Getting It Done PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN ACTION
Traditionally, business coaching was reserved for top-tier execu- tives, directors and management eams. ;ough that is beginning to change, project managers and their
teams are still often overlooked when it comes to
coaching. However, coaching for project managers
and their teams o;ers considerable promise for
improving project outcomes.
I once managed a project in a matrixed environment where the stakeholders were in charge of deliverables. However, the
project quickly became
were missed, and scope
creep became the norm.
As I struggled to right
the project, I realized
stakeholders and other
team members did not
trust each other. Looking back, I can see that
a business coach could
have helped me prevent
some of these problems.
One-on-one coaching to
drive professional growth
would have equipped me
and my team with additional knowledge and skills
to handle the tough stakeholder situation.
Coaching can help employees gain con;dence,
become more self-aware, set and achieve goals, and
unlock potential. For this reason, it is particularly
well-suited to help project managers grow in two
areas: stakeholder management and agility.
One key relationship can make or break a project.
Yet many new project managers lack the people
skills necessary to handle di;cult stakeholder relationships. Coaching matures and molds an individual so he or she can better transition from a
technical role into a leader. ;e coach can serve
as a sounding board for ideas as well as help proj-
An Extra Boost
Coaching can help project managers gain confidence and unlock potential.
By Todd Materazzi, PMP
ect managers learn communication strategies and
conquer professional fears—all of which leads to
smoother relationships with stakeholders.
Coaches are also skilled at helping people address
behavior patterns that regularly derail progress.
;is skill can be used to help project managers
develop the adaptability that today’s organizations
require. By working with coaches to question long-standing methods and reveal blind spots, project
managers can be better-positioned to be able to
respond quickly to changing conditions.
HOW IT WORKS
Coaching should occur
in a one-on-one (
face-to-face or teleconference)
format. ;e employee
uses assessments and
checklists to measure his
or her status and progress. Conversations are
guided, not directed, so
that through re;ection,
the employee generates
the next logical step in
support of his or her
often take six to 12 months, with coaching meetings held biweekly so business operations aren’t
interrupted and the person can re;ect and make
adjustments between sessions. ;e coaching period
should end with the employee receiving a ;nal
summary outlining key performance indicators,
impediments that were overcome and next steps. A
successful coaching experience can create momentum to power a project manager’s development for
years to come. PM
Todd Materazzi, PMP, is a freelance project manager in Washington, D.C., USA.
he or she can
role into a