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Building Departments from Scratch

Metal Toad, I would like to congratulate you for one year of project management consistency, one year without turnover in the project management department. This is a cause for celebration! Raise your glass filled with the libation of your choice and high-five your neighbor. Leading this team and building this department fills me with pride when I reflect on the year.

Throughout Metal Toad's history, the project management department has been one of high turnover. Reasons for this are many; it's a high burnout position, digital inexperience, lack of leadership, and inconsistent processes to name a few.

When I agreed to lead the department as the Director of Project Management in February , the entire department had turned over and had been without leadership for a year. I was starting from scratch. During my tenure, I made a few changes, not only to the department but to the company. We implemented a repeatable process (which I wrote about in May), we hired the right people, created a career matrix and actively discussed career pathing with the team, got consistent with our one on ones, standardized our client reporting, and we had a productive weekly team meeting where everyone had a chance to contribute, problem solve together, and have a safe space to air their frustrations.

The project managers are in a good place. They are deeply trusted by their teams, have the confidence and authority to make decisions, can lean on their shared experiences to work through challenges, have great attitudes and are happy.

Starting this week, I'll be taking on a new role at Metal Toad as the Director of Client Services and will once again have the opportunity to build a new department from scratch. I'm excited to decouple account management tasks from the work project managers have been doing and create a whole new team solely focused on the client experience. Much more to come on that topic throughout the coming year!

Date posted: February 9, 2017

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