Learn about the criteria for selecting project and programme team members, such as what they may enjoy, what they can learn, and how they fit into the team—both in terms of knowledge, skills, and personality.
- It would seem obvious that you want the best people on your project, and on all of the projects in your program. But there are a few things to consider before you start. First, you need to find out who your existing resources are; how many you have of each type, and therefore, how many additional resources that you need. Some of the people available might have partial commitment to other projects, so you'll need to find out their availability over the time period of your projects.
And this applies equally to project managers on your program, as well as all of the people who will be carrying out the work. And it could apply to sub contractors as well. Then there are the criteria for selecting the ideal person. Clearly, there's technical knowledge and skills, if you have access to this information, it may not be recorded anywhere, but just in the heads of the line managers, who may have vested interests in recommending the people that they don't want, or not recommending the people who they want to keep for their own work.
I know this sounds cynical, but, I've seen it happen. But as well as technical knowledge and skills, there is personality. Is the person easy to work with, and will they fit with your team's culture and mix? You might be looking for someone creative, or good at detail, or hard driving, or caring, or who stands back and checks things. Depending on whatever gaps you have in your current team. And finally you might want to think about whether the person you have in mind, and remember, this is both for project managers, as well as technical people; will they enjoy this job? And will they learn from it? Although it's simpler for you to have someone who's done the job lots of times before and can do it in their sleep, you owe it to the organization and the person to give them a bit of self development during this project or program.
I'm not saying we should get someone incompetent, or who is only 20% competent. But if they could be 80 or 90% competent, that would be ideal. In fact, they will be more motivated, and put in more effort, perhaps even do a better job, if they aren't bored on your project. And if you can loosen your requirements from 100% to 80% it may well give you many more people to choose from. And so, you might get a better personality and team fit with the person you end up getting.
I think ideally, if you are running a program with say, six projects, you want three or four of the project managers to be pretty experienced and low maintenance so that you could spend a decent amount of time coaching the other two or three on the 10 to 20% of the job that they're still learning. So, maybe the process is to see who's available, make sure they definitely have the technical knowledge and skills, and an overall capability of at least 80%. And then choose between them on the grounds of personality and team fit.
Have you thought about team fit when you've recruited project team members in the past? And have you deliberately, or accidentally recruited someone who is at 80%, who is good, but still learning? And how did that go? Could you deliberately do it again in the future?
- What is program management?
- Planning from the bottom up vs. top down
- Resource planning
- Managing projects, resources, and time
- Getting the staff you need
- Self-organizing teams