Project Manager's Plan

Sample Ladder Progression for a Project Manager

As an example of career progression on Construx's professional development ladder, this page outlines the progression of a project manager from Level 10, through Level 11, and to Level 12. The target leadership areas for this engineer are Engineering Management, Requirements, and Quality. The table below shows the requirements for the engineer to achieve Level 12.

CKA Introductory Competence Leadership
Configuration Management sqaure      
Design sqaure   sqaure    
Construction sqaure   sqaure    
Engineering Management sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Process sqaure   sqaure    
Tools and Methods sqaure   sqaure    
Maintenance sqaure      
Quality sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Requirements sqaure   sqaure   sqaure  
Test sqaure   sqaure    
Level 10

The following table outlines the reading, classes, work experience, and so on, that need to be completed for the engineer to progress from Level 9 to Level 10. During this time, the engineer obtains introductory capability in all knowledge areas and competence in engineering management, requirements, and quality

Activity Type
Details
Work Experience
  • Act as a backup project manager on at least one project
  • Participate in the release process of a project
  • Perform personal planning and tracking on a project
  • Lead an estimation activity
  • Proficient with work planning
  • Participate in the review of a project and quality plan
  • Participate in the elicitation and specification of requirements
  • Participate in the creation of a project estimate
  • Participate in a requirements workshop
  • Participate in the creation of requirements artifacts for a significant project
  • Lead a requirements gathering session
  • Create requirements (use cases, user stories, UML models, etc.) for a project
  • Create non-functional requirements
  • Proficient with at least two requirements techniques
  • Participate in the creation of a quality plan
  • Participate in an informal review
  • Participate in an inspection
  • Lead an Agile retrospective
  • Review a project's documentation including the quality plan, test plans, test cases, project plans, schedules, and work breakdown structures
 
Reading
  • Rapid Development, Steve McConnell
  • Collaboration Explained, Jean Tabaka
  • Mastering the Requirements Process, Robertson and Robertson
  • User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn
  • Peer Reviews, Karl Wiegers
 
Training
Level 11

The following table outlines the reading, classes, work experience, and so on, that need to be completed for the engineer to progress from Level 10 to Level 11. During this time, the engineer obtains competence in test, process, and quality along with leadership in engineering management.

Activity Type
Details
Work Experience
  • Act as the project business manager on at least one major project
  • Write at least two project plans 
  • Create a business schedule for a major project
  • Create a detailed schedule for a milestone
  • Create a project charter with a business case
  • Create a top-down project estimate at project inception
  • Create a work plan for a major project
  • Lead issue management for a major project
  • Act as a backup quality lead on at least one project
  • Write one or more test case specification documents on a project
  • Lead system testing for a milestone release
  • Participate in the review of a quality plan, test plan, and test cases
 
Reading
  • Agile Software Development, Alistair Cockburn
  • Balancing Agility with Discipline, Boehm and Turner
  • Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects, DeMarco and Lister
  • The Art of Software Management, Scott Berkun
  • Black-Box Testing, Boris Beizer
  • Agile Testing, Crispin and Gregory
 
Training
Level 12

The following table outlines the reading, classes, work experience, and so on, that need to be completed for the engineer to progress from Level 11 to Level 12. During this time, the engineer obtains competence in construction and design along with leadership in requirements and quality.

Activity Type
Details
Work Experience
  • Act as the requirements lead on at least one major project
  • Write at least two requirements specifications
  • Create UML and collaboration diagram requirements
  • Create user stories with acceptance criteria
  • Participate in the creation of a low-fi user interface
  • Facilitate a requirements workshop
  • Act as the quality lead on at least one major project
  • Write a quality plan
  • Lead six formal inspections of different types of artifacts
  • Lead a root-cause analysis effort
  • Lead defect management for a significant project
  • Leadin a project audit
  • Lead a root cause analysis effort
  • Participate in a code review
  • Participate in a design review
 
Reading
  • Agile Modeling, Scott Adams
  • Requirements by Collaboration: Workshops for Defining Needs, Ellen Gottesdiener
  • Managing Software Requirements, Dean Leffingwell
  • Writing Effective Use Cases, Alistair Cockburn
  • The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations, Domer Dietrich
  • Agile Retrospectives, Derby and Larsen
  • Code Complete 2nd Edition, Steve McConnell
  • Applying UML & Patterns 2nd Ed, Craig Larman
 
Training