How to Survive the Annual PMP Project Manager Performance Review (Part II)

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

teamYesterday we talked about the first four things you can do to make the most out of the annual PMP project manager performance review. The following are three additional suggestions that will allow you to make the most of this painful, yet necessary, corporate exercise!

#5 – Celebrate Success

Five, celebrate successes. It’s good to have a little fun! Don’t wait to the end when it might be deemed a failed project  (according to the statistic: 75% of all projects are failures).  It’s not really celebrating, then, and more than likely everyone is anxious to get on to the next main event. Instead, celebrate milestones to reward and reinvigorate your team, or when a special unexpected event occurs. A customer, another organization or department may give you accolades for something that your team member or team as a whole did. Bring attention to that and celebrate. There are so many ways to have fun. If you are one of those who think you can’t have parties because you don’t have a budget, think of ways to celebrate success without spending a lot of money. Take the team out to lunch, bring in a cake or maybe even let people take a break.

 #6 – Reward Team Behavior

Six, reward team behavior. This is the idea of rewarding the team versus the hero.  Michael Jordan may be the superstar basketball player, and you may not even know the other people on his team, but his coach and team collectively recognize and reward the team. They realize that the players who are blocking and passing are setting Michael Jordan up for the position he needs to be in to make that shot. Similarly, we want to reward the team and not a hero. If you are rewarding heroes then it’s more about ego and that person instead of the team. If you want to improve team performance, you’ve got to reward the team’s behavior.

 #7 – Let Poor Performers Go

Seven is important, yet difficult: release poor performers. Like it or not, benching a poor performer is the best way to reinvigorate the other team members. We’ve all been in those groups with one bad apple, one struggling team member or person in a role they are not adequately trained for. Perhaps the organization or you as a project manager positioned them there. They get frustrated and act out, or maybe it’s just not a great situation. Maybe it’s someone who really doesn’t want to be on the team or they have a bad attitude and are disrupting the entire team.  Whoever it is, address that situation and somehow get that person off the team. If you have the ability, release or transition them to another team or project they are a better fit for. Poor performers can ruin the attitudes of the other team members who are really trying. Sports teams or musicians certainly don’t keep poor performers, so why should you?  Pro sports teams select for talent, if you want to think of it that way.  If you have a super star team that you want to encourage, then select for talent. Go for the A Team and get each of your team members up to par. Support them in how and what they need to succeed. Ideally, when I think of managing my team’s performance I prefer to substitute the word ‘managing’ for one of these key words: supporting, encouraging, energizing or fueling your team’s performance.

If you found these tips from Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt) of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at


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