From being a Tester to a Developer then to a service support engineer, I am now responsible for program coordination and resource management (Yes it is a big shift), along with some Project management tasks, which is the long term goal for all this, It seems that my mindset has to be completely different to how I go about doing my job than I would previously do.

Im still on my part-time MBA, which I started a year ago, although my time has become even limited than it was before, there's just not enough time for anything as there's so much to do.

Has anyone here ever switched from an Engineering role to PM?, if so how did you find it and how long did it take for you to get things under control?, I also find that you have to be more punctual than usual, it's really changing the way I think about most things in life, at a more higher level top general view with no detail..

Is it just me?

  • 1
    Hi I AM L, I believe that your question, as it stands now, seems too-broad and also open to some pulling (as it's asking for perceptions rather than objective answers). Please review our faq and How to Ask and then review your question again. Hope it helps. Cheers!
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


This sounds pretty normal. You have moved from a position where someone told you both what and the scope of what you were doing to a position where you have to decide those things for your self. It's not easy. I'm an industrial engineer who moved from a consulting firm to a production management position with a startup. I went from being handed projects to handing out projects. A few lessons:

  1. Never hand someone something you are not willing to do. You can give them something you don't have the skills or the time to do but hand off stuff because it's not fun or unpleasant.
  2. Protect the folks below you in front of the folks above you. If there is a success, give the props to your team. If there is a problem, you should be the person listening and internalizing the problem and then passing it on to your team.
  3. You main job is not to do the work. You main job is to make sure the work gets done. This means checking to see if anyone elsewhere in the company is blocking your team and solving that problem. Check if anyone in your team is holding up work elsewhere. Make sure people are aware of the roadmap.
  4. Most important, listen quietly and fully. Bite your tounge and want for the other person to finish speaking. when they've finished, if you need to convey their message to someone else in the company (representing them), repeat what they told you back in your own words and ask them if they feel you fully understood them.

Best of luck.


Been there, done that; developer to PM.

I found that the biggest shift is: not getting involved in the implementation.

Your aim now is to keep the project on track. You don't own the pieces and you shouldn't really care who does what and how, as long as it's per schedule and per spec.

The exception would be while you're participating in technical-design meetings in your areas of expertise. But even then, your main role there should be to move the meeting along and record the decisions.

Make sure you have a clear list of what needs to be done and when and by whom, and that you understand each item. Check the entire list twice daily. It's the small things that everybody forgot about that throws projects off schedule.

And a PjM should never help with the implementation. My PjM mentor - an IBM-taught fellow - taught me the rule that a PM never does anything. As tempting as it is to do small tasks instead of assigning and tracking them, you cannot afford to be distracted. You need to be focused on the task-list all the time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.