Project Management Institute

Mentor in a minute

VOICES | Project Toolkit

A mentorship can be beneficial for both sides. The challenge: It takes time.


—Ryan Fish, PMP, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Think Outside the Box

“If the mentor-mentee relationship is forced, such as a company program, there's a chance people will see it more as a burden on their schedules than an opportunity, and may not be fully committed to that relationship.

When a mentorship isn't mandated and is more voluntary, making time comes more naturally. For instance, early in my career I was mentored by a project manager who didn't work in my organization. She might not have been privy to all of the details of a situation I wanted to discuss, but that outsider's perspective was actually an asset: She could weigh in without any biases or being influenced by office politics.”

—Terri Buffolino, PMP, manager of project management, First Data Corporation, Coral Springs, Florida, USA

Set a Standing Date

“When the weight of a project with added complexity feels like it is suffocating me, I call my mentor. We don't meet every week, but I know we're both generally free to meet on Monday evenings at a coffee shop. I can share my concerns about the project and where I think I need help, without first having to worry about coordinating our calendars.”

—Héctor Alfredo Torres Herrera, project manager, Citigroup México, Mexico City, Mexico

Mentor Like You Manage

“Treat the relationship as though it were a small project. Whether you're the mentor or the mentee, identify the desired results, establish a plan of achievable goals, and use metrics and quality checks. Talking periodically about how the mentorship could be stronger will keep the relationship effective—and that can be a strong motivator for making time to connect.”

—Geoff Warnock, training program developer, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Gainesville, Florida, USA


Project success rate for organizations with a formal mentorship program for project talent



Project success rate for organizations without a formal mentorship program for project talent

Source: PMI’s 2013 Pulse of the Profession™ In-Depth Report: Talent Management

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