- Set organizational goals
- Identify competencies needed to achieve short- and long-term goals
- Create a detailed map of people's competencies
- Identify and fine-tune career paths
- Develop training, coaching and mentoring programs
- Monitor and review
More posts in Talent Management
- Project manager focuses on execution and ignores training
- Project manager focuses on execution and training
- Evaluate your team members' roles and responsibilities -- yours included -- six months or one year down the line.
- Identify the skills that are required to perform those roles and responsibilities.
- Map the existing skills and identify the gaps for everyone on the team.
- Prepare a training plan for each member.
- Build a main training schedule that addresses individual absences as team members complete their training. This schedule should plug in the skills gaps left by the absent team member.
But project managers often do the work they like and are familiar with, rather than work that needs to be done. Even if it's work that contributes to a project's overall success, I find that many of us focus on tasks that we're familiar with or that we already know we're good at.
Regardless of how great I am with some tasks, I know that I must fill in my own knowledge gaps with team members' expertise. Because in addition to being a good project manager, the real trick to getting things done is surrounding myself with a capable, well-trained project team.
Instead of trying to learn everything and being everything to everyone, I accept that I won't always know it all. I ask for input from the team on a regular basis. This makes the team feel needed and appreciated for their contributions and makes the project execution more efficient.
Do you tackle the tasks you're good at rather than those that need to get done? How do you balance your own expertise with that of your team members?
One's ability to acknowledge is an interesting and important topic. Although it focuses on our personal issues regarding whether or not we were acknowledged in our families, our schools and in our early jobs, we are all people first and project managers second. Therefore I would like to address the heartfelt question that was raised, as it has importance for all of us.
A person's ability to acknowledge others freely, generously and sincerely is linked to the way we're raised. If we were encouraged and praised as children, we're likely to grow up with a deep sense of self-worth and confidence. If we were constantly criticized, we have more work to do to gain a sense of self-worth.
We have to become our own support system, which can be hard. And it's even harder to acknowledge others when we've feel like we have not been acknowledged for who we are and the contributions we make. If that's true for you, then you will have to push yourself more to deliver acknowledgments that may come to mind but that you may have trouble carrying out.
We as human beings crave acknowledgment. Receiving acknowledgements releases a chemical called dopamine in our brains that makes us feel good, perform better and work harder to get more of what's called "the dopamine drench," per an article titled "In Praise of Praising Your Employees" published in the Gallup Management Journal.
So here's my advice if you were underacknowledged in your earlier life: Start by taking stock of who you are and what your contribution is to your workplace, your family and to the world. Then you can exercise the muscle on the underside of your right arm, as you reach up and over to give yourself a pat on the back!
In my courses, we always start by telling each other something special and unique about ourselves. I invite all of you to do just that--share something special about yourself with a friend or coworker--and send me an e-mail telling me about it. With your permission, I might even post it.
Last night my soapbox was a live webinar attended primarily by project managers from all over the world, including Hong Kong, China, India, Brazil and the United States.
During the seminar I asked participants, "How do you feel when you complete a project that you put your whole heart, soul, body, mind and spirit into for the past several months, the users love the end result and your manager gives you nothing more than a quick 'thank you?"
This was the response via text chat:
Tanya: feel used
Srikrithiga: not interested to work
James: feel indifferent
Sanjib: feeling of being empty--what was I doing all the time?
Ravindra: No motivation
Tanya: I won't give my best effort
Linda: lack of loyalty
Linda: feeling insecure, not as interested in working so hard
Fabricio: lack of motivation
Jade: feel not being valued, lack of respect
Then I asked, "How do you feel if your manager tells you what a difference your work made to the project team, how your contribution made the project a success, how much the users loved it, that she was getting wonderful feedback on it, and that the next time you would get more resources so you didn't have to work so many nights and weekends?"
And they answered:
James: I would feel appreciated; that motivates me
Shelley: Motivated...willing to give an even greater effort
Ravindra: I would make extra efforts
Mariano: I would feel like a giant
Jade: more loyalty
Linda Benedict: my confidence would be boosted by the acknowledgement
Srikrithiga: I would give 200% for work
Performance, loyalty, engagement, confidence, motivation, self-worth are all functions of acknowledgment rather than compensation.
Especially during these challenging economic times--when everyone is working harder and having to do more--let's do our best to create a culture of appreciation in which people know their value and their worth.
There could be nothing simpler and more satisfying and with greater results.
South Africa is one country experiencing major problems from the latter. An article on AllAfrica.com declares:
"Project Management is now regarded as the fastest-growing form of management worldwide, with its multidisciplinary skills in particular demand in [South Africa], which is in the throes of the biggest infrastructure development programme in its history. ...
In the current South African climate, critical skills shortages are being experienced both in the public and private sectors. A recent study showed that the crisis is compromising competitiveness and spurring poorer service, inhibiting [South Africa] from responding positively to changing market conditions both locally and abroad."
Many of the infrastructure developments are a direct result of the country being named as host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Earlier last week, the South African government allotted another $140 billion for the event preparations--pushing the budget even further past original estimates made in 2004.
But with skilled project managers being lured to other locales with the promise of better pay, are there any positive signs for project management in the country? According to that AllAfrica.com article, colleges are seeing an upswing in the number of students going through the project management program.
Developing economies like India and Latin America are struggling to find enough people while established economies like Europe and the United States are struggling to find the right people. Indonesia, for example, is expected to be 12,000 project managers short in the oil and gas, mining, IT and telecommunications industries over the next five years.
At PMI's recent Latin America Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ricardo Viana Vargas, PMP, gave a great example that pretty much summed it all up. He recalled getting an e-mail from an Australian colleague with only three sentences: "I need a specialist in iron ore projects to work here. I need it now. Don't worry about the cost."
So what's a company to do? "The Great Talent Shortage," a January 2008 article in PM Network, provided some solutions. Here are a few:
"Call it sharing, stealing, enticing--we all have to go to the same pool to get people. You have to raid your competition, and they do the same."
--Yahya Khader, CEO, Clough Zuhair Fayez Partnership, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
"It's extremely important to hire a certain proportion of new project managers from outside your industry. It's the only way you can get fresh thinking and a new look at how you do business. Yet, human resource departments tend to always advertise in the same place and look for the same characteristics as the previous employee."
--Uma Gupta, Ph.D., PMP, senior advisor to the provost at the State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA
"Organizations are being more responsive to offering longer leave periods, better parental-leave provisions and a far greater proportion of performance-based payments. Measuring workplace satisfaction is becoming more common, with companies looking at their main employment brand attributes and developing programs to address gaps through benefits, mentoring, or training and development."
--Paul Bell, managing director, Fanselow Bell, Nelson, New Zealand
Of course, all of those things are often easier said than done. Companies have to make the commitment to not only recruit and retain the cream of the crop, but also to groom the next generation of project management leaders.