Running projects with Earned Value Management (EVM) systems in place requires a slightly different skill set to project management without EVM. Finding the right people is essential if you want to make your EVM deployment a success, but seeking them out can be difficult. You’ll also want to save as much time as you can by bringing in experienced candidates so that they can start benefiting your business from their first day on the job, especially if your existing team is new to earned value principles.
You’ll find that many of the key hiring criteria overlap with what you would expect from someone working in a Portfolio Office that doesn’t use EVM, but there are some additional things to look out. Here is our assessment of the 7 essential skills to look for in your EVM team members.
1. Expertise in the tools
When you’re looking for new team members, make sure that they have some expertise in the tools that you are using or planning to adopt. Systems like Primavera P6 aren’t impossible to learn from scratch, of course, but if you want your new staff to hit the ground running, then prior knowledge of using the tools can really help them contribute from the very first day.
2. Real-world experience
It helps if your new team members have had the opportunity to use their EVM skills in a real-world environment before joining your team. Whether they are joining on an interim basis to shore up the existing team, or on a permanent contract, experience will mean that they can put their practical skills to use from the day they join.
3. Deep EVM knowledge
If you want team members to work with EVM tools and processes, then make this knowledge part of the hiring process. You can probe their skills at interview and that will give you the confidence that they have the background in EVM required for the role. You can also assess their prior roles and see how much of a part EVM played in the work they did for their last employer.
4. Good cultural fit
They could be the most technically competent person in the world with deep EVM knowledge, but if they aren’t a good fit for the culture of the team and the organization, they are unlikely to be a success in the role. Only you will be able to judge this based on your knowledge of how your existing team works and what you want from a new starter.
5. Appropriate industry background
A background in your industry isn’t a critical criteria when hiring new team members, but if you want to shorten the learning curve it can be a big help. Look for people who have had experience in your field or a similar field but don’t rule out good, qualified candidates who don’t come from that background as they can always learn on the job.
Most project environments these days tend to require self-starters as management is much more hands-off. Workplaces using EVM are no different and someone who can manage their own time and be self-motivated will be a huge asset to the team.
7. Ability to work at all levels in the business
A successful EVM deployment requires team members to work at all levels of the business, from collecting data from junior project team members to reporting status to the most senior executives. When hiring, think about whether you would feel confident putting this person in front of your management stakeholders and how they would connect with the junior team members too.
Hiring great staff can be a challenge at the best of times, and when you are looking for an EVM specialist with the right blend of interpersonal and technical skills to make a contribution to your team from day one, it can be even harder. Recruiting and onboarding a new team member is a big commitment so you want to be sure that you’ve found someone who will be an asset to the department. Hopefully these 7 elements will help you select the best new recruit for the job.