Managing complex projects calls for more than basic skills, yet the ‘tough’ skills that make the difference, such as leadership, are in short supply. The focus needs to change.
Research has identified the top three skills that can make a difference:
· A competent project manager
· Processes and planning
· Clarity about technical objectives
The increasing demand and short supply of skilled project managers means that organisations need to grow their own, such as through project academies.
At the DWP, post project reviews revealed that if a project had gone wrong, it was usually people that were the main reason. The department’s project capability is being improved internally through creating communities of like-minded people who develop a common standard of learning and development.
Through sharing knowledge and best practice internally, with other government departments and with outside organisations, benchmarking and assessments to place the best people in the right projects, a supportive infrastructure and with champions to drive this change, the DWP is now moving towards an academy structure.
Among the aims are to be seen as an exemplar and an employer of choice.
Has the project management profession focused too hard on technical processes and skills at the cost of tough leadership skills?
Do you believe that project management skills are wholly transferable between sectors and organisations?