Get your Project Management Toolkit of Tricks

Cheryl was a great project manager. She could lead a team to a successful project completion. Cheryl was, in a way, the Cat and Hat of project management. She came with her own bag of tricks. The Cat’s bag of tricks included mayhem. Cheryl’s bag of tricks contained best practices in project management. She had processes and templates for every stage of the project. She was organized and intelligent, and her team enjoyed working with her. Cheryl was a consummate professional and loved being a consultant. She enjoyed working with different organizations, learning about new industries, and meeting new people.
Cheryl would be begged by her team members and project sponsors to stay when it was time to move on. When she left, her processes and templates were with her. She wasn’t reluctant to share her work. Most of her team members and sponsors didn’t keep copies of her work. They also rarely documented her work. Cheryl’s departure was a significant loss. Cheryl left behind a strong leader, a skilled manager and access to proven project management practices.
It would have been possible to avoid some of this loss. It would have been fantastic if Cheryl had decided that she wanted to stay. Her project management approach could have been documented, even though she knew that her role was to leave. Or, even better, the organization has its own project management approach. It is disappointing to lose someone like Cheryl, but it does not mean you lose your project management knowledge.
It takes time to develop your approach. To identify the project management deliverables that will be created. To agree on who must sign and review. To ensure that your processes work, you need to have proper oversight. It takes discipline to insist that all project managers use the same method. The best way to improve your organizational project management skills is to actually use it. To pass it on to your employees. To have your executives support project management, and buy-in to your organizational approach.
You want to hire people like Cheryl. You should. You can also teach them how to manage projects at your company when they are onboarded. Don’t rely on others to help you create your best practices. And don’t let them leave without your project management tools.