The Mentor-Protégé Relationship is an on-going and key aspect of the CMIT program. Mentors provide CMITs with guidance and support, to ensure CMITs are on the right track to obtaining the experience necessary to qualify for CCM certification. Mentors and protégés create and manage development plans. Your mentor can be a CCM that you currently work with. If you do not work with a CCM, or would just like to see what else is out there, you may select a mentor from CMAA's ever-expanding Mentor Directly. To guide this process, CMAA provides mentors and protégés with the CMIT Mentor Program Guide.
A mentor acts as both a career coach and a role model. As a mentor, you will be responsible for taking a personal interest in your mentee's career goals and personal aspirations.
You will be required to challenge your mentee and provide them with feedback when needed. There will betimes when you may not personally be able to assist your mentee. During those times, it will be your job, as a mentor, to connect your mentee with the appropriate people (i.e. other professionals, academic institutes, etc...).
Ideally, the mentorship should end with an open and candid relationship having been formed between the mentor and mentee.
As a mentee, it will be your responsibility to understand the nature of your relationship with your mentor, and manage your expectations accordingly. A mentor's responsibility is to challenge and advise their mentee. A mentor's responsibility is not to enhance their mentee's employability. Although new career opportunities may stem from a mentorship, they are not a given.
While the CMIT program's mentors are all highly knowledgeable CM practitioners, they may not always have an answer to every question. In this case, it is the mentee's responsibility to communicate their challenge to their mentor, so that their mentor can help them find an answer.
Mentees will also be responsible for coming to each meeting with their mentor, fully prepared. The mentors are volunteering their time, so their time must always be respected.
Above all else, mentors and their mentees must avoid any conflicts of interest that entering into a mentor-mentee relationship may cause. For example, it is not appropriate for managers and subordinates or direct competitors to be mentor-mentee because workplace tensions could arise that may affect a mentor's ability or willingness to aid their mentee.
Goals, expectations and meeting guidelines should be established early in the mentorship. Both mentor and mentee should clearly communicate the expectations they have for one another and the mentorship in general.
Throughout the mentorship, mentors and mentees should also develop a strategy for regular communication. Both are also encouraged to keep their local CMAA chapter (which may be the same) up to date on their progress.
Near the end of the mentorship, the mentor and mentee should review the mentees progress and develop a set of next steps for the mentee to follow as they venture out on their own. These next steps should include strategic career advice as well as advice on preparing for the CCM. Often times, relationships formed though the CMIT mentorship program continue long after the mentorship has ended.
Upon conclusion of the mentorship, both the mentor and mentee are encouraged to evaluate one another as well as the overall effectiveness of the mentorship program itself. These evaluations are highly important, as they help the CMIT committee and the regional CMAA chapters understand what they're doing well, and what they need to improve upon.
A more thorough description of expectations from the mentor-mentee relationship can be found in the Mentor Program Guide
Recommended Yearly Checkpoints
Although regular communication between mentor and mentee is encouraged, it will not always be a possibility. However, the CMIT mentoring program does strongly recommend that mentor-mentee pairs follow the communication plan below.
- First Month – Informal meet up and get to know each other, share and discuss career goals
- Third Month – Put pen to paper! Establish career goals (1, 2, & 4 year milestones) and discuss how to achieve them.
- Sixth & Ninth Months – Review current work load, establish how your current experience can count toward your Responsible in Charge experience (RIC) and learn how to gain experience in other required categories
- Twelfth Month – recap, review career goals, modify and change as needed, plan for the year to come!
Evaluation of your Mentor or Mentee is highly encouraged. Evaluation helps the other party know what they are doing well, and what they need to improve upon. Evaluation also helps CMAA identify the strengths of a mentor so that the can be most appropriately paired with future mentees. For additional information, click here.