Senior Project Manager

The difference between a Project Manager and a Senior Project Manager usually relates to the complexity of project they manage.

More complex projects carry higher levels of risk, are intended to have greater business impact and will usually involve multiple stakeholders. They are too complex to be managed as a whole, and will usually be broken down into sub projects and stages, each with its own manager.

Senior Project Managers sit across this structure, building the governance structure and master plan to manage the intricate set of dependencies. They will be expected to have broad project management experience and a deep understanding and ability to apply available project management standards, tools and techniques in order to achieve this.

Moving up the career ladder, the next step can be to Programme Manager. This is an executive role with the main difference being the programme manager will typically manage a number of projects to achieve an organizational objective. Some Project Managers also choose to move into the organizational governance roles of portfolio management and managing the portfolio, programme or project support office (P3O/PMO).

Typical Tasks

  • Project planning and development of project initiation documentation (PID)
  • Engage, lead and motivate the project team
  • Manage senior stakeholder relationships
  • Manage the level of risk
  • Report project progress
  • Benefits and change management
  • Project closure including the capture of lessons learned.

Potential Next Steps

Programme Manager, Portfolio Manager, PMO Manager.

How to get there 

AXELOS professional certifications are recognized worldwide by employers as an indicator of your skills and commitment as a project professional.

The following certifications are aimed at practising Project Managers and will support your development into more senior project management roles:

PRINCE2® Foundation

  • The characteristics and context of a project and the benefits of adopting PRINCE2
  • The purpose of the PRINCE2 roles, management products and themes
  • The PRINCE2 principles
  • The purpose, objectives and context of the PRINCE2 processes.

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PRINCE2® Practitioner

  • Understand the relationships between the roles, management products, principles, themes, techniques and processes
  • Be able to apply the principles, themes and processes to a project
  • Be able to create and assess management products.

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PRINCE2 Agile®

  • How to tailor PRINCE2 to work in the best way possible in an agile context
  • How to blend and weave the principles, processes and themes of PRINCE2 with common ways of working in an agile way
  • How to configure PRINCE2 and incorporate the agile frameworks, behaviours, concepts and techniques to increase the chances of successful project delivery.

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Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Foundation

  • Distinguish between projects and programmes
  • Explain the benefits of applying the MSP guidance to a programme of transformational change
  • Explain the purpose and areas of focus of the defined roles
  • Explain the purpose of the seven MSP principles, the nine governance themes and the six transformational flow processes
  • Explain the purpose of MSP programme information (documents).

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Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Practitioner

  • Identify additional value as a result of managing the described change as an MSP programme
  • Apply the MSP principles, the governance themes and the transformational flow processes and their activities
  • Explain the relationship between the MSP principles, governance themes, the transformational flow, programme information (documents) and the MSP defined programme management roles
  • Produce and evaluate examples of MSP programme information (documents).

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P3O Foundation

  • High level P3O model and its component offices
  • Differences between Portfolio, Programme and Project Management
  • Key functions and services of a P3O
  • Reasons for establishing a P3O model
  • Differences between types of P3O model and the factors that influence selection of the most appropriate model
  • Processes to implement or re-energize a P3O
  • Tools and techniques used by a P3O
  • Purpose and major responsibilities of the defined roles.

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Management of Risk (M_o_R) Foundation

  • Know the facts, terms, concepts and relationships between the four elements of the M_o_R framework (principles, approach, processes and embedding and reviewing)
  • Understand how the M_o_R principles, approach, and processes are used
  • Be able to identify the M_o_R framework documents and understand their uses and differences.

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Management of Risk (M_o_R) Practitioner

  • Understand the relationships between the four elements of the M_o_R framework
  • Be able to apply the principles, approach, processes and techniques of M_o_R within an organizational environment
  • Be able to create and assess any of the M_o_R framework documents.

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