Project Management

Acknowledging the Two-Tier PM Workforce

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

This article came about as a result of a conversation I had with a project manager who had recently been assigned to work on a series of IT maintenance projects. He recognized the projects weren’t as significant as the business transformation projects that some of his colleagues were working on, but he also knew that the projects had to deliver successfully for the organization to continue to operate effectively and efficiently.

His concern was that he felt as though he was now being treated as a “second-class citizen,” that the organization didn’t view his projects as important and—by extension—viewed him as less relevant to the organization’s success. Understandably, he felt demotivated and disengaged. He reached out to me for advice and guidance as to how to proceed.

This isn’t a problem that’s exclusive to project managers, and it’s a problem that is getting worse. Organizations are increasingly focused on improving their execution ability for strategic initiatives, and that is elevating a small subset of project managers. These PMs are not only being given the choice project assignments, they are also being provided with additional training and coaching to develop their business skills, helping them to manage initiatives in the context of the business goals that their projects are expected to deliver. I view…


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One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.

- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar