Project Management

Talent Management of the Future

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is an experienced project manager, author and consultant who works for PMI as a subject matter expert. Before joining PMI, Mike consulted and managed innovation and technology projects throughout Europe, North and South America for 30+ years. He was co-lead for the PMBOK Guide—Seventh Edition, lead for the Agile Practice Guide, and contributor to the PMI-ACP and PMP exam content outlines. Outside of PMI, Mike maintains the websites about leading teams and, which teaches project management for visual learners.

This month’s theme at is talent management, and here we examine the topic from two perspectives. The first is what works well for agile team; the second is how the function changes as organizations evolve, giving us a glimpse into how talent management will likely be undertaken in the future.

Before we begin, let’s make sure we understand what talent management covers. Talent management concerns the strategy, planning and then execution of everything we need to do to hire, develop, reward performance and retain people. So, all the traditional human resources work (which we don’t call “HR” anymore because people are not resources).

The term “talent management” comes from research done by McKinsey in the late 1990s and popularized in the book The War for Talent in 2001. At the time, the authors were talking mainly about recruiting for leadership roles and the importance of finding people who possess "a sharp strategic mind, leadership ability, communications skills, the ability to attract and inspire people, entrepreneurial instincts, functional skills, and the ability to deliver results." However, the term became so popular it is now used for the hiring and development at all levels, not just senior roles.

Why it became a big deal and the model organizations aspire to follow is because the …

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"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions."

- Leonardo Da Vinci