Project Management

Are You Developing the Skills That Truly Make a Difference?

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.

PMI recently published its 2022 Jobs Report (you can read it here). There’s a lot of great insight, but I want to focus on just one set of data in the section on “Demand and Rewards for Project Talent.” That data set is the five top skills and capabilities for project managers:

  1. Relationship building
  2. Collaborative leadership
  3. Strategic thinking
  4. Creative problem solving
  5. Commercial awareness

That last one was described by PMI as “knowledge of the business, industry and ecosystem, along with their implications for projects.”

I’m guessing that none of you are particularly surprised to see the first item on the list. If a project manager can’t build constructive relationships, then they’re not going to be leading projects for very long.

And I’m hoping that no one is surprised by the second item. Modern leadership of all types should be collaborative, and I like to think that project managers are ahead of the curve on that front as they rely so much on team work to get things done.

But then we get to some of the more interesting items. If I asked you to list the top 10 leadership-related skills for a project manager, I’m guessing that there’s a pretty good chance that strategic thinking would appear on that list. But how many of you would put it in your top three? I’m guessing that&rsquo…

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"There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun."

- Pablo Picasso