PMs worth their weight in gold

PM Careers

​The value of PM skills
​The value of PM skills
Across all sectors, leaders are recognising good project management as a skill which can make or break an organisation. Dennis Comninos, Programme Director of the Project Management programme at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB), answers some questions regarding the increased demand for good project management in the workplace.
 
What is the role of a project manager?
A project manager is the person responsible for accomplishing stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities can include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing time and quality constraints.
 
According to the recently released Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Salary Survey, the salaries of project managers around the world are continuing to climb. Why is this?

This indicates that not only are project management professionals in strong demand, but also that organisations are increasingly aware of the value of trained project managers to their overall business goals.

In my opinion this increased demand is a result of the realisation by businesses that skilled project management is a valuable currency in today’s volatile economy. Organisations are recognising project management as a professional competency that provides distinct competitive advantages.
Slow economic growth, shifting global market priorities, and a push for innovation have all contributed to today's complex business environment, and are in turn contributing factors to the increasing demand for project managers who have the ability to handle the uncertainty and additional ambiguity that comes with this environment.


How has this environment affected project management in practice?

In the past, where project management was used primarily in fields such as engineering and construction and IT, an activity-based approach was often sufficient. Problems were clear, solutions obvious. But as project management has migrated into all aspects of life, challenges within projects have become less distinct, and overcoming them more nuanced. These days most projects are multi-disciplinary and the people managing them need to be ‘systems thinkers’.
Bigger is no longer better. Project managers worth their salt realise that it’s more about micro-projects that will deliver demonstrable value to a business. Breaking things into smaller bite-sized chunks that are digestible to key players.
 
How would project managers go about this?
I believe that project managers need to embrace unpredictability not only in the economy but also within the workplace. By making the best use of resources and focusing more on creating value than on deliverables, as well as taking a more agile approach to projects.
An effective project manager is versatile, open-minded, and focuses on people first. Empower yourself with the right tools and knowledge, equip yourself with relevant up-to-date expertise, and you’ll be in a strong position to make the best choices for project success today.
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