Transforming Project Managers

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 andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

This month’s ProjectManagement.com theme is transformation. I’m spoiled for choice with that because transformation is everywhere. Organizations are going through agile transformation, the digital revolution is transforming how work gets done, business transformation is becoming more common, technology platforms are transforming numerous elements of work, and the whole work environment is transforming as generational mixes evolve and technology allows people to work anywhere.

As I was thinking about all these options, it struck me that there was one area where transformation was very slow to occur—and that’s in the field of developing project managers. Project management has certainly transformed—the focus on business results continues to expand and software is changing many of the elements of the day-to-day work of PMs. But are we changing how we prepare those project managers to succeed? I don’t think we are.

I’m aware we have a new version of A Guide of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), and the major addition there is the inclusion of agile elements. But beyond that, it’s evolution not revolution—some more processes (of course), a little bit of renaming and restructuring and a little less specificity about what a project manager is, but that’s about it.

In the real world, I …

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"Work is what you do for others . . . art is what you do for yourself."

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