Looking for adaptability while hiring Project Leaders

“Agile/Lean” ways of working are fast becoming the norm in enterprises (especially software) , but you still see emphasis on “control, predict and linear plan” style of project management.

Project management mechanics are important and no denying that delivering in sprints is not a guise to not plan at all ,however,I have observed a lot of senior managers still biasing towards hiring Project Leaders who exude the highest level of comfort and predictability of time, cost and quality.

This mindset under values and hence under incentivizes the “adaptability” aspect of project management (irrespective of whether you are delivering in increments or as a waterfall).

Effective Project Management in uncertain operational environments is as much about gathering empirical evidence post incidents, adapting to change and constant prioritisation of scope, as it is about predicting the trajectory of a project, mitigating risk & exercising control

While hiring Project Managers look for thought leadership on adapting to uncertainty & change during interviews ( in addition to depth in facilitation, process mechanics and framing predictability)

“How do you estimate features(of the size & scale) that have never been delivered by your Team before ?”

“What will be your Project Delivery strategy for a mandated rewrite of your product’s database schema?”

“As Project Leader how will you deal with a spate of critical bugs found immediately post a major release?”

“How do you re-plan your project when your dependent peer Team is blocked for weeks?”

“How do you deal with a key integrated sub-system suddenly not being supported by your vendor anymore?”

“A newly hired Lead Engineer on your project turned out to be a brilliant jerk and their peers are leaving your project, how will you resolve this situation?

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