Mentor Protégé Program

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Program Overview

The PMIWDC Mentoring Program was created to facilitate the development and enhancement of project management competencies for the Chapter members. The goal of the program is to provide Chapter members with the opportunity to both share experiences and develop project management skills in a chosen area or industry.

The PMIWDC Mentoring Program is a members-only program. The program is a one-on-one relationship between a seasoned PMP professional and a developing project management professional to develop the skills needed to meet the evolving demands of our profession.

The program is voluntary and is governed by formal guidelines and goals designed to provide structure to the Mentor Protégé relationship.


The Mentoring Program is:

  • Six months (April – October) in duration
  • Follows a structured framework based on a four stage Mentoring life cycle
  • Has three scheduled group meetings
    • Kick-Off meeting
    • Check-In meeting #1
    • Check-In meeting #2
  • Optional lessons learned session
  • Monthly one-on-one Mentor Protégé meetings
  • Mentoring artifacts
    • Mentoring Partnership Agreement
    • Learning Action Plan
  • Deliverables
    • Participation Agreement
    • Confidentiality Agreement
    • Monthly Activities Reports


At the conclusion of the program, the Mentor Protégé pair will have:

  • Established a Mentoring relationship
  • Derived the Protégé’s learning goals and objectives
  • Developed a Learning Action Plan to accomplish those goals
  • Worked towards achieving those goals and closed the formal Mentoring relationship


A program coordination team provides oversight to the program. A list of recommended readings (select Mentoring guides) is provided as a “toolbox” of articles, activities, templates and how-tos for the Mentoring program participants.

The PMIWDC Mentoring Program also contains a military transition component in which veterans, interested in joining the program management profession, will be paired with a Mentor with a military background.

2021 PMIWDC Mentoring Program application period for both Mentors and Protégés is tentatively scheduled to open 4 January 2021 and close 8 February 2021. The formal program period is April 2021 – October 2021.


Interested in getting involved? Look for our 2021 program notification starting in December 2020.

Program Requirements

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Maintain PMIWDC Chapter membership throughout the program period
  • Attend and participate in program activities and complete requirements
  • Applicants to the military transition Mentor Protégé program must be serving or have served in the US Armed Forces


Protégé Requirements:

  • Interest and commitment to proactively coordinate with and meet with a designated Mentor throughout the Mentoring program period
  • Commit 2-5 hours/month for Mentoring activities
  • Attend required program group meetings


Mentor Requirements:

  • Seasoned / Experienced in the professional Project Management field (certified, licensed, length of experience, etc.)
  • Meet program requirements and coordinate with designated protege throughout the Mentoring Program period
  • Commit 2-5 hours/month for Mentoring activities
  • Attend required program group meetings

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information, and perspective to foster personal and professional growth of someone else. PMIWDC PMP professionals volunteer as Mentors to assist in the professional development of PMIWDC members that seek to enhance their program management knowledge and skills.


The three components of a Mentor Protégé relationship are:

  • Protégé
  • Mentor
  • Mentor/Protégé relationship

Role of the Protégé

The role of the Protégé in a one-on-one relationship is to prepare and share with a Mentor a set of goals and objectives he/she hopes to develop as a result of the relationship. The Protégé will make a commitment to the Mentor to work through these goals and objectives. Considering this is a voluntary arrangement, respecting the limits of the Mentor’s time and attention is important. A Protégé must be willing to accept the suggestions and advice of the Mentor.


Protégé Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Initiate and maintain contact with the Mentor
  • Clearly communicate development needs and goals
  • Be open to new ideas and approaches
  • Be willing to have open and honest dialogue with your Mentor
  • Take initiative in managing the relationship
  • Set and work towards goals and take responsibility for your own development

Role of the Mentor

The Mentor’s main role is to provide guidance that may help the Protégé develop and strengthen his/her project management competencies. The Mentor is also a sounding board, offering an open ear, empathy, encouragement and support. The Mentor may assist a Protégé in improving their skills through advice, feedback and dialogue.


Mentor Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Be available
  • Be a listener
  • Be a source of constructive feedback
  • Be an “advisor for a Protégé
  • Share relevant experiences and insights as appropriate
  • Challenge the Protégé to think for themself

Mentor Protégé Relationship

The program is a voluntary one-on-one relationship between an experienced PMP professional and a developing project management professional.


Keys to a successful relationship:

  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Recognize and value individual differences
  • Listen and ask questions
  • Provide honest, constructive feedback and be receptive to receiving feedback


Mentors are expected to:

  • Offer challenging ideas
  • Act as a sounding board
  • Coach and teach by example
  • Share networking strategies
  • Help build self-confidence
  • Offer encouragement and wise counsel


Protégés are expected to:

  • Initiate contact with the Mentor
  • Take initiative in managing the relationship
  • Be open to new ideas and approaches
  • Assess abilities objectively
  • Take action to modify behaviors and develop skills
  • Set and work towards goals and take responsibility for own development


Characteristics of successful Mentoring relationships:

  • Reciprocity: Both Mentor and Protégé gain in some way from the relationship
  • Mutual Respect: Both parties respect each other’s time, effort and qualifications
  • Clear expectations: Protégés need to take charge and actively manage the relationship
  • Personal connection: Actively listening and reflecting back on what you heard
  • Shared values: Both Mentor and Protégé share common values


Characteristics of failed Mentoring relationships:

  • Poor communications
  • Lack of commitment
  • Personality differences
  • Perceived (or real) competition
  • Conflict of interest

How The Program Works

The program matches project management Protégés to work with seasoned PMP professionals who can best support their developmental needs.

Each Mentor Protégé pair will establish and build a foundation for a successful Mentoring relationship with learning and development at its core and the fulfillment of clear mutually defined goals as its intention.

The Mentoring pairs will agree on the goals of their partnership and the frequency of their Mentoring meetings.

They will complete a Mentoring partnership agreement and develop a Mentoring Action Plan that translates goals into easily executable and attainable steps.

They will work towards accomplishing these agreed-upon learning goals within the time available within the formal program.

The formal program concludes with the Mentor Protégé pairs closing the formal relationship and redefining the relationship moving forward and providing feedback to the program in the form of lessons learned.

Mentor Protégé pairs will be expected to meet a minimum of two hours per month in addition to attending the required Kick-off and Check-In meetings.


A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those participants that meet the following:

  • Attended at least two out of the three PMIWDC Mentoring Program meetings
  • Submitted signed Participation Agreement
  • Submitted signed Confidentiality Agreement
  • Submitted Monthly Activities Reports

Program Participation Fee and PDU Credit

Protégé Program Participation Fee: $150.00 is required from all selected Protégé applicants. Military Protégés will receive a discount. This fee will be applied to cover program administration costs.


Professional Development Units (PDU) Credit

Mentors: Giving Back PDU
Protégés: Educational PDUs


Recommended Reading: Educational PDUs

Program Benefits

The PMIWDC Mentoring Program is intended to assist Mentors and mentees to obtain a specific skill or set of skills while giving back and sharing past experiences and lessons learned.


For Protégés specifically, the program offers a way to:

  • Work through a current problem in managing a project
  • Obtains ideas for how to become more effective
  • Fast forward project management skills or solidify a specific skill to be applied in any situation
  • Increase PM competencies
  • Earn 1 PDU for each hour of qualifying Mentoring activity (Education)


For Mentors, the program creates the opportunity to:

  • Give back to the profession by sharing knowledge and wisdom
  • Have a meaningful impact on an individual’s PM skill sets
  • Build deeper relationships with other PMIWDC members or prospective members
  • Earn 1 PDU credits for each hour of qualifying Mentoring activity (Giving Back, Education)


For the Mentor Protégé pair (new for 2021):

Mentor Protégé pairs will be invited to attend a chapter monthly meeting and network with the project management community in the greater Washington DC area.

Program Participant Testimonials

The PMIWDC Mentor Protégé Program was initiated in 2007.

Below is feedback received from program alumni:

“One of the key benefits I received was continually refining my Mentoring skills and the ability to coach the mentee on activities to enhance workplace and professional experience." - Program Mentor


“I learned key factors about Leadership and having a Mentor and being proactive and open minded to gain the knowledge a Mentor is willing to share and provide to reach my goals with confidence. Also, the importance of communicating effectively to foster healthy relationships.”
- Program Protégé


“Our training sessions provided perspective: New training opportunities. The guest speakers were great. Learning the differences between coaching and Mentoring and how to listen effectively”
- Program Mentor


“Special thanks to the Mentoring committee in making this experience a good experience.”
- Program Protégé


“The program is loosely structured; this gives Mentors and mentees opportunity to tailor and execute a development program that meets their requirements. This is a keeper.”
- Program Mentor

2021 Mentoring Program Application

2021 PMIWDC Mentoring Program Application period is tentatively scheduled to open 4 January 2021 and close 8 February 2021. The formal program period will be April 2021 – October 2021.

 

Details to be published December 2020.

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