Project Management Institute

A perfect partnership

Mentors often provide entry-level and mid-career project managers with the guidance they need to resolve important project problems and develop critical skills for advancing their careers. But the effort of finding a competent and committed mentor is often a project in itself. This article explains how project managers can find the mentors that will offer them the type of guidance they need. In doing so, it describes the common types of mentor relationships, the traditional mentoring process, and a new approach to mentoring inexperienced professionals, noting particularly the approach used at UBS Bank; it overviews the primary issue that often constrains a mentor-mentee relationship, suggesting techniques that can help both mentors and mentees resolve this issue. It then recommends how project managers can broaden their understanding, identify weaknesses, and develop new perspectives by building mentoring relationships outside one's organization and discipline. Accompanying this article are two sidebars: The first lists three factors that companies should integrate into new mentoring programs; the second identifies two Web sites that can help project managers find mentors.
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