In Search of Effective Project Managers

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Review of In Search of Effective Project Managers—Analysis Adapted from Case Study:

Pinto, Jeffrey, K., Project Management, Achieving Competitive Advantage, Third Edition—Case Study 4.1, Boeing’s Virtual Fence, Pearson, Inc. 2013, p. 129.

buddist-monkDevelop Program for Recruiting New Project Managers
Project managers typically act like “mini-CEOs” who seamlessly synchronize technical skill with interpersonal understanding in facilitating successful project implementation. [i]If true, leadership presumably distinguishes effective project managers. Leadership constitutes the “ability to inspire confidence and support” from others in “achieving organizational goals.” [ii] If true, a program designed to recruit project managers generally implies some evidence of leadership among prospective candidates. Therefore, Pureswing, in an attempt to develop a Project Management Recruitment program, promulgates the following job description consistent with its goal of procuring Project Leaders:

Attention—Pureswing seeks seasoned Project Engineering Leaders to galvanize the development and management of its golf equipment. Pureswing requires prospective candidates to exhibit the following attributes:

  • Honesty, trustworthy individual whose integrity tends to inspire similar trust in others;
  • Person exhibits cerebral curiosity, thirst for knowledge and all learning;
  • People-centered, results-driven mentality, with ability to drive success with teams;
  • Harnesses strengths of individuals and teams to efficaciously enhance productivity;
  • Ability to encourage others with optimism and enthusiasm in all pursuits;
  • Focused on building team and company potential with existing resources;
  • Extensive Engineering knowledge working at least 20 years in Engineering-related field;
  • At least 10 years of work-experience building golf equipment in engineering capacity;
  • At least 5 years of experience as a leader in cross-functional capacity;
  • Compelling communicator with superlative written, verbal, and quantitative skills;
  • Proven advanced mathematical abilities (Calculus I and up, plus Statistics);
  • Logical thinker with superior analytical reasoning, critical thinking, & problem-solving ability;
  • Creative problem-solver in decision-making with ability to quickly improvise if necessary;
  • Ability to realistically assess company goals in developing new processes;
  • Entrepreneurial-mindset, driven with original, long-term goals to expand company visibility;
  • Formidable business acumen with at least 10 years Project Management Experience;
  • Innovative self-starter with exceptional interpersonal abilities;
  • Graduate degree required, preferably, MBA with M.S. in Engineering;
  • Statistical Quality Control knowledge with experience in supply-chain management;
  • PMP Certification required;
  • Finance background a plus.

 Successful Project Manager
Generally, a successful project manager perhaps possesses the following quintessential qualities:

  • Personalities matched to project work;
  • Individuals with formal commitment to project work;
  • Education with some expertise/professional-focus;
  • Continuing education inclinations with desire to pursue training programs;
  • Cross-functional exposure;
  • Honest, reliable, accurate, result-driven person with integrity;
  • Logical, critical-thinker/problem-solver with flexibility to handle ambiguity;
  • Compelling communicator;
  • Works equally well individually as with leading teams;
  • High emotional intelligence
  • Person comfortable with reasonable risks;
  • All other aforementioned attributes specified in Question 1’s job description.

Generally, without the foregoing characteristics, it becomes intractable to become a successful project manager. However, the presence of the following traits in any combination might also exacerbate difficulty:

  • Pessimism;
  • Untrustworthiness;
  • Someone who hates job/responsibilities;
  • Someone who despises collaborative efforts/teamwork;
  • Limited ability to consider multiple conflicting perspectives/intolerance for ambiguity;
  • Lack of empathy;
  • Unmotivated;
  • Introvert with nominal social skills;
  • Lack of self-discipline/control and/or consistent inability to regulate emotions;
  • Person incapable of articulating ideas with precision and concision;
  • Person uncomfortable speaking in front of others;
  • Inability to encourage others positively in enhancing productivity;
  • Overly Individualistic;
  • Overly/Inadequately independent.

[i] See Sherlock, John, “Project Management—Crossroads Solutions PowerPoint,” p. 101, How the Project Manager Leads, 2016, p. 101.
[ii] See Sherlock, John, “Project Management—Crossroads Solutions PowerPoint,” p. 101, Leadership, 2016, p. 98.

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