There are three levels of project management coaching available at Successful Projects: intensive coaching, mid-range coaching, and periodic check-in/audit. They are described below:
Intensive coaching. In an extensive coaching situation, the coach will work with the project manager on a daily basis and attend most or all team meetings and project reviews. The coach will meet with the project manager off-line to give detailed guidance about what should be done next during every step of the project. The coach will review all project deliverables.
This is often appropriate for a project manager who has never led a project before or for the project manager who is taking on a significantly more complicated project than they have managed in the past. The coach is a strong support system helping to reduce the project managers stress and aiding in the conscious use of project management techniques to improve the project outcome. The project team members are aware that the project manager is being coached, and the team members may make suggestions on areas where the project manager could improve the project leadership.
Mid-range coaching. The coach will meet with project manager once per week off-line to ask questions about risks and issues, the status of the project, and make detailed recommendations if needed. The coach often provides helpful tools and techniques and helps the project manager improve the project communications. However, the coach does not necessarily review deliverables. Often the project team members do not even know the project manager is being coached.
Periodic check-in/audit. The coach will meet with the project manager weekly or during key points during their projects. This is usually appropriate when the project manager fits one of these categories:
- The project manager is fairly strong but they still have a few weak areas that consistently reduces their effectiveness.
- The project manager is experienced but they tend to be noncompliant with organizational PM policies and/or procedures
- The project manager has extensive book knowledge but needs help converting that into competency on the job.
During the coaching sessions the coach will help the project manager, look for holes, offer encouragement to not be in denial about severity of particular problems, and validate that they are applying their project management knowledge to their reality.