HOW NOT TO ATTRACT AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PM

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1 HOW NOT TO ATTRACT AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PM FORTUNE 500 HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES COMPANY Process-focused job description indicates low potential for career enhancement and discourages talent from applying. IS Project Manager Job Responsibilities 1. Be familiar with PMM or PMI PMBOK based PMM and lead project teams in day-to day execution and compliance with prescribed methodology processes, including: project charter development, project initiation and facilitation, project plan development, risk and issues management, quality planning, communications planning, WBS decomposition, project schedule development, change management, configuration management, status reporting, post-project reporting, project transition planning, and project shutdown. 2. Lead project team through structured task estimation process. 3. Monitor and control projects, ensuring efficient utilization of project resources. 4. Document meeting and coordinate status reports and approvals on deliverables. 5. Participate in preparing and executing the overall project plan. 6. Relate own tasks to others on project and to the project s critical path. 7. Maintain open communications among project participants and affected parties. 8. Maintain strong focus on customer satisfaction by delivering predictable, repeatable project results. 9. Perform analysis that reflects actual versus planned cost at the project level. 10. Assess impact of labor and cost variances. 11. Create and maintain baseline cost estimate at the project level. 12. Work through informal channels in order to obtain information. 13. Manage standards, procedures, and practices for recordkeeping of contractual agreements. 14. Incorporate risk mitigation strategy and contingency plan. Don t begin with an intense process focus: Project managers with an mind-set are unlikely to read beyond the first bullet point. Required skills reinforce the job description this posting will attract project managers with a check-the-box mind-set. Even the desired skills reinforce the process-oriented nature of the ideal applicant. Required Skills 15. More than 5 years of IT experience. 16. Bachelor s degree or equivalent experience. 17. Proven track record of successful project delivery on five to seven projects. 18. Experience with the project lifecycle feasibility, initiation, planning, execution, and shutdown. 19. Formal training in Project management methodology, Project workshop facilitation and Project estimation. 20. Ability to accomplish day-to-day work within these project management skills areas: project communication management, project cost management, project human resources management, project scope management, project risk management, project time management, project quality management, project integration management, project procurement management, and product and vendor management. 21. Proficiency with project management tools Microsoft Project, Project Server, Primavera, etc. 22. Excellent written and verbal communications skills. 23. Ability to evaluate and recruit exceptional project management talent. 24. Experience working within both project-centric and project-matrix environments. 25. Ability to recognize exceptions to documented policy and procedures. 26. Monitor schedule deviations and assist in the development of alternative methods for corrective action at the project level. 27. Working knowledge of quality assurance methods, tools, and techniques. Desired Skills 28. PMP certification; PMI membership and participation. 29. Advanced university degree. 30. Experience working within an established Program Office environment. 31. Quality program experience, such as ISO 9000, CMMI, or Six Sigma implementation and assessments. Don t bury the skill requirements: This posting lists the first skill as the 22nd item. Don t set up a vicious cycle: Using processfocused people to recruit project management staff creates a selfreinforcing problem. 54

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3 A BETTER WAY TO ATTRACT AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PM FORTUNE 500 INSURANCE COMPANY Job description balances business value and triple constraint demands. Required skills are a mix of and processoriented skills. still point toward process-oriented proficiency, rather than skills. IT Project Manager Basic Functions This position will plan and manage medium-to-large sized systems projects of moderate-tohigh complexity, and to ensure project results contribute positive business value and meet agreed on scope, cost, schedule and quality objectives. Skills and Abilities 1. Strong project management skills, including the ability to prioritize work and meet deadlines 2. Strong planning, organizational and leadership skills 3. Strong verbal and written communication skills 4. Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to make effective presentations and communicate technical concepts to non-technical clients 5. Strong meeting facilitation and negotiation skills 6. Strong business judgment 7. Ability to direct the work of others 8. Ability to work in a team environment 9. Ability to operate a computer and related software 10. Bachelor s degree in computer science, information technology, quality assurance, or equivalent, required 11. Advanced degree preferred 12. Eight years of previous experience working with technical applications and/or information systems, or equivalent, including five years in managing information technology projects, or equivalent, required 13. Extensive knowledge of project management processes, systems development methods, organizational change management concepts, and business process improvement methods, required 14. In-depth knowledge of project planning techniques and automated project planning tools required 15. Two years of supervisory experience preferred 16. Project Management Institute (PMI) certification preferred 17. Experience managing business intelligence and data warehouse projects strongly preferred Do express a business focus: Ensure the description includes focusing on business outcomes ( positive business value here). Do accentuate skills that inflect PM performance: Listing skills here helps processfocused applicants self-select out. Don t filter out candidates based on educational background: Empirically, it does not matter. Don t filter out candidates based on process knowledge: It can be easily taught. Hiring Effective Project Managers 56

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5 A GREAT WAY TO ATTRACT AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PM FORTUNE 500 HEALTH CARE COMPANY Job description focuses on leadership opportunities with broad scope and strategic focus, without mentioning process. Responsibilities begin with leadership and business focus, while ending with more tactical, process-oriented responsibilities. Job qualifications are squarely focused on skills, while including but deemphasizing process competence. Enterprise Project Manager Responsibilities Project Managers are responsible for establishing and leading enterprise-wide, crossfunctional strategic initiatives. PMs lead a variety of different types of projects including launching new products and services, large-scale application development, systems integration, BPO arrangements, operational efficiency improvements, process reengineering, and infrastructure upgrades and deployments. Responsibilities 1. Single accountable party for defining, planning, orchestrating, and delivering a given strategic initiative 2. Ensures end results are of the highest caliber with a clearly articulated scope and quantifiable business benefit 3. Directs large-scale, complex projects often involving multiple internal and external constituents and matrix partners 4. Accountable for one or more initiatives including business, operational, and IT deliverables 5. Directly manages all aspects of the project lifecycle and works with matrix IT partners to oversee all SDLC phases of a project 6. Rigorously manages scope to ensure commitments are achieved within agreed on time, cost, and quality parameters 7. Validates financial forecasts and provides on-going reconciliation of resources and other related project expenditures 8. Develops communication plans and interfaces to execute on responsibilities 9. Serves as a subject matter expert in routinely briefing key stakeholders on different aspects of assigned initiatives 10. Represents the project in various project governance and inter-department forums 11. Chairs weekly Core Team and monthly Operating Committee meetings to review progress with key constituents 12. Defines and tracks project milestones while developing, maintaining, and reporting on an overall integrated delivery plan 13. Develops the project charter, integrated project plan, resource plan, contingency plan, and related project management artifacts 14. Publishes periodic project status reports 15. Proposes recommendations and adjustments 16. Proven ability to quickly earn the trust of sponsors and key stakeholders; mobilize and motivate teams; set direction and approach; resolve conflict; deliver tough messages with grace; execute with limited information and ambiguity 17. Ability to navigate a highly matrixed organization effectively 18. Solid influencing skills 19. Sound business and technical acumen 20. Experience with stakeholder management 21. Focused and versatile team player that is comfortable under pressure 22. Ability to communicate at all levels with clarity and precision both written and verbally 23. Strong presentation skills 24. Ability to remove barriers and enable teams to complete their objectives 25. Demonstrated, applied experience establishing and delivering complex projects 26. Excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills 27. Exemplary core project management skills including multiple aspects of the PMBOK 28. Extensive knowledge and expertise in the use of project management and SDLC methodologies and tools Do make the job description appeal to an PM: Emphasize leadership, enterprise-wide perspective, and strategic impact. Do frame process requirements appropriately: Process shouldn t be absent but should be put in the right perspective. Do focus qualifications on skills; these will appeal to the right candidates and impact PM performance most. 58

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