Over my career I’ve had several opportunities to mentor project managers and recently my local PMI chapter put together a mentor/mentee program. I decided to toss my hat in the ring as a mentor and shortly after that they matched me up with Joe.
My first meeting with Joe was super informal. It was a meet and greet where we went over our backgrounds, what was going on in our lives and what we were expecting out of this program. Like any good meeting we both left with a “to do” list for our next meeting.
At our next meeting we started with a little show and tell with what was on our “to do” lists, came up with some things for next time and ended with a little coaching on how to persuade the deciders on doing things a new way (new PM process).
I do truly enjoy the opportunity to work with others to see how their organizations are running projects and hopefully I can learn something and they can too.
My tips for mentoring PMs:
Feedback! Ask them to request feedback from their team members and information on how the project management process is going in their organizations.
Roll play! All PMs have team members that will be confrontational on an issue. My suggestion to help them is to find someone to roll play with so you can practice on how the decision will go down.
Crisis! When the big issue comes up in your project, take a deep breath and then get the right people in the room (on the phone) to discuss it.
Communication! You need to be a master of communication and if your team is not aware of what is happening in your project you need to come up with new way to communicate project details.
Training! If you are new to project management or you already have your PMP or other project management related certifications you need to keep building your knowledge and keeping it fresh! There are a ton of classes, books, podcasts and blogs out there to help you with this. Many times scheduling a class for a PM will keep them focused on building their career with their current organization.
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