Project Management

Not All New Project Managers Are Created Equal

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

One of the things I struggle with when writing is dealing with that voice in the back of my head. It keeps saying “Not necessarily…” or “Not always…” whenever I write something. It’s why you’ll see me qualify my statements a lot. Nowhere is that truer than when writing about new or young project managers. I want to make these sweeping statements, but I know that new PMs come from such a diverse background that I’m almost certainly going to be wrong in at least a reasonable subset of cases.

But here’s the thing—organizations also make sweeping generalizations when it comes to new PMs, and they’re not always as aware that they are doing it. Sometimes that can result in minor annoyances, but sometimes it damages the development and/or motivation of those project managers.

And that makes it something that needs to be addressed.

The need for project management
Project management is an in-demand discipline. As organizations move closer to a continuous transformation operating model, so the number of projects increases, resulting in the need for a greater number of PMs.

Some of that need can be met by hiring experienced PMs from outside of the organization, but that’s unlikely to be sufficient—especially as other employers are trying to attract away those project managers that an …


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