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What Employers are looking for in Project Managers

04 Sep 2013
What Employers are looking for in Project Managers

Around the world, 1.57 million project positions will be created annually until 2020, according to the Project Management Talent Gap Report, a 2012 study by PMI and Anderson Economic Group.

Regardless of the industry, project management is becoming more recognised as the value driver that helps organisations get the most out of their performance.

An organisation’s strategy is essentially comprised of a portfolio of projects that need to be implemented. Project management provides the vehicle for successfully executing the strategy through repeatable, consistent and reliable delivery of results.

However, these same organisations are no longer satisfied to hire “accidental” project managers. Instead, they expect and demand that the candidates they hire for these positions will bring a specific set of talents and professionalism to the table.

 Employers expect their project managers to have:

  • A strong understanding of the constituent components of project management, i.e. the knowledge areas and processes that represent the formal knowledge of project management.
  • A Big Picture mentality- practitioners need to understand the project context and its alignment with the organisation’s overall strategy. They need to bring a business focus to their project thinking. It is no longer acceptable that the project manager is just perceived as a “competent or talented implementer.
  • Good Behavourial skills - organisations don’t want applicants who can only manage by adherence to process; they want project managers who can manage and lead people. It is through people’s efforts that projects are executed. As such, the project manager must be a good communicator, adept at managing conflict, an accomplished negotiator, adroit at conflict resolution and a skilful leader.

Candidates seeking to progress in the world of project management need to develop these attributes. Programmes such as the Institute’s Strategic Diploma have been designed to meet these requirements and give participants an internationally respected professional accreditation that is recognised in 57 countries around the world.