Fostering a diverse team of project managers brings together a group of people who all bring different expertise and approaches to project work. Each project brings its own unique challenges. A diverse team can help you generate ideas to resolve those challenges, or allow you to assign the appropriate PM to each project based on their individual strengths and perspectives.
How can your team benefit from those diverse perspectives?
1. Eliminate groupthink.
Encourage the open exchange of ideas without shutting down suggestions as impractical or outlandish. When it comes to ideation, it’s essential team members are not censored by themselves or the group. You may need to review many unconventional ideas to warm up before getting to the ones that are truly unique, valuable and executable.
2. Avoid blind spots.
Individuals from different backgrounds and industries can often identify problems and opportunities that others may not. They can share what has worked in previous settings and what failed in their experience so you can avoid the same pitfalls.
3. Learn from other industries.
When you hire project managers with backgrounds working in a variety of industries, they bring diverse approaches to project methodologies, which helps your team consistently find new process improvements to be tested or implemented in your organization.
4. Be open to experimentation.
Generating better ideas is a waste of time if you’re unwilling to implement any of them. To build a culture that embraces diversity and innovation, take a chance on ideas that may be outside your comfort zone.
5. Learn from each other.
The input of a diverse project team is the perfect opportunity to rethink some of your own processes and prejudices. Just because a process you’re accustomed to is how it’s always been done does not make it the best way. Stay open to new ways of looking at things that may be revealed through your interactions.
6. Go deep on diversity.
The term “diversity” can be a broad one. Don’t get mired in stereotypes when attempting to build a diverse team. Examine the industries PMs came from, seniority levels, experience and sizes and types of companies where they have gained experience. Don’t limit your view of diversity to gender, race and geography, although these factors should be considered as well.
7. Hire a mix of skills and personality types.
Bringing on people with a wide range of personalities and skill sets is an effective way to ensure innovation. Homogeny is the flip side of hiring for cultural fit. Don’t fall into the trap of hiring for fit to the extent it’s like hiring the same people over and over again.
Looking to Build a More Diverse Project Management Team?
Generating new ideas is only one part of the equation. It’s also about creating an environment where people feel encouraged and accepted when they think outside of the box. Insist team members treat each other with respect. That doesn’t mean they must accept each idea without question, only that critique must be measured and constructive. At the end of the day, a diverse project management team will come up with a wide range of ideas and work together to implement the best solution possible.
At PMO Partners, we recognize your need for a wide range of candidates to choose from. We have diverse networks to help you find the perfect fit for your team. Contact us for assistance in your search for top project management talent.