Why the coach in PMO is the only true solution
Why the coach in PMO is the only true solutionBurnout in project management is an ongoing topic and new studies are published almost monthly. A study of the German society for project management (GPM) comes to particularly frightening results: More than a third of all project managers are concerned. The causes: Stress, ambition and unclear tasks in the project. Real help, on the other hand, can only be provided by project assistance. You can find out why in the article.
Burnout in project management is an ongoing topic and new studies are published almost monthly. A study of the German society for project management (GPM) comes to particularly frightening results: More than a third of all project managers are concerned. The causes: Stress, ambition and unclear tasks in the project. Real help, on the other hand, can only be provided by project assistance. You can find out why in the article.
Burnout in project management – every third project manager is affected
As early as 2009, a GPM study found that burnout is not an unknown factor in project management:
Almost two thirds of all project managers surveyed stated that they see burnout in project management as the greatest threat to a project.
A a recent study by GPM came to an even worse conclusion: more than one third of all project managers are acutely affected by burnout. Over 40 percent say they feel burnt out of their job.
For the illness Burnout there is neither a recognized diagnosis, nor a uniform definition. Experts agree, however, that there is a general state of burn-out.
This is caused by permanent overstraining at work and disregarding the body’s warnings. External factors such as time pressure, interruption at work and lack of recognition are considered to be the cause.
Internal factors such as great ambition and a lack of ability to differentiate also play a role. In addition, trust is of course an elementary factor in project management.
The tasks of project management are not clearly defined enough
The external causes of burnout in project management are particularly serious: 80 percent of all project managers surveyed stated that their burnout was caused by too frequent interruptions in their tasks.
33 percent feel overloaded by their work in the project. Stress and burnout in project management are the consequences.
The authors of the GPM study recommend to approach the problem first fundamentally:
Concrete starting points on the organizational level [could] be, for example, to analyze the frequent interruptions and to consider and implement feasible avoidance possibilities.
Or simply asked:
- How do these interruptions come about?
- What can I do about it as the person in charge?
The answer is relatively simple – the tasks of project management are not clearly defined enough. You have to change that!
Project managers spend up to 40 percent of their working time on administrative tasks
Actually, project management is responsible for achieving objectives, meeting deadlines and monitoring costs. However, everyday project work looks different!
Project managers spend up to 40 percent of their working time on administrative tasks.
Instead of making goal-oriented decisions and efficiently coordinating processes, project managers run status reports and create PowerPoint slides.
Administrative tasks arise in every project: Meetings are prepared and followed up, minutes and status reports are written, and presentations are created. In addition, the project plan is maintained and the project budget is tracked.
All this is not one of the core tasks of project management.
Nevertheless, it is expected of them as a matter of course. For those affected, this means additional workload and unnecessary stress.
As a result, the actual core tasks of project management are neglected. The quality of the entire project suffers as a result.
There are no alternatives, the loss of efficiency is simply accepted. This is only logical, because in most projects there is no one else who could be responsible for it. But here, too, the GPM study provides a simple solution:
It has also proved successful to fill project management or sub-project management positions with tandems (Project Manager as leader together with Project Controller) that do not compete with each other.
In other words:
Your project management needs an experienced project assistant!
I’m sure many of you have already heard of the profession of project assistant. However, I guess very few of you have ever had the pleasure of working with an experienced project assistant.
The use of a project assistant in a project offers three elementary advantages:
- Better results
- Lower costs
- More time for the essentials
Better results through project assistance
Administrative tasks in the project overload your project management.
Overloaded project management does not deliver the expected performance. This affects the quality of the entire project.
In order to guarantee the quality of the project, you need a balanced project manager.
In order to maintain a full overview of your core tasks, project managers need trustworthy and experienced assistance. The assistant takes over some of the basic tasks and steps in when needed.Also interesting:Project assistance or PMO? The most important differences at a glance
In the project the project assistance takes over tasks from the most diverse ranges:
- Organizational function:
The project assistance relieves the project management during project planning, project organization and project completion. A project assistant helps with team coordination, project administration and controlling, thus relieving project management.
- Communication and filter function:
The project assistant decides on the means of communication and coordinates their use. It also provides a communicative interface between the project team and project management.
- Leadership function:
As the right hand of project management, project assistance ensures that project management decisions are implemented promptly and efficiently. As a coach, she is both the contact person and the boss. This requires distinctive social skills.
By relieving project management of elementary tasks, the project assistant greatly relieves it of this task. Project management can concentrate on making important decisions.
This benefits the entire project.
Lower costs through project assistance
Overworked project managers often do not have enough time to complete their tasks within the deadline.
Difficult decisions are postponed, important discussions are postponed. This prevents the entire project team from fulfilling its tasks in a timely manner.
This creates a bad atmosphere and reduces motivation in the work environment. For the company this means loss of time and additional costs in the form of overtime.
Also wrong decisions of the project management due to overload are not rarity.
The consequences for the company are fatal: Wrongly made investments can hardly be reversed. Poor personnel decisions also have a long-term effect on the entire project.
The daily rate of a project assistant is significantly lower than that of a project manager. By using a project assistant, you counteract additional costs twice over:
Tasks that would otherwise be performed by a project manager are performed by a project assistant at a much lower cost. By relieving the project manager of the workload, you also avoid additional costs in the form of overtime.
More time for the essentials through project assistance
More time for the essentials through project assistance
The free time of your project management is not only financially advantageous: your project management does its job and turns to further challenges.
The result is earlier project success. Your stakeholders will appreciate it.
In an exciting interview, project manager Klaus Hillen explains what such a model can look like in practice.
Burnout in project management is one of the biggest risk factors in projects. The overload of the project managers endangers the entire working environment in the project.
A study by GPM recommends tandem models to reduce stress in project management.
A good solution is the use of a professional project assistant. This relieves the project management in administrative tasks.
This prevents stress, improves the result and saves time and costs.