So how do you lose a good Project Manager?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Put her in charge of a flagship project.
- Give her a great assistant; one of your best up & coming wannabee Project Managers.
- 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.
- 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.
- And – you get the picture – keep repeating the above cycle.
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