Halo Effect. What is it? This is when a great engineer becomes a bad project manager.
How does it happen? The engineer does his job conscientiously, knows the specifics and details of production processes, copes well with his area of responsibility and, of course, you notice his successes. The halo effect often encourages hasty decisions, so you, taking into account the professional qualities of the employee, give him the opportunity for career growth by promoting him to the manager of a construction project.
What could possibly go wrong? The decision on a new promotion is always a challenge both for the company's management and for the newly minted manager, because a good engineer is not equal to a good manager, since project management requires other basic qualities and competencies from a specialist that a person may not possess due to different circumstances. And in a new place, skills and knowledge in the field of management, which until recently were completely irrelevant, have become a priority. Ignoring these risks, the management instructs "do or die" and attracts a newly minted manager to the project without studying and checking the managerial abilities of the employee and thereby exposing the project to great risks that may arise from the mistakes of an experienced engineer, but not a professional project manager. Such mistakes, as practice shows, can lead to consequences such as an increase in the cost of the project, an increase in construction time, and sometimes to a decrease in the quality of the construction project.
Would like to clarify, that such a problem does not always happen, but often. We do not say that people do not need to be developed, rather the opposite. But it is always necessary to approach any decisions comprehensively. And often, the lack of managerial qualities of a specialist is not a huge problem. Sometimes a high-class expert must remain as expert and be effective in his place.
And when promoting an engineer to the level of a project manager, it is important to remember about the halo effect and the need to analyze the capabilities and abilities of a person regarding the requirements for project management. We have identified for the minimum requirements for construction project managers:
1. Professional skills and technical knowledge required by a project manager:
1.1. Make and analyze calendar planning: The project manager is responsible for planning and deadlines when drawing up a calendar plan.
1.2. Analyze project estimates(smeta) : the project manager is obliged to ensure not only compliance with the project deadlines, but also the estimates(smeta);
1.3. Have an understanding of the technical and technological part: one of the most important hard skills is the ability not only to manage the process, but also to understand the technical and technological part of construction (at least partially);
1.4. Conduct data analysis and reporting: monitor the progress and effectiveness of the project and report to the project team, clients and other stakeholders of the construction project;
1.1. Have knowledge of project management methodologies: the project manager must know at least one management methodology (for example, Agile and Waterfall) and be able to apply it in work;
1.2. Knowledge of IT project management tools: a project manager should be familiar with technologies that can help him do his job more efficiently, such as AutoCAD, MS Project, MS Office, 1C, Power BI, BIM, Revit, etc.
2. Overprofessional skills required by a project manager:
2.1. Sociability and stress tolerance;
2.2. The ability to interact and the ability to cooperate;
2.3. Critical thinking and adaptability;
2.4. Organization and systematic approach;
2.5. Leadership skills and negotiation;
2.6. The ability to solve problems and the ability to predict;
2.7. The ability to learn and the desire to develop.
Taking into account the fact that there is an acute shortage of workers in the market with an insufficient level of their qualifications, companies are busy building up their pool of construction and project managers. If a person has potential, but lacks any of the above-mentioned skills, provided that the person has item 2.7., then of course you can develop the rest.
Train them - develop a training program that will give them exactly the competencies that are necessary to perform the tasks that you assign for them. For these purposes, it is possible to organize internal trainings, send specialists for advanced training to specialized educational institutions or attract external trainers for a group of project managers.
Measure the results - communicate quarterly with your functional managers and see if they can notice the difference. Are projects executed faster and more efficiently? How are project KPIs achieved?