I have over 17 years of experience at all levels of project process and am a 10 year certified PMP (project management professional). To support this experience I am certified in MoP (Management of Portfolios) methodology to select and prioritize projects and establish appropriate governance; in PRINCE2 to effectively manage the projects; and in Prosci's ADKAR organizational change methodology to successfully support the changes while they are being developed and implemented. In addition to working extensively on IT projects as well as enterprise business change projects, I help organizations at the executive level to select and prioritize their projects. Only then can they plan for and do the upfront diligence to ensure their business is ready to take on the proposed changes. I ask organizations the tough questions to ensure they are ready to implement software solutions or to support new business direction. Www.velocitystratex.ca
The easiest way to measure the performance of your project manager is through the achievement of project milestones.
Generally when people hire a project manager, it is so there is one person responsible for all aspects of the project to bring it in within scope, on time and on budget. They should have enough experience and expertise to create a project pan that is achievable and balances scope, cost and time. The project manager should have a clear schedule, the "critical path" identified with the key milestones to be achieved that indicate that the project is on track.
If you have reviewed the plan with the project manager and agree that their plan looks achievable, then the attainment of those key milestones should be the primary way to determine if the project is on track. You can also look at the scope that has been completed to date based on the plan and the money spent based on plan.
Feel free to give me a call if you need clarification. I can also provide tools and templates if that would be helpful for you.
Although project management training is great and I would recommend Agile or Scrum methodologies to assist you with your challenges, it sounds like the issues you are having may be related to needing some definition around roles and responsibilities, setting expectations and communication of the impacts of a slow response time. Using different methodologies can definitely help with that but in the near term maybe you just need some coaching in the softer skills to get through your immediate challenges.
I am a project management coach and would be more than happy to give you some pointers to help you out.
To be a polished project manager, I think you need to look beyond the methodologies, tools and templates and get to the core of what is really required to evaluate a project as 'successful'.
At the heart of every project is a change. Something is going to be different after the project than it was before the project. For a project to be completely successful it must be the right change to move the organization toward their goals and it must be supported by the people who will be the end users of these changes.
The best project managers that I have observed and the success that I have had in project management has been due to the soft skills to work with the project sponsors to ensure the business drivers are understood and articulated. It is understanding the steps that are required to properly prepare the end users for the changes. It is not only efficiently executing the steps to build the hard deliverables, but making sure they are the right deliverables in the first place and that environment is there to support them.
To become polished, I recommend that project managers get training in stakeholder management and organizational change management. They should spend time to get an understanding of the strategic goals of the organization so they can speak the language of the project sponsor and directly link the project direction to outcomes that will build a better business. With this well rounded approach you will not only 'get it done' but your project will be truly successful.