Can we all stop calling ourselves project managers? Please?

Seriously, the term has become so overused that it no longer means anything. Everyone describes themselves as a project manager, but no one knows what it really means.

In a world where everything is a “project”, whether it lasts one day or one year, everyone is a project manager. But let’s be realistic, people.

Arguably, the majority of things I do are projects. I write over a hundred individual proposals at my architecture firm over the course of a year. I write between 40-50 car articles in that same period. I organize and host Battle of the Bards 6-8 times a year. During university, I organized field trips for the Warriors Band to Montreal and Halifax. And yes, right now I’m coordinating the Schools Challenge for the City of Waterloo, which is a large “project” that requires me to create and distribute materials; liaise with people at the City, school boards, media, and otherwise; and manage a budget. I also look after various aspects of the Robin in the Hood festival, including some rehearsals and much of the set construction.

THIS DOES NOT ALL MAKE ME A PROJECT MANAGER. Well, maybe the Schools Challenge stuff does, but I don’t count the other stuff.

I’ll stop there. Sorry for the griping. Suffice to say that I’m tired of hearing everyone claim to be a project manager.

When you’re a truly “qualified” project manager, you’ll know it. More importantly, so will the people around you.



  1. So what, in your estimation, “qualifies” (and may I say that I hate that you’ve used quotation marks to emphasize something) someone as a project manager.

  2. Yeah, I hate myself for that too, but whatever. I was in the moment.

    I can’t identify the specific components that qualify someone to be a project manager…I’ve just come across too many instances of people saying that they’re project managers and not having the expertise or experience to back it up. They do it to impress people, and all they end up doing is watering down the term.

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