We recently had the experience of canvassing for project managers. Not just any project managers, but rock star project managers. And we weren’t disappointed. We had a tremendous response and every single person that applied had an amazing set of skills and experiences to bring to the table.
When we think of rock stars (a.k.a. project managers), the qualities that come to mind are: high energy, brilliant multitasker, super organized, results driven, extremely client-focused, very details-oriented and with strong management and communication skills. Alongside of that is discipline, commitment to following a prescribed process or methodology and highly reliable. Those are just of some of the things it takes to be on our dream team.
Are you in growth mode as well? As you cast around for team members, what abilities are you looking for:
- Specific, technical skills
- Administrative or business management skills
- Creative services – design, copy-writing
- Marketing experience
But what about the other things? Do you need your new hire to work with clients or team members? How are their people skills – do they work and play well with others? Understanding the culture (even virtual teams have a ‘culture’) of your work environment is an important aspect to consider when staffing your team. What other values or expectations are important to you in a team member … how about availability, accessibility, reliability. All the super skills in the world are meaningless if the team member is always MIA or never meets deadlines. Think about…
Team players – do you need a high degree of cooperation across your team? Then a ‘maverick’ might not be a good fit if you need the person to work with others to get the job done.
Client-Facing – will the new team member act on your behalf with your clients? Then they need to be ‘crystal’ on your strategy, values, and approach, as well as having diplomacy and good communication skills.
It’s Who You Know – If you’re really struggling with building your team, sometimes the best way to de-risk the process is to get people you have worked with before on other projects or that you know from other teams. That way you are already familiar with their performance and work style.
But here’s the thing. Even though we couldn’t hire everyone (bummer!) that applied to our canvasses, the bonus of having met these fantastic applicants was all the potential opportunities that were revealed. Many of the people we met will make awesome partners or collaborators on Joint Ventures, products, services or internal projects we’ve been jonesin’ to get started. You know what they say, when a door closes, a window opens!
So who would be in your fantasy league? The first rule of managing a project is to surround yourself with good people and that’s the first step to building YOUR dream team!