Put Them on
Project managers with a decade
of experience in an organization
know what works and what doesn’t.
Ms. Schmid suggests utilizing that
insight by giving seasoned project
managers a role in improving business practices.
“Within our organization, we’re
always looking at our tools and iden-
tifying areas that can be improved. We’ll form a task force of experi-
enced project practitioners to ;gure out what’s broken in the testing
process, for example. ;at group will come up with improvements
like new documentation or new processes and
roll them out across the company,” she says.
“One way to keep project managers engaged is
to include them on these teams—or, depending
on their bandwidth, have them lead one of these
projects. ;at takes advantage of their years of
experience but also gives them a new challenge
so they might not need to be upwardly mobile.
;ey’re getting new opportunities within their
Check in Regularly
Not every project manager is motivated by promotions, but they are
all motivated by something. Even if experienced project managers
aren’t champing at the bit to talk about a future career path, portfolio managers should check in regularly to identify what will keep
them engaged—and content to stay in the same position.
“I try to understand my project managers. What do they really
“I try to understand my
want?” says Tobias Kederer, PMP, vice president, PMO and profes-
sional services at Surescripts LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
“Everyone is di;erent.”
Mr. Kederer says these conversations can also lead to better pair-
ings between experienced project managers and future projects. “I
had an employee deal with the product development side, but it
became very apparent that he would be much better at managing a
technology portfolio,” he says. “Now he’s a superstar.”
Once a portfolio manager has homed in on the project managers’
aspirations, he or she can help them achieve those goals. “I have
worked with project managers to identify long-term career paths
and then map these into annual goals and then into quarters,” says
Riaan Husselmann, PMP, manager, program management o;ce,
National Australia Bank, Sydney, Australia. “Where there are syner-
gies within projects, I realign responsibilities to help develop these
areas. Project managers become more motivated because they are
achieving development goals whilst doing their daily work.” Mr.
Husselmann suggests being speci;c about the steps needed to
achieve each goal and checking in regularly to see how you can help.
project managers. What
do they really want?
Everyone is different.”
—Tobias Kederer, PMP, Surescripts LLC,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
“One way to keep project
managers engaged is
to include them on
or, depending on their
bandwidth, have them lead
one of these projects.”
—Stephanie Schmid, PMP, ADP, Sandy, Utah, USA