Project managers cannot succeed without retaining skilled team members

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Ask someone about the biggest challenges facing project managers now, and most people might say money. Money is a chronic problem, but it's not the only one project managers have to worry about. If anything, most of project troubles stem not from a lack of capital, but from a lack of human capital.

Simply put, hiring and retaining the right team members for a particular project is difficult. In most industries, employers focus on a candidate's skills and general experience, but put less emphasis on the specific projects that candidates have worked on and seen to completion.

At least, that's the opinion of Harvard Business Review contributor Eddie Yoon, who believes that poor staffing choices are leaving many businesses in the lurch.

"Just this year I've spoken to more than three CEOs who are excited about huge opportunities for category creation or big innovation, but each is stuck figuring out how to staff it," he wrote.

Yoon believes LinkedIn should publish information about a candidate's project history more visibly so businesses can find the right candidates when they are looking to hire. That way, employers who have been impressed by certain projects can find those who worked on them and, more importantly, those who were key to a project's success.

However, even if managers succeed in fully staffing their projects, there's no guarantee that these team members will stay once the project gets underway. Often, Yoon writes, they leave, and the rest of the team struggles to fill the gap.

Project managers need good team members to produce the most innovative work, and finding them is only half the battle. New Leaf's 2-day program, "Complex Problems, Difficult Decisions, & Innovative Ideas: Smart-Team Tools for the Working Team," can show you how to get the best people working together in constructive ways.

In addition, New Leaf's white papers and online estimating game, QPM, provide easy and affordable ways to earn PDU credits to maintain your PMP certification.

"PMI®," "PMP®'" and "PMBOK®'" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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