International Project Management Day




Project Coaching Check-in Calendar and Worksheet


Quick Summary
One of the best ways to help your project managers, especially newer ones, is to have colleagues provide advice and assistance throughout their projects.


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What this is

Template for scheduling, thinking through, and staying on top of multiple check-ins in a busy project environment. The Calendar provides a table view of projects and their key upcoming milestones, as well as notes on possible areas of discussion or concern. The Worksheet provides a format for keeping track of key project status, issues, and items to coach the Project Manager on.


Why it's useful

One of the best ways to help your project managers, especially newer ones, is to have colleagues provide advice and assistance throughout their projects. Sometimes this role is fulfilled ad hoc by colleagues acting as informal coaches or mentors. Sometimes the company establishes more official "project manager support," either as assignments to particular individuals or as part of a Project Management Office or Project Management Support Group.

Whether the coaching role is informal or part of the coach's explicit job description, it can be helpful to have a way to stay on top of what coaching may be important and when to do it. People who have the explicit role to coach or mentor multiple project managers often find that making sure they check in on projects at the right key points can be hard to do in a busy environment. Keeping track of the critical issues and important areas for coaching on each of multiple projects can be even more challenging!

This template was developed by the two members of a Project Manager Support Group to solve those problems for their own coaching. In that particular situation, the company had 25 project managers, only 2 of whom had prior project experience. The PMSG members were experienced project managers whose job it had become to coach all the new PMs through their projects, providing advice along the way, helping them look out for risks, and making sure they were using the company's project management "best practices." They developed the "calendar" table to plan what coaching should be done and when and have an at-a-glance schedule of those target dates. They used the "Worksheet" to keep track of their thoughts about what should be discussed during each check-in and important items coming out of the check-ins.


How to use it

  • Decide projects you'll check in with. Make your initial list of what projects or managers you think should benefit from a check-in. Think about new project managers, project managers new to the company, or project managers handling a new type of project.
  • Determine what key points in the project would be logical for a check-in. For instance, in the example template, this company recorded key project phase checkpoints, certain reviews, and other points tied to known past project planning or decision-making challenges.
  • For those points, record in the Calendar the approximate date or timeframe of the key checkpoints. This establishes the detail of your calendar of potential check-in and coaching commitments.
  • Use the Worksheet for each project manager to be coached, to think through and document the overall reason for doing the check-ins and coaching in the first place.
  • For each project, determine which of the possible checkpoints should actually get a check-in. Every project may not get every potential check-in. The creators of this template found that with more experienced PMs, they focused on key risks on the project and then identified which points in the project would be most important for checking in to help with risk review, advice to the PM etc. For very new, inexperienced PMs, they usually did a check in at every key point, at least for that person's first project.

This template requires a Premium Subscription
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