Knowledge ManagementProject Management

5 Tips for Mentoring Project Professionals

Are you the greatest project manager who ever lived? Are they currently erecting a statue of you in the break room? Then consider passing that genius on through mentoring. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Matthew Channell shares five tips for establishing a system of mentoring project professionals:

  1. Have a clear purpose.
  2. Mentors should be willing and properly trained.
  3. Mentees should be properly briefed.
  4. Mentors and mentees must match.
  5. A defined exit strategy to the relationship must exist.

Growing the Best

All initiatives, no matter how well-intentioned they inherently sound, should have their intended benefits spelled out. Make it clear what positive improvement would like to be seen as a result of project managers receiving mentoring. The mentees can keep these goals in mind as things progress. And of course, whoever does the mentoring should do so willingly. A person who is forced to mentor someone else will likely not give his or her best effort. On the flip side, the mentor should also be properly trained, so that he or she knows how to approach teaching the mentee without accidentally taking over.

When it comes to pairing off mentor with mentee, Channell believes it is crucial to match according to competencies:

When deciding on your mentor matching criteria, the overarching business objective should be a central component to any decision. There is no universal criterion that fits all situations and each objective will require a personalised criterion to select the right pair. For example, if your business objective is focused on building management competencies, match mentees that have specific competency gaps with mentors that excel in those areas.

In any case, no matter how much the mentor enjoys teaching or the mentee enjoys learning, the relationship has to cease eventually. Establish when and how the mentoring will end, taking particular care that neither person ever becomes dependent upon the other person for anything. Make a clean break of things.

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