When I ask CIOs or senior managers to name two great project managers, most struggle to do so. That’s worrying when you consider that, according to Gartner, almost $4 trillion is spent on projects around the world.
Of course becoming a great project manager doesn’t happen overnight. They don’t just wake up, point at themselves in the mirror and say ‘great’ and that’s it.
Similarly it’s not something that can be taught from a textbook in a classroom. As with other leadership roles, developing a great project manager starts with the hiring process.
Forget psychometric testing and requesting copies of method certificates. Instead ask candidates how they bounced back from a failure; how they manage project sponsors; or what original ideas they have to create great teams. Future stars will understand these questions and have their answers ready.
A great project manager needs to have experienced failures and successes in order to learn what it takes to build great cultures that deliver consistently well.
They will benefit from a strong mentor who understands the stresses, strains and challenges of the role and can support them in getting better and better at what they do.