In Search of Effective Project Managers
Pureswing Golf, Inc., manufactures and sells a full line of golf equipment, including clubs, golf balls, leisurewear, and ancillary equipment (bags, rain gear, towels, etc.). The company competes in a highly competitive and fast-paced industry against better-known competitors, such as Nike, Taylor Made, Titleist, PING, Calloway, and Cleveland. Among the keys to success in this industry are the continuous introduction of new club models, innovative engineering and design, and speed to market. As a smaller company trying to stay abreast of stronger competitors, Pureswing places great emphasis on the project management process in order to remain profitable. At any time, the company will have more than 35 project teams developing new ideas across the entire product range. Pureswing prefers to find promising engineers from within the organization and promote them to project manager. It feels that these individuals, having learned the company’s philosophy of competitive success, are best equipped to run new product introduction projects. For years, Pureswing relied on volunteers to move into project management, but lately it has realized that this ad hoc method for finding and encouraging project managers is not sufficient. The failure rate for these project manager volunteers is over 40%, too high for a company of Pureswing’s size. With such steady turnover among the volunteers, successful managers have to pick up the slack—they often manage five or six projects simultaneously. Top management, worried about burnout among these highperforming project managers, has decided that the firm must develop a coordinated program for finding new project managers, including creating a career path in project management within the organization.
1. Imagine you are a human resources professional at Pureswing who has been assigned to develop a program for recruiting new project managers. Design a job description for the position.
2. What qualities and personal characteristics support a higher likelihood of success as a project manager?
3. What qualities and personal characteristics would make it difficult to be a successful project manager?