Thursday, 30 October 2008

How do you find that something extra? Assessing potential in project managers – Neil Mooney, Provek and Jane Hodgen, Tata Consulting Services

Tata Consultancy needed more programme managers and wanted to recruit from within by ‘talent spotting’ among existing project managers and identifying what was needed in training and development to make them good programme managers.

Training, recruitment and assessment consultancy Provek was called in to help. A three-step process was used:

1. An online assessment benchmarked against APM levels and industry norms and including personality indicators, which was then management reviewed. From an original 130, this identified 55 to go through to the next stage.
2. A scored CV, focusing on experience and asking what skills candidates thought they had. This was also management reviewed and 8 people progressed to the last stage.
3. A structured interview, exploring beyond the CV and which helped to shape the training programme

Even those who did not get through to the final 8 benefited from the process, as the feedback helped them to see what they needed to do to fill the gaps in their own development and skills.

Since then, Provek has aligned its first-stage assessment scoring to IPMA levels A-D. Tata Consultancy feels the process could be further improved by having more management and HR reviews before deciding on the final selection.

What is the difference between project and programme management? For Tata Consulting, the answer was the number of projects and people an individual was managing. But there is a school of thought that says the best programme managers have never been project managers.
Developing programme managers should include leadership training and senior stakeholder management.

Do you believe you are a better than average project manager? Yes 75%
Have you objectively compared yourself against other project managers outside your own organisation? Yes 45%

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