Continuous ImprovementProject Management Office

5 Tips to Turn Non-Project Managers into a Capable Delivery Team

Longer association of employees with the organization make the decision makers confident about the team’s potential to deliver best projects. However, the real picture appears with the announcement of a new project. Once the project starts to tumble, the decision makers involve the PMO manager to ensure seamless project delivery, that too with non-project managers.

In this article at, Carleton Chinner explains the difficulty of a functioning PMO to blend with new set of people, enabling them to deliver effective outcomes by using new methods.

Transforming Roles

As the complex transformation involves multiple stakeholders, high level of uncertainty, limited skilled resources, and majority of non-project managers may turn challenging for functional PMO managers. To ease the situation, the author shares his personal learning that helped him transform non-project managers into an efficient team.

  1. Involve Executives: Set up a brief yet informative meeting with the executives first to give an overview of the project. Explain them the basic concept of project management and the idea behind following a structured approach to execute strategy. If the executives and their teams belong to operations or HR departments, then surely do not hold experience in handling a project before. So, this meeting will help the executives to learn the basics and make their teams a part of the project governance.
  2. Risk Management: Often organizations involve employees in a new project presuming they will scale up to manage any project. The risk involved with these new project managers include their inefficiency to handle complex projects. Due to lack of experience in project management, they are unable to address major internal risks involved with the project. Usually, the executives make mistake of involving an individual who has cleared a project course in recent past. The best way to tackle this situation is by introducing risk metrics to analyze each project in the portfolio.
  3. Setting Low Expectations: Assigning the project to every individual suggested by the executives is inappropriate. The project should be given to a person who is experienced and skilled enough to handle it. However, the PMO managers can involve most of the individuals shortlisted by the executives by giving them in-house project training. Keep the training sessions simple by developing quick learning tools. Also, implementing agile tools like daily stand-up meetings or Kanban visual management boards are equally effective.
  4. Growing Capability: Look for passionate individuals who show curiosity towards knowing the unknown information. These curious minds will reach the PMO managers to find ongoing or prospective project details. In case the executives suggest experienced managers to lead the project, ask them to mentor the newbies.
  5. Welcome Change: Treating new project managers as part of the team will encourage them to go out of the way to meet the PMO’s expectation. Let them learn from their mistakes but do not forget to acknowledge their small achievements to boost their morale.

The PMO managers needs to tone down their expectations slightly to train and turn a non-project manager into an experienced one. Following link can lead you to original article:

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