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Is project management an accidental profession?

Can we say that project management is an accidental profession, as most project managers become what they are by accident? (for example, a small company needs a project manager and so they pick, from their staff, the person with the skills that are very close to those of a PM and actually make him a PM)

And if the answer is yes, then doesn't this mean that project management is not really a profession, since 99% of those working in all other professions were not there by accident?
asked 11 years ago by anonymous

2 Answers

I think the term "accidental project manager" is overrated in this day and age. Many project managers are now hired from outside (because they have project management experience), and are not promoted from within.

The way someone becomes a project manager right now is no longer an accident, it's because that someone wants to be a PM. You have no idea how hot the question "How to be a project manager is?" these days. That means many people actually want to become Project Managers.

So yes, there are still some accidental project managers, probably more than other professions, but that doesn't mean that project management is an accidental profession, nor does it mean that project management is not a profession...
answered 11 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)
Whether or not you are there by accident or not is NOT one of the measures of a profession.  The criteria include having a body of knowledge, being self governing, having a certification or knowledge test, etc.  Project Management actually meets 99% and the gap is closing every day.

Yes, some are accidental project managers.  I have not seen a percentage.  I am not one of them and specifically discussed a PM position as part of my annual appraisal.  I believed it would be (and it was) a stepping stone to management.
answered 11 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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