Fill the Gaps
If an initiative requires a skill set that can’t be found among the
“usual suspects,” project managers should start shopping for talent
across—or beyond—the organization, Mr. Turner says.
“If there’s a project that’s totally unique, we’ll do a survey of our
project management community within the organization and find out
who might have relevant experience,” he says.
It’s also helpful to know who has the ability to adapt on the fly,
says Richard Gower, PMP, project, program and portfolio management office senior manager at Mars Global Services—the shared
services arm of food manufacturing company Mars Inc.—in Slough,
England. Hiring project managers with experience across multiple
functions makes it easier to fill skill gaps quickly, wherever and
whenever they exist.
“Not only will they bring their fundamental project management
skills, but they’ll also pick up new functions pretty quickly,” Mr.
If the organization is adding a new skill set it will need to leverage
again in the future, training and development—and perhaps even the
creation of a new position—might be worth the investment. But jobs
requiring short-term specialist functions or technical skills are best
given to temporary team members, Mr. Gower says.
“If we’re looking for specific functional and technical skills that we don’t
think we’ll need long-term, we’ll look for a consultant or contractor.”
“Project staffing is one of the most
important matters to consider when trying
to reduce the chances of project failure.”
—Diego Jaime Dedacek, PMP, Prominente S.A., Córdoba, Argentina
“If the project
has many simple
activities, it is
more efficient to
have more team
lower costs than
who are much
—Eliani Figueiro Ramos, PMI-RMP,
PMP, TOTVS S.A., Joinville, Brazil
“If there’s a
we’ll do a survey
of our project
and find out
—Dan Turner, PMP, Graymont,
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada