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.

Project managers, In Search of Effective Project ManagersDevelop 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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