You most likely have many professionals in your organization that find themselves working as project managers, perhaps without ever having applied for the position. These “accidental project managers” are your secret weapon for project success if your company helps get them up to speed as quickly as possible on proper project life-cycle management. By spending time to grow and nurture your on-hand resources you are going to save time and money and reduce your speed to market. You will have happier, more productive staff that will stay with the company longer, evolving their skill-sets as they go.
The top 4 reasons business leaders are training internal staff to be PMs are:
1. They already work for you – Hiring and on-boarding costs associated with the bringing on of employees or contractors as Project Managers are significant. And it’s not just the money. Interviewing candidates, doing skill assessments, offers, negotiations and the like all sap time from HR and business line managers - time that could be spent on activities more closely linked to profit and company growth. Unemployment is at its lowest level in years. Combine that fact with the fact with the talent gap is increasing and you have a perfect storm where the candidate has more leverage than the performing organization. Instead of getting stuck negotiating with highly in-demand resources, why not consider leveraging an existing staff member? You could save your organization a lot of time and money.
2. They already know your business – Even if you bring in some hired guns who are project management gurus, they are still going to have learn what it is that makes your business tick. Instead, take a look at the people that have been working for you for years and years. Guess what? They already know the culture, the enterprise environmental factors, how to get work done bureaucratically, and most importantly, they understand your customers and how to be competitive in your industry. External hires are going to require ramp-up time that can include anything from getting new computers, sourcing of network accounts, training on proprietary systems and understanding your organization’s business model. Utilizing in-house resources helps reduce or eliminate all these factors.
3. They will be retained longer – Compensation is a big factor in staff retention, but numerous engagement studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between employees who feel engaged by their employers being more productive and staying with the company years longer than their counterparts who do not feel this type of engagement. Some ways to cultivate employee engagement includes helping them to develop new skills and easily acquire career enhancing certifications, such as the PMP credential.
4. You are preventing the skills gap of tomorrow – So many firms are reactionary in trying to solve for the resource demands of today, especially with the rise of digital transformations across the enterprise. The risk is that the skills and talents needed today may be totally outdated in just 1-2 years from now, so by training and developing your internal resources on an ongoing basis you are mitigating the risk that your organization will not have the talent it needs down the road.
About the Author
Project Manager, Trainer and Coach, Dan Ryan, PMP, is the President of PM Exam Coach, PM Exam Coach is a global pioneer and leader in one-to-one and one-to-many Project Management coaching, training, and certification programs.