Directeur de Projet by VISEO

Thought Leadership

The role of the Project Manager in the development of SAP teams' skills

How does the project manager help teams to develop their skills at VISEO? An article by Nadine Lamielle, SAP IT Project Manager & Executive Director VISEO

Nadine Lamielle, IT Project Manager SAP & Executive Director VISEO, talks about the role of the Project Manager.

The function of director or project manager is particular, because without hierarchical power, we are transversal managers. A difficult but truly exciting role, where routine does not exist, because we are constantly in action.

You need strong personal qualities such as listening and the ability to set people in motion... in short, leadership!

Indeed, it is above all on a daily basis that a working relationship is built: missions and projects are therefore the ideal playground for VISEO to help consultants progress.

Even if this so-called "close" management requires time and energy, this is one of the major expectations of employees. They expect a lot from project managers in this area; they rely on us as much as on their direct line managers or HR correspondents.

A large majority of managers are also delighted to discover that training and upgrading teams is part of their duties, which is the most rewarding part of this exercise.

Strengthen skills through feedback rather than evaluation

Rather than monitoring, evaluating and eventually sanctioning, the idea is to position yourself as a true "coach", to become a manager who accompanies, shows and creates triggers.

It means recognizing the professional results of your employees: telling them, showing them the interest of their contribution, asking them to formalize it in the form of "good practice" in order to share it with others.

The art of coaching is to know how to give meaning to the work of your team. By offering regular feedback, employees are able to succeed. Experiences lived as a "challenge", a "performance" allow us to say: "I did it, and I succeeded!

By highlighting his strengths, he is allowed to believe in his success. The aim is to create optimal, positive and consolidating experiences that strengthen the employee's self-confidence - the repetition of even the slightest failure leads the individual to withdrawal or discouragement.

To do this, you must choose a concrete experience in an action to be carried out (organize a demo, write a specification, lead a training session, etc.) and a relational experience (the action must create a link with a manager, a client, with another team, etc.).

As several VISEO collaborators work on the same subjects or interact on common projects, sharing and feedback on these experiences allows everyone to value their achievements but also to continue to learn by considering the experiences of others.

This positive self-representation acts as a stimulus and becomes a strong motivator.

Strengthen skills by setting expectations

In the consulting business, posture is just as important as expertise. The project manager-supervisor therefore has a major role in transmitting the form, the method, in short the "how".

Because he has been able to be a consultant himself in the past, and therefore knows the difficulties of this profession, the Project Manager is able to put himself in the position of a collaborator and thus to better help him. He gives useful and understandable advice, and makes sure not to go too fast by explaining things that would have become obvious to him.

The instructions must be really clear, it is necessary to detail the expectations in terms of behaviour in this or that situation. The questions and reformulation will help to better describe the target, clarify the method and the type of result desired.

The Project Manager knows how to communicate, he is able to listen. It must really be open to others on a daily basis and thus take care of people taking into account their differences, personality and aspirations. It can vary, adapt methods for learning.

Building skills by giving perspective

It takes time to develop skills; it is a question of climbing step by step, marking out one's path with accessible victories: this is the policy of small steps and the butterfly effect!

This implies setting up regular moments of support and follow-up well beyond the two annual meetings. This approach must be clearly explained, it is beneficial for teams because it allows everyone to evolve, to reframe their objectives and the personalized means to be implemented in order to progress.

Like a coach, the project manager must regularly review the actions and achievements of the teams to highlight what has been well done, successes, but also what could have been done differently, wishes, perspectives, etc...

It is a question of multiplying micro-interviews to follow the teams as closely as possible (ideally once a month), to identify the "weak signals" relating to a demotivation, or to let them know that they are on the right track.

The team then gets used to being in a permanent learning loop.

Recognizing and above all valuing is an integral part of a group's motivation.

The ideal is to succeed in creating the conditions for an employee to feel pride in telling about his success, and also about the difficulties he has overcome.

... So YES to bring emotions such as cheerfulness, recognition, esteem and positive feedback into relationships with your team!!!! That's what I'm trying to do as a project manager at VISEO.