company resources containing detailed
project management procedures and
assume they will figure it out.”
Of course, the coaching process itself
“Discovering their skills, strengths
and weaknesses is a process that doesn’t
happen overnight,” Ms. Sellers says.
PUT ME IN, COACH!
Because of pressing demands, it can
be tempting to delegate multiple work
streams right away or to assume that a
newer project manager has a generalist
background, says Max Dufour, PMP,
New York, New York, USA-based principal and program manager at SunGard,
a business and IT consultancy for financial services and energy companies.
You also have to determine a newcomer’s work style and comfort level.
“Through dialogue and consensus,
it’s possible to find the optimum role for
each new project manager and determine
how each team member can contribute
at his or her full potential,” he adds.
When it comes to delegating tasks,
assign small ones at first so that you
don’t overwhelm a new project manager.
“On all projects, there are always
small portions which can be del-
egated,” Mr. Dufour says. “Rather
than creating ‘project assistant’ roles,
where some work is passed on with-
out any true ownership, it works
much better to delegate an entire
work stream and to assign responsi-
bility for it to one person.”
For instance, he might put a new
team member in charge of all aspects of
training—rather than just scheduling
>TIP Go slow, suggests Sherolyn L.
Sellers, PMP, MasterWorks Consulting Group, Tucker,
Georgia, USA. When mentoring a new project manager,
be sure he or she truly understands the methodology—
why you do what you do and how you do it.
“A seasoned project manager is usually thinking a
few steps ahead on the project, so it’s common to think
the newer project manager will also think as you do,
but they may not,” she says.