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shutterstock_54546454So how do you lose a good Project Manager?

  1. Keep her on the same project forever and a day, right through to completion and then on into the follow up phases 2, 3, 4, etc.
  2. Overlook her eligibility for new projects. After all, you say, her (now legacy) project needs her – she is irreplaceable – who would take over? – the customer doesn’t like change – etc, etc.
  3. By this point, any Project Manager worth her salt will be looking elsewhere. (My manager doesn’t value me . . . I am being overlooked . . . I need a new challenge) You are going to lose her; it’s inevitable.

OK, so how do you retain a good Project Manager?

  1. Put her in charge of a flagship project.
  2. Give her a great assistant; one of your best up & coming wannabee Project Managers.
  3. Make it clear at the outset; not only do you expect your Project Managers to deliver great business outcomes – but also to develop their assistants into fully fledged Project Managers themselves; and make sure those assistants get real, meaningful customer exposure.
  4. Before the end of the project (after peak headcount but while there still remains much to be done) tell the Project Manager you have a new challenge for her; a new flagship project – and discuss how best to handover the (soon to be) legacy project to her (now very able) assistant.
  5. And – you get the picture – keep repeating the above cycle.

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