering on the YPM promise, I aim for full transparency in the projects that I manage: providing efficient and proactive reporting flows to all levels within the organization.
On a daily basis, I make sure all risks and issues are identified and monitored. But most importantly, I make sure that they are tackled. This enables the management of Alpha Card to make proactive decisions that are in the best interest of the company and of the employees.
Because I'm the project manager, I'm obviously the go-to person for all questions regarding project progress, so I make sure I’m prepared to answer all kind of questions. Even before people ask them. I aim to be as proactive and anticipative as possible. But I don't believe in the power of crystal balls, so if I don't have the answer, I look for answers and solutions together with the team.
Why I'm Happy to be a Young Project Manager?
Having gained experience as a PSO and junior consultant for two years, I felt it was time to spread my wings. I'm result-driven, I love challenging projects and I wanted to be fully responsible for my results. But most of all, I love working with people. Working together as a team towards a common goal gives me energy. This is exactly what the YPM role is all about.
Although I’m in charge of my own work, I have a network of experienced colleagues to rely on. In my opinion nobody can unlock their full potential without the right guidance. That’s where the “Threon Machinery” comes into the picture. Threon invests a lot in mentoring and coaching. Even at the customer I can rely on a senior colleague who drops in regularly and provides me with feedback and practical insights. When more specific knowledge is needed, my other colleagues, each with their own expertise, are just a call, chat window or email away.
In short: I’m able to fully develop my potential since I’ve been given the freedom to manage my own projects, but still have a safety net when needed. Just what I need in this stage of my professional life.
Why My Sponsor Chose a YPM?
This is what Darren Hart (my Sponsor at Alpha Card) had to say:
"The projects we needed support for were relatively small. So they didn’t require heavy hitting project management. The YPM-solution made sense both from a capacity and a cost perspective. Previous experience also shows that young, keen project managers are a very good option for delivering the kind of projects we are currently executing. – So far, I’ve been very impressed. The quality of Steven’s work is high and he always delivers on time or faster than expected. His clear communication style is also great. Steven’s Threon coach has clearly been supporting him, giving him feedback when needed. So Threon is living up to its promises.”
Interesting reads for YPM'ers
Thinking of becoming a YPM? Or maybe you are a YPM? Check out these articles:
- PMI: ‘Earning respect as young project manager’
- PMI: ‘The young project manager’
- True Solutions Inc: ‘10 common mistakes that young or inexperienced project managers make’
- The Project Manager Network: ‘How much does or should the age of a Project Manager matter’
- AllPM.com: ‘Twenty Common Mistakes Made by New or Inexperienced Project Managers’