How do you select the best project manager for your project?

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7-step selection process to help you hire the best project manager

If you don’t hire the best project manager for your project, you’ll find that it may fail to achieve its objectives. It may overrun on time and cost. The project’s stakeholders and sponsor may become disheartened. You could lose some of your most talented people. You get the picture. A project manager is central to a project’s success.

In my last article, I discussed the five characteristics of your perfect project manager. In this article, you’ll learn a seven-step process to find your perfect project manager.

1.      Check on qualifications

Project managers should be qualified to do the job required. Theoretical knowledge and the ability to manage the processes of project management can be tested by written and evidence-based examination. You should check to make sure that the project manager being considered has the necessary qualifications, but it shouldn’t be the sole factor in the decision-making process.

2.      Look for real experience

You should ask to see evidence and testimonials from projects that the project manager has worked on previously. Consider how the project manager handled team leadership, and the communication strategies he or she used during the project.

3.      Consider the project manager’s maturity

It may be that a less mature project manager is a good fit for your project in every other way. If this is the case, other people involved in the project should make up for this shortfall in maturity. However, if the project team and project sponsor are less mature, you should ensure that your project manager is experienced in the role.

4.      Consider the project management methodology being used

If you are using PRINCE2 project management methodology, the project manager should be competent in its strategies, practises, and processes.

5.      Think deeply about project scope

What is the project? Do you need a project manager with skills and experience that lean towards infrastructure? Is your project one that requires an IT and applications overhaul? Make sure that your project manager has the depth of experience needed in the specific type of project – while the methodology of project management may be the same, the complexities are very different. The project manager should have some expertise and knowledge in the sphere of the project, and not only in managing a project.

6.      Make sure the project manager is not a maverick

Projects can be derailed by a maverick project manager – one who takes decisions without seeking proper authority to do so first. You won’t want the project manager tapping you on your shoulder every five minutes, but he or she must understand their realm of responsibility. This includes ensuring that the right project stakeholders are kept informed of progress and consulted on the key decisions.

7.      Employ the project manager ‘package’

As you can see, project management qualifications are not the only factor that should be considered when you are searching for the perfect project manager. You want the whole package. This includes:

  • Experience as a project manager
  • Experience on similar projects
  • Experience in the project management methodology to be used
  • Ability to communicate at multiple levels
  • A willingness to work autonomously, but with deference to stakeholders when needed


The project manager should also be a problem-solver, optimistic, good with people, and have a sense of humour. The closer you can get to a project manager with a fully-rounded personality and skillset, the closer you will be to achieving the goals of your project.

To find your perfect project manager, contact Your Project Manager:

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