= About to go into software Technical PM position from Construction and Manufacturing background. Any advise to get as ready as I can within the 2 weeks? =

Hey all! 9 year PM in Manufacturing and Construction here. Excited to say I am now a signature away from landing a Technical PM job at a local software startup. Very fortunate that my past practical industry specialty is a bit related, and my future boss (co-founder of the company) is willing to give me a chance and guidance, while totally aware of my lack of software experience

I really really treasure this opportunity as I have been looking for this switch for a long time. Any advices on what I may need to polish up ASAP during the period of my 2 weeks notice if I come from the mainly waterfall, conventional industry to setup a successful transition?
From conversations, he mentioned to eventually gain experience reading and reviewing code (Python, product has a machine learning aspect), and be more working literate with ASANA (only played around as a learning experience, no application so far) so I will definitely start to focus on those two aspects. Any other expectations I may not be aware of that I should prep on?
Thanks in advance guys!

Other people will have higher level and better advice than this but here's my two cents. You don't need to know how to code, but I would at least familiarize yourself with it in your spare time. Not a big deal, but might help you understand time tables a little better or to understand obstacles that may come up a little better, that sort of thing

But congratulations! I envy you a bit. I have been trying to make the switch in the opposite direction. Been real tough finding someone who will give me an even entry level chance in construction PM or PC roles

Coming from my experience it could be even a bit harder the other way around as construction is a much heavier experience-based traditional industry. Entry level positions are filled mostly by new grads with low salary expectations

What you could try though, focus on local land developers who look for certain degree of digital transformations, or architectural firms that have a higher regard to technical talent. Contractors are a different. Use your advantages wisely! They lack your knowledge too. You just need to find a company that is looking for it

Good luck with the search!
Can I ask how you expect this change to affect your salary and benefits? Why exactly were you eager to make the switch? PMP or any other certs? I have a similar amount of experience in construction PM and am putting serious thought into how I can further my career. Thanks

Curious, what exactly are going to be doing? Are you going to lead software implementation teams? Are you going to lead developers? What methodology is the company to develop its software?
From conversation it's mostly developers. We get a road map from product team and we work to make it work or communicate roadblocks that could make it difficult. Sometimes the work could be an algorithm for the analysis of a product feasibility internally as well

The biggest difference you will experience is speed. On the altar of speed and agility you will end up having to know when to sacrifice process and tools richness. Projects are projects, what vary by industry is the set of expectations and rituals around them. Software startups focus on speed of the execution and time to market. Also, often there is a try-and-repeat process to understand what the product really ought to be. All this will be new. Expect it and embrace it

Thanks for the input! I'll keep the tempo up! By tools and processes do you mean them in a PMP terminology or actual tools and processes in software development?
What philosophy will your dev team be following? I don't know much about construction or manufacturing but my impression is that those industries tend to be more waterfall and less agile. Software is more agile and it can take a lot to adjust to always managing unknowns and having to adjust plans as requirements and priorities can shift

Someone recommended The Phoenix Project to me and it was a good story that helped me better understand how my team saw things. I’m sure it’s old and the IT PMs here might scoff, but it was pretty good. It’s a quick read too

I did the same a while ago as I moved from managing construction projects to managing operations then tech projects focused on monetary systems. I won’t say the transition was smooth and without hiccups however construction has provided me already with a deep knowledge of processes management in addition to developing my skills of stakeholders engagement, communication, problem solving etc… It’s true that in construction the waterfall approach is dominant however many agile concepts are valid especially if you were involved in the development of design and design (and probably 3Ds) which based on iterative approach during which you build the design based on the interaction with the client and the different key stakeholders etc… You said that you have a an experience in manufacturing, this tells me that you have a knowledge of processes management, QC and QA, process mapping and so on. Believe it or not your knowledge of Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, Kanban, 5s etc in will help you a lot with your transition. Don’t be scared at all, take it as an adventure during which you’ll learn new things not only about software development but also your limits and how you can be better project manager that can deliver any type of projects in any industry. If I’m you, I would familiarize myself with Agile methodology and scrum as a start and keep in mind that you can’t avoid those moment of pressure where you don’t have a full understanding of everything, however focus on building a good report with the team and book them from time to time for some side conversations to ask questions and clarify things. Take it easy and enjoy challenging yourself! It’s worth it

Believe it or not, knowledge of manufacturing is extremely portable to software delivery. The key is understanding the full process flow of what needs to be delivered. JUST LIKE in manufacturing, understand who owns each step in the flow, and who they will be representing them in the project team

Also understand that you do not know everything, but you do need to know how to get to the people who do. Yesunderstand the technology (hardware and software) but the organizational and communication/negotiation skills you learned while manufacturing PM will work well for you in IT PM. Good luck
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