Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

An interview with Joseph L. Bower, Professor, Harvard Business School. To become an effective CEO, work for companies committed to leadership development, and take responsibility for your own development on the job.

By Ben Snyder, CEO of Systemation

Management often wishes they had a very clear mechanism for identifying candidates who will turn out to be better than average project managers. They know that having to rely on their gut works fairly well but still feel there must be a better way to evaluate candidates in order to succeed more often.

For over a decade, we evaluated projects managers using our comprehensive project manager assessment. The overwhelming majority of the project managers assessed were part of a larger training and coaching program, where one of our coaches mentored each project manager for two hours, every other week, for six months. Because of this, we became intimately aware of the project manager’s strengths and weaknesses in performance and was able to reflect back on the assessment results and draw specific conclusions.

Before we discuss these findings, you first need to know some background information. The assessment has three distinct categories: knowledge, skills, and aptitudes. The knowledge portion identifies through multiple choice questions the amount of PMBOK knowledge the project manager comprehends. The skills component targets the softer skills and assesses them using a 360 degree tool. Lastly, the aptitudes evaluate the core characteristics of the individual project manager through a battery of psychological tests. In advance, it was clear that the knowledge and skills categories would improve over the course of the program but aptitudes were core to the individual and not easily changeable without a major environmental change and five to ten years of time. Given that, we are not sure what trends would develop in the years to come related to aptitudes and the ultimate profile for a good project manager.

Many assessments later the profile for a good project manager looks like this: