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Sometimes You Get The Right People But In The Wrong Jobs

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One of the hardest things for a project manager to do is allocate his people according to their strengths and weaknesses. Some people thrive in certain situations, while others might not do as well. When this happens it can lead to problems within your project. It is important for the project manager to realize that it just might be a situation where you have the right people on board, but they are in the wrong jobs. It's like the old problem of trying to fit in square pegs into round holes. You can do it, but it takes a lot of pounding and both sides have damage. When people are in the wrong jobs they tend to get bored, lose focus, and lose confidence in themselves.

In the fast paced world of business, there are always deadlines looming over the horizon that comes up very quick. In an effort to stay ahead, and keep their clients happy companies will have to cross-train people, shuffle resources, and place people in situations where they are not comfortable. The project manager then has to motivate them to do above their best and it can be frustrating.

What companies should do rather than shuffle, and push, is to plan ahead for being able to place the right people in the right places, rather than in the wrong places.


This process starts by identifying where the strengths and weaknesses of their employees lies. For instance if one person is skilled at programming complex software while another is more skilled at graphics and designing, that is where they should be applying their skills. Test each person, evaluate, and identify in what position they would do the best work. There are plenty of tools available for screening and evaluating the people within your company that can pinpoint their strengths. Use these to set up a plan where people are working on in certain areas, environments, and tasks that they are comfortable with, and will thrive in.

Know Your People

Sometimes people are not put into positions by mistake, but want those positions. Someone who is a hand on type person is the wrong person for becoming a project manager. His right job would be in actually doing the project. He's the right person for the project, but in the wrong job as manager. This can happen, when someone wants to move up the ranks and take a position not suited for him for more money, prestige, and/or advancement.

A company must know the people they have working for them. If someone is not going to be happy in a particular job, then you should talk with them and explain to them that it isn't their skills, or their ability to lead, and that it isn't where they should be.

Having the right people in the wrong job can be fixed, but you have to recognize it before it can do a lot of damage to your project, team, and company.
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