On the supervisory front, new managers must be exposed early and often to the multi-project environment if they are to develop the necessary skills. The authors suggest assigning each newcomer to two small projects, guided by an experienced mentor. An alternative would be to appoint the new hire as an assistant to a veteran manager who is running several projects.
The hands-on experience is necessary, the authors write, because it is not a given “that a good single-project manager will be an equally good multiple-project manager and vice versa.”
In a multi-project environment, team culture has little bearing on success. Instead, a firm-wide culture emphasizing shared values and goals is key. Firms also need to have flexible managers who can juggle a number of initiatives, adapting to their different needs and pressures.