Transforming New PMs: Quick, Relevant Experience

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Project management is a discipline that is more dependent on experience than most other roles in an organization. While there is a lot of training available, it’s the application of that training that builds capability. That requires people to actually lead projects in real world situations—applying their skills, working with teams and dealing with the challenges and frustrations that are a part of any project.

For project managers. that is inevitably going to be a frustrating and stressful experience at times; but any PM will tell you that the lessons they learned on their first few projects have been invaluable as they have grown and developed their career.

Organizations therefore need to get new project managers as much relevant experience as quickly as they can—that’s the only way to improve organizational project delivery capability. But how do they do that? How do organizations get rid of inexperienced PMs by creating a development path that turns them into valuable, experienced members of the project delivery function while still ensuring the organization delivers successful projects consistently?

The right raw material
The first step is to ensure they have the right people in project management roles. Sure, anyone can go through project management training and gain the foundational skills required, but that doesn’t mean anyone can…

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