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In many companies, much of the organization’s success depends on the project manager. Although there are a number of variables that determine a project’s success, it is ultimately the project manager who is responsible for ensuring whether a project is completed successfully and on time. Thus, project manager performance evaluations are necessary to ensure the company’s success.
A large part of a project manager’s performance evaluation consists of the objective component, or whether the manager completed the project successfully, on time and within budget. In fact, some companies use a purely objective, numerical performance evaluation for project managers. Managers are given a perfect score at the beginning of the evaluation but lose points when projects are late, defective or over budget. A project manager’s performance evaluation should clearly state whether the manager was successful in completing the project and exactly what was unsuccessful or exceeded expectations.
Most companies are not only interested in evaluating what the project manager accomplishes but also how she accomplishes it. Although different projects require managers with different skills, a project management performance evaluation also should list the skills the manager has developed and used effectively as well as the skills she needs to work on in order to be a better project manager. For example, if the project manager completed the project on time because she spent every waking hour working on the project herself instead of delegating, this would be a management weakness. If the manager had delegated work to those with specific skills and experience, the project could possibly have been more successful. In this situation, a performance evaluation would describe the scenario, what errors the project manager made, what she could have done differently and how to rectify the problem for next time.
Generally, project managers are responsible for overseeing employees, so employees’ voices are an important addition to the performance evaluation. An evaluator may interview employees or distribute an anonymous survey in which project managers are ranked with regard to different skills or competencies, such as giving directions clearly or mediating problems among employees. The evaluator can summarize the results as part of the evaluation or simply give managers copies of anonymous employee remarks.
A self-evaluation allows a project manager to reflect on the project after the stress of meeting the deadline has passed. During the self-evaluation process, project managers can consider their performance and whether it was effective, noting areas that need improvement. Asking a project manager to complete a self-evaluation can assist with the debriefing process, as managers and those evaluating them may come to similar conclusions of what needs to be improved.