Project Management Today: Far Beyond a Technical Role

As business becomes increasingly more complex and as competition in the marketplace heats up, people who have the necessary skills to manage projects and who can execute upon the overall strategy of their organizations are at a distinct advantage. Having only the technical skills just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Let’s put this another way:

Many organizations rely on two groups to get work done: one that sets the overall strategy or vision of the business and another that carries it out. The trouble with this model is that the group responsible for executing the organization’s strategy may or may not have a complete understanding of the strategy, because that strategy was crafted by a completely separate group. This leads to inefficiencies and miscommunication that negatively impact strategic objectives.

Recently, the Project Management Institute (PMI) unveiled the PMI Talent Triangle, which focuses on the three areas of technical, leadership, and strategic business management expertise that today’s project managers must have in order to maintain their credentials so they can remain competitive and stay relevant in the market.

According to PMI’s latest research, companies want project managers who are also skilled in leadership and business intelligence in addition to technical competencies. Project managers of this type can better support long-range strategic objectives and drive increased revenue.

First and foremost, today’s project managers must be responsible for ensuring tasks are completed on time, within scope, and on budget. Project managers have always been accountable for this, and that role is not going away. However, forward-thinking organizations are demanding their project managers have broader sets of skills that will allow them to think more strategically about the organization as a whole. Organizations also want project managers to use these more strategic mindsets to focus and drive their projects so as to realize tangible benefits.

It’s no longer enough to have project managers simply manage projects. Instead, project managers must now be able to think beyond individual initiatives and see how those initiatives fit into the larger scope of what the organization is trying to achieve.

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