Phillip was perplexed. “I explained it to them three times. They still don’t get it.” His emotion was a mixture of anger and bewilderment.
“What do you think the problem is?” I asked.
“My project managers don’t seem to have the capability to understand. They have 4 or 5 years in the business. Technically, they know how to do the work. They just can’t seem to be able to get other people to perform, at least not on time and most of the time, not on budget.” As Phillip talked, he calmed down.
“Technically, they understand what needs to be done?” I confirm.
“Yes, but the technical skills almost seem unimportant, now.” Phillip shook his head.
“If it’s not technical skills, what is it?”
“It’s like, they can’t even fill out a schedule. Ryan is one of my PMs. I asked to see his weekly schedule. He was so proud, he had it right in his clipboard. It was dated three months ago, all scribbled up with new dates at the top. Three guys on the schedule don’t even work for us anymore.”
“So, one of the skills is the ability to put together a weekly schedule for the project workload, targets, people, materials and equipment?”
The look on Phillip’s face was somewhere between an epiphany and a nervous breakdown. I continued, “So, when you interview for new project managers, do you interview for their ability to schedule?”
He shook his face from side to side, “No, we usually interview for technical skills.”
“Do you think you might start interviewing for scheduling skills?”