We are a small growing digital e-commerce agency, that specialize in the design and development of e-commerce websites in the Magento and Shopify platform. I recently just hired our first project manager to free up my time, as my schedule was completely maxed out due to several different job roles i was managing.
How do I measure the performance of the project manager?
Do I need to put kpis in place?
How do I know that our investment in the pm is actually giving us value in terms of delivering projects faster? Examples of this would be greatly appreciated.
How to i manage his schedule? Should I have daily scrum meetingso with him?
Managing the performance of any employee is difficult, but absolutely necessary. To do it successfully, you need to have a few fundamentals in place first:
1) A current and accurate performance-oriented job description that focuses on accountabilities. This establishes a baseline for expected performance. Without one, you'll be measuring in the dark, and may end up focusing on areas that aren't priorities, and don't drive results.
2) KPIs are always recommended. But whatever you put into place, remember that project management is expectation management, and thus not everything can be measured empirically, like budget deviation or milestones missed. It will be important to consider anecdotal or 'soft' metrics, and get team and client input on how well they communicate, motivate, handle conflict, deal with cross functional issues etc.
3) Measure fit. Too many companies fail in this regard. No matter how well the PM functionally performs as per their job description, it's equally important to measure how well they fit the company's culture, live your purpose and core values, and contribute to achieving the company's overall vision.
If you have a capable PM, with strong self initiative, a weekly meeting should be the bare minimum. That said, a quick 5 minute huddle at the beginning of the day is recommended – especially for new hires still in the process of getting their feet wet – followed by another quick 5 minute huddle at the end of the day to recap progress, issues etc. You can loosen or tighten this up as needed, once they begin demonstrating the autonomy and smart decision-making you expect to see.
I'm happy to jump on a call with you to talk more specifics, and lay out a plan you can follow.
The easiest way to measure the performance of your project manager is through the achievement of project milestones.
Generally when people hire a project manager, it is so there is one person responsible for all aspects of the project to bring it in within scope, on time and on budget. They should have enough experience and expertise to create a project pan that is achievable and balances scope, cost and time. The project manager should have a clear schedule, the "critical path" identified with the key milestones to be achieved that indicate that the project is on track.
If you have reviewed the plan with the project manager and agree that their plan looks achievable, then the attainment of those key milestones should be the primary way to determine if the project is on track. You can also look at the scope that has been completed to date based on the plan and the money spent based on plan.
Feel free to give me a call if you need clarification. I can also provide tools and templates if that would be helpful for you.