;rms,” Mr. Gould says. “;at resonates with younger
However, attracting foreign project leaders is
only half the talent battle, Mr. Leligdon says. Kusile,
like most major construction projects, requires
project leaders to hire a large number of local work-
ers. “We try to hire locally for these projects, but
that’s not always possible,” Mr. Gould says.
To overcome the gap, the organization holds skills
training courses. It also provides extensive supervision on-site to quickly develop team members’ skill
sets while reducing safety risks and minimizing
mistakes. “It means our productivity levels may be
lower than average,” Mr. Leligdon says. But because
the project planners knew that would be a risk, they
factored it into the schedule and risk assessment.
Even with proactive hiring and training programs, infrastructure project teams still face a constant challenge to attract and retain skilled labor,
adds Ted Andry, Kusile’s project manager, Pretoria,
South Africa. Positions sometimes go un;lled for
extended periods, or the organization has to hire
less-experienced team members to ;ll roles.
“I came to Shanghai as a project management director with the mandate to develop
the current managers and develop local
ones. Project planning methodology and
risk analysis and reporting were not well-developed in Shanghai in 2006, and we had
to develop a project management training
program to ensure our managers had the
In video game development, it’s not
surprising to see a project manager who
is 24 years old leading teams of 25 to 50
people. In big developments, it could eas-
ily be more than 400 people in different
studios around the world. Project manag-
ers need to have the right tools to succeed
in this kind of project organization. They
need to be able to manage their team locally and also to ensure the
right collaboration with studios abroad. It’s not always easy, and it’s a
challenge on every project.
Our training has been developed to cover areas a project manager has
to tackle, including waterfall, Scrum, developing a budget, business writing and more.
In our training, we try to use real-life scenarios so practitioners can
relate to what they are learning. We use situations like managing a big
ego, conducting efficient meetings, developing successful teams and
giving negative feedback to an employee. For example, when you need to
give negative feedback, start and finish with positive feedback to help the
employee better absorb the comments.
Video games are evolving really fast. Before, when the game was
launched on the market, the project was almost done. Now, with online
games, we have to ensure we provide new content after the launch of
the game. Project managers have to follow closely how players are reacting to the game and work with operations and marketing teams to keep
the game attractive to players. That’s why the business and marketing
training is important for our managers.
Part of the communication training is about confidentiality. Our teams
are really passionate about the games they are working on, but if the
game is not announced worldwide yet, we’ve had to remind some teams
not to mention it in their LinkedIn profile.”
Eric Pepin, PMP,
PgMP, is the human resources director at Ubisoft,
The Hardest Hit
These 10 locations are having the toughest time
finding talent, as gauged by the percentage of
employers reporting a talent shortage.
6; TURKE Y
7; NEW ZEALAND
10; HONG KONG
Source: The Talent Shortage Continues, ManpowerGroup, 2014