How can 360 degree feedback help Project Managers and their Performance Managers know how well they are doing and benchmark them against their peers?
More and more work is now being driven in project mode – labelled as “projects” or “change initiatives” rather than as “business as usual”. And the world in which these projects need to be delivered is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).
Our view (and that of most project managers and directors we speak to) is that PM’s now need much, much more to survive and be successful – they also need:
- Business and commercial know-how to make sure that the bottom line is secure
- Motivational leadership skills to lead diverse and often remote teams who can deliver results faster and more efficiently than ever before
- Top-notch personal skills to persuade and influence their sponsors and stakeholders and get them ‘on side’
- Flexible strategies for making real business change happen
- Powerful communication skills to demonstrate business value to a variety of senior audiences
- Sales acumen and confidence – PMs are increasingly a key component of the ‘sales engine’ – adding new and additional business to the sales pipeline
The difference that makes the difference – the PM Diamond Standard
To specifically address this growing need, Greenbank have an advanced approach to Change and Project Management development that focuses on precisely the key leadership, commercial and interpersonal skills that are most relevant to a senior project management role. In doing so, we have identified 9 key ‘success drivers’ – our ‘Diamond Standard’.
These 9 Success Drivers are based on our own extensive work over the last 5 years with project managers leading System Integration, Transition, or Business Change projects and also the research of bodies such as the APM and PMI:
Using these Project Manager Success Drivers we have developed a 360o/multi-rater survey tool designed to gather powerful feedback on how individual PM’s stack up against the ‘Diamond Standard’ which is aligned to the APM competency framework and PMP programme and can identify where they need to focus to maximise performance improvement.
Benefits of the PM 360o survey
We have been using this survey as part of our own Project Management training programme so we know that it works and focuses on the key issues for PM’s. A combination of numeric ratings and narrative comments mean that, sometimes for the first time, PM’s really get to understand how their colleagues, customers and managers view them – and importantly what they can do to be even more successful.
For Performance Managers, who often have limited firsthand experience of the PM’s they coach and appraise the 360 survey has several benefits:
- Gathering quality feedback is professional and easy to manage – available on PC and mobile devices making it easier to gather feedback and as feedback comes from both a variety of sources and is confidential – it is more likely to open and honest.
- Feedback covers a comprehensive range of success drivers – that may not be captured by Project Performance statistics alone.
- The survey is benchmarked against a wide range of project managers – from different organisations and industries to give greater objectivity.
- The individual feedback report is detailed but easy to understand and digest- it highlights the top 5 rated behaviours and the 5 lowest rated behaviours- ideal for identifying strengths and areas for coaching/development
For the individual Project Manager there are also benefits:
- It gives them the confidence of knowing where they are already strong and the reasons for their success. Because even a PM who consistently delivers successful projects may not always be sure what are the things they are doing that really make the difference. Receiving sound, concrete feedback means they can build on their strengths and do them even more.
- If they have weaknesses or blind spots it gives them the chance to understand them and therefore have a chance to put a plan in place to neutralize or turn- around any weaknesses.
- It provides concrete information to take into performance appraisals which is comprehensive and detailed making for a richer and more objective discussion.
- Once PM’s have their feedback they have a good chance to do something about it rather than working in the dark or only finding out that people wanted them to do something differently at the final ‘lessons learned’ session.
So whether you are a Project Manager yourself or a Performance Manager responsible for other PM’s this survey can help you work more effectively – delivering great project outcomes and supporting your career development at the same time.
Interested in more information?
Having used it very successfully with our own clients, we are currently looking for new organisations to help validate and benchmark the assessment tool – at a significantly reduced cost – with the aim of having a fully benchmarked tool for Q3 2013.
If you are interested in taking part in this pilot as an individual project manager, or if you would like your team / department to take part, then please contact me on +44(0)20 8299 4060 or click here for contact details.
If you want to know more about Greenbank and our work with project managers, then please click here
Judith Hirst – Head of Leadership Development, Greenbank