Picking the Right Project Manager

Tips On Picking The Right Project Manager

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Tips On Picking The Right Project Manager
About The HRIS World Project Insights Series™ #thwCES

This series is focused on approaching HRIS Project Management from outside of the box as experienced and documented by Garrett O’Brien of CGServicesUSA Inc as well as Lauren Gander of HR Software Solutions, Inc.

Let’s be clear right up front that we are not ditching any of the methodologies of Project Management. Instead, we are taking a look at just why some projects go so well while most others do not from our own experiences as well as those documented elsewhere. From there we are focusing on the successful elements that seem to be missing from most Project Management methodologies. The projects that do not go so well happen more frequent than not and it seems most Project Managers just give in to timeline extensions and over budget occurrences as being part of the learning curve to gain for the next project as well as being part of the job.

Garrett did as well until his 5th project and decided there was more to making a project come in on-time and within budget than just luck and more likely the cause of missing skills as well as incorrect perceptions. If some Project Managers could run most if not all their projects on time and within budget while most others could not, then we sought out to find out why some could consistently do so well.

We look into what contributed to those consistent successes in our entire content series The HRIS World Project Insights Series™ with the first 6 posts sharing the professional experiences of Garrett O’Brien. These 1st 6 posts are the foundation of most of this series and it is highly suggested you give them a good read. They are easily found with the short URLs j.mp/thwCESintro1 to /thwCESintro6 as well as in the listing of related content in the toggle box at the end of all posts related to this series.

All other content arrives from contributors like you as well as the sharing of experiences from Lauren Gander’s company. Feel free to reach out to us if you wish to contribute some your thoughts via a post by clicking the contact us button on the lower right of any page.

Feedback, debates, discussion, collaboration and conversation are always encouraged in the comments section below... For more information about this series, use the blue contact us button on the lower right of your screen to contact us -- or if you are reading this by our newsletter, then hit the reply button to get back to us!


Picking the right project manager is a process that involve making many very important decisions — and the outcome of these decisions can mean the success for your project, or its failure.

Moving forward with the selection process for the right project manager for your business means knowing the right qualifications to have in mind for the person you will be choosing, as well as knowing the right questions to ask.

Your discernment during this process needs to be focused as well as relying upon the feedback of others as well as your gut.

That said, here are a few attributes to look for on your search…

Commits Wholeheartedly

One trait to keep in mind during your selection process for a project manager is finding somebody who is 100% willing to put in the time and effort that are necessary for the success of your project.

In other words, you want someone who has taken into account his need for a substantial level of time commitment as well as his or her level of effort he or she will need to be put forth into the project — and is willing to do whatever it takes when there are unexpected (as well as expected) challenges.

You want to avoid anybody who will complain about having to stay an extra hour or two after office hours in order to make sure that all the details are ironed out and that the project is flowing smoothly.

If you discover you have someone like this, find something more suitable for him or her, and if lacking that option then best to part ways — they could have the best skills you have ever seen for your project, but the psychological drain will make it difficult to remain focused as well as effective during the life of the project.

Best to find the best person suited in both technical and management skills as well as soft skills – as well as a good level of discernment and wisdom in their ways.

Discernment for Detail

Whoever came up with the expression, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” never tried to open a heavy door without hinges.

Details ARE important – we love walking into an organized, well-lit store where everything is sitting very right because they took the time to invest in the details to be sure we felt good when we arrived.

Same goes for any presentation of services and / or products – and project management is a service.

Be sure to seek somebody who has the uncanny ability to spot details that nobody else sees or rarely sees — this person is able to point out things first before anybody else sees them.

You want a person who possesses the ability to seamlessly manage and empower people and ensure that the job is getting done – this person leaves nothing to chance.

This type of person is your ideal project manager.

Good Track Record vs Great Enthusiasm

You would be hard-pressed to trust anybody with your business that does not have sufficient prior experience with running a project or at least has proved to come up with noteworthy deliverables before.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

If you see somebody who does not have that much experience but you feel is very promising, then take the risk.

There are diamonds-in-the-rough anywhere nearly we go – if they are willing to make themselves available to learn, that is more than half the battle.

Mentoring someone as well as the team has it’s own rewards as well as affecting the project in a positive way — the team will see you care for their future.

Such an environment would be an excellent time to have a client executive sponsor to overlook the project as well as mentor the project manager.

But overall, it is hard to go wrong with trusting somebody who has proven himself or herself many times before.

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Shares the Same Vision

If you aren’t sure of the qualifications you want from someone then choosing the right project manager for your project can be tricky.

There are either too many people whom you feel are qualified, or the pickings could be slim.

One factor that might help you decide is choosing someone who genuinely cares about the success of your business — they know your vision and support it with their actions.

Look for somebody who is not just concerned about getting ahead, but rather, truly has the best interest of your business in mind.

These types of people are rare, and these types of people are not to be taken for granted.

Has Initiative

Last tip on your search for the right project manager — search for somebody who takes initiative.

You want the person who is always the first to volunteer for assignments that nobody else wants to take on and is actually happy to do them.

You want the person who is the first to round up everybody and ensure that everybody is doing their part, and that the project is on schedule.

If you find somebody with this type of attitude, you and your team will be much happier with your choice.

Picking the Right Project Manager

The Last Word

Though this is a very simplified approach to find the right project manager for your next project, it does provide a reminder on what brings value to the project.

Without that projected value, your project will be lacking from the get go — and will take even more effort to pull it out of the ditch of doldrums.

Knowledge is power — but that power is entirely dependent upon the quality of that knowledge.

Discernment and wisdom in your posture as well as your process will go a long way in making sure that knowledge brought to the project is the best quality your could find at the time.


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Garrett O'Brien

CEO, Chairman, Publisher, Editor at The HRIS World Research Group

Garrett is the publisher, editor, writer forThe HRIS World Research Group, which includes The HRIS World, The HRIS World Research, The HRIS World Jobs, The HRIS World News, and The HRIS World Videos

With more than 20 years in roles as a client executive sponsor (#thwCES), project manager as well as functional / technical lead, Garrett is sought for his expertise for project insights, thought leadership, and team management globally.

He has been involved in large-scale and complex implementations since 1991 and has recently moved his operations to be with his wife in Brazil.

Garrett has had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest talents in the industry, and constantly shares his experiences and knowledge through content and webinars.

He maintains his fluency in Portuguese, German, French, and English with his various endeavors and contacts..

When not working, you will have to be adventurous to stay up with him as Garrett loves motorcycling, gunnery, boating, sailing, flying, and sports fishing -- and accompanying his wife on her various likes

About The HRIS World Research Group

The HRIS World blog, which is read by more than 50,000 from more than 160 countries monthly, manages to have more than 550,000 pages viewed monthly. 40%+ of the audience are decision-makers in their organization (and about half of that being C-levels!).

As CEO for CGServices USA Inc, he focuses on multi-provider, multi-line implementations consultation for HRIS systems

Council and Education Member of Gerson Lehrman Group Council, helping institutions of the world leaders meet, engage and manage experts across a wide range of sectors and disciplines.

Your Invite to Contribute to The HRIS World blog

If you'd like to provide a post, a series of posts, or even be a regular contributor to any of The HRIS World blogs, click the blue contact us button on the bottom right of your screen to send us a message or reach us through our social media for details...

You can always contact Garrett via email, social media, or by leaving a comment below...

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Posted in columns, project management, team management, The HRIS World Content Series™, The HRIS World Project Insights Series™, The HRIS World Research and tagged , , , , .

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