Top Tips to Finding a Great NFP Project Manager
8 December 2014 at 9:36 am
With changes in legislation, pressure from the commercial sector and expanding demands from the community sector, Not for Profits are coming under intense pressure to review and renew their organisational processes and frameworks, writes project management expert Ed Jeffers.
Regardless of whether it is compliance, governance or best practice issues they usually take on the form of a project and in any cases of significant scale they require a professional project manager to execute and deliver successful outcomes.
These resources can be hard to find and for Not for Profits, part of the challenge is knowing what to look for and what questions to ask.
One of the first questions that comes to a hiring manager's mind when faced with a fresh project is how do I find the right person for the job.
With an expanding pool of contracted project managers to select from, it can be difficult finding someone who has the skills, experience and expertise to lead a Not for Profit project.
Here are four key areas to consider;
1. Great communication skills
The best project managers are exceptionally effective communicators, with the speaking and listening skills to get ideas across the organisation. They aren't afraid to speak up and flag issues with senior management, the board, key stakeholders, and delegate tasks to the right employees. Just remember you need to trust them and let them lead the way, that’s what they are good at.
2. High level of expertise and competence
Simply put, a project manager must have the business practices knowledge to guide all aspects of the project. Experience is the key and the broader that experience the more likely your project will succeed. Not necessarily domain specific but a solid understanding of business best practices, business processes, governance, compliance and an experienced “deliverer”.
3. A good understanding of business
Even when they're only working on a contract basis, a project manager must be a quick thinker and have a good handle on the ins and outs of your organisation and the project. They develop an understanding of the vision and wider goals of your organisation and can translate this down to the specifics of the project.
4. Calm under pressure
Even with deadlines fast approaching and unexpected hitches popping up, a good project manager will be able to keep a cool head and quickly find a solution to keep the project moving forward. Be sure and ask about the size of projects they have worked on as it is a direct indicator as to how they will handle pressure and respond to hard deadlines.
In addition to the experience mentioned above it important to try and find an experienced project manager that has a passion for the project. This could make or break the project and it also insure you will be getting 100 per cent of effort from this extremely important resources.
About the author: Ed Jeffers is the founder and Managing Director of the EDGE Plus Network which is one of the largest networks of Project Managers and Project Practitioners in Australia with over 1100+ members. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0404 835 176.