September 28, 2011 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Management Best Practices
Good Project Management Equals Good Governance
By Michael L Young
In a time of skills shortages, organizations frequently need to create project management resources from within. The task of “skilling” project managers is often left to HR managers who may have neither the time, nor the expertise to advise on the best track for project manager development.
It’s not just about training. Organizations need a coordinated strategy to guide people to learn the theory, translate it in practice and review progress toward goals. Below find seven helpful steps to success in building PM capability for your organization:
- Get expert assistance – Work with PM experts to design a capability building plan specifically tailored to your organization’s needs. Set goals and devise a plan combining recruitment, qualification pathways, training, on-the-job experience and a sound review mechanism to set targets.
Find the right people – Good PM’s come from all sorts of backgrounds like IT, Policy and program areas or from experienced specialist technicians. Expert assistance can help identify the key characteristics that organizations should seek to fill project management “traineeships”.
Invest in good training – A good training program will include modules that integrate to a fashion a formal qualification in project management and certification. For optimum results, trainers should have extensive on-the-job experience and offer real-world examples to demonstrate how the practical application of theory can deliver outstanding outcomes.
Balance hard and soft skills – A well-rounded program will balance essential hard PM skills (like scheduling and budgeting) and softer – people-focused – skills. Communications, relationship building, leadership, team building and environmental sensitivity skills are in great demand in contemporary projects. Many PM’s who have risen through the ranks will know the field they work in well e.g. building and construction but won’t necessarily possess the skills to manage a team.
Provide opportunities to practice – Many organizations omit the vital step of reinforcing learning with on-the-job experience. They assume a qualification is sufficient for complex PM. It is important to use project managers with solid experience.
Initiate Mentoring – A clever organization will couple training and on-the-job experience with a structured mentoring program to facilitate the passing on of knowledge from old hands to novices. PM’s should be assigned a project sponsor for each project, a senior team member who can step in when higher authority is required and offer the PM some support.
Review Progress – As with any good project, an essential step is to monitor results and review progress against goals. Lessons learned can then be applied to future plans to ensure ongoing success in building your organization’s project management capability.
Michael Young is Principal Consultant with ‘Transformed’ – Project Management Unleashed. http://www.transformed.com.au
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