December 9, 2019

ELECTRI International has released a new study identifying personality and aptitude traits of top-performing NECA Project Managers. The topic, known as “Human Dimensions”, was researched by Jake Smithwick, PhD, MPA, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Brian Lines, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor, University of Kansas.

The objective of this initiative was to explore the distinguishing traits of Top-Performing PMs in comparison to average-performing project managers.  Potential benefits to NECA of identifying the distinguishing Human Dimensions of Top-Performing PMs include:

  • Hiring New Personnel: increased probability of finding employees who are the right “fit” and have potential to develop into Top-Performing PMs.
  • Internal Promotion Decisions: assess employees’ likelihood of success and measure their “match” when transitioning between roles, job functions, and career progressions.
  • Internal Talent Development: grow employees to best achieve their maximum potential and arm employees with the knowledge of Top-Performing traits to assist in their development.
  • Talent Retention: early recognition of employees with the highest potential to become Top-Performing PMs and implement retention strategies to keep them at the company.


Following an in-depth comparison between Average- and Top-Performing PMs, the study found that Top-Performing Project Managers are different than everyone else. The findings identify a handful of personality, emotional intelligence, and behavioral dimensions that suggest substantial differences between Top-Performing Project Managers and average performers.

The full report, Personality & Aptitude Assessment of Top-Performing EC Project Managers, is available here.