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Topics: Leadership
Leadership vs. Technical ! Why?

I would like to initiate discussion and call for opinions on this new PMI path declared so bluntly with new CCRs.

Webinar explaining the new CCR processes, states that “industry” emphasized interest in leadership vs. “technical skills”, because (sic!), technical skills can be coached, while leadership is different. And then, as a result of action along that line, guess what, training in leadership is being requested and offered.

All of that said in the same breath. Cannot be trained, but training required. That contradiction brings up a question of how much was the charter (as stated in the webinar) and development of this new CCR process in line with PMI’s own BOK.

Aside from new CCRs, which have just been made easier to obtain, though at possibly higher cost, there are much wider repercussions of such course by PMI.

In my humble opinion, and even more humble witnessing (from the first row, and hands deep in somebody else’s mess) of many project management disasters, all of them were strictly the result of one and only thing: management not knowing much, or anything, about the nature of business or project, whether it is what needed to be done, or what it would take to do it.
And that always came in package with deafness coming from delusion of being a divinity-appointed leader. That caused failures on every level of the business/project, and, certainly, nobody followed.

Projects carried on till their eventual end, not because of some leadership, but because there were still people who liked doing things right for the sake of doing things right, as well as those who failed to duck.

With this new “almost manifest”, expressed in terms of CCR processes, PMI is blazing even deeper ruts into irrelevance when it comes to being a benchmark and source for standardized skills and processes. This time, it is not just separation of skills which should be merged, but a clearly stated disparaging view of so called “technical skills”, which means anything to do with the actual business/project itself.

Now, an already noticeable trend will have almost official justification, the trend where all of those without “technical skills” or knowledge of the business/project automatically assume that they must be having those “leadership” skills, “not acquirable by training” (according to “industry’). The very definition of the “illusion of grandeur” and fine vehicle for sociopathic conduct.

Combined with the ease of obtaining a PMP certification, it just scares me that one of the leading (and certainly the highest profile) institutions has decided to stab itself into the back.

And, talking about the “industry” referenced in that PMI’s explanation of reasoning behind new CCRs, I bet that Branson, Jobs, Gates, Buffet, Zuckerman, Bryn, Bezos (mentioning all of them because we are forced to think in bombastic terms, instead of appreciating the quiet achievers, too), living or not, would have had a word or two to say about lack of necessity to know anything about your business. Or should we look, as our guiding light, at makers of various exploding devices and vehicles, non-functioning national web sites, or caretakers of many, many overblown infrastructure and resources projects.

PMI, please, do not provide lifeline to incompetence, and do not promote lemming leadership.

Lemming leadership and bleeting yesmanship have destroyed many a business, project and country

File attached.


I would tend to agree with much of what Boris says above. With this courageous post he exemplifies what it means to be a leader and deserves our thanks.

Curious there have been no replies in in over six months?

What the industry is really saying is not that technical skills (skills in the techniques, tools, and methods) of project management are to be disregarded (even though they so often are), but rather the technical skills on their own are not enough in the business world today.

At the same time, as project managers and participants in the evolution of project management, we are in a good position to influence the way "technical" as opposed to "leadership" project management skills are conceptualised and regarded.

Leadership for the technically oriented project manager can be in the form of successful persuasion influencing sponsors, business owners and key stakeholders to make reasonable investment into carefully tailored process, tools, and techniques so that project management actually works for them and delivers the touted benefits of our professional services. We need to develop this leadership for the sake of our clients, their customers, and for our profession.

Promotion of leadership development should never come at the denigration of our body of knowledge and related technique, and this perception should be avoided by our institutions. However I am actually encouraged that resources and training (and their should be coaching as well) for leadership will have increased emphasis by PMI.

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