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Leadership a priority for project managers in 2013

Lack of leadership skills creating problems with project execution 

9 January 2013

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Project managers will be focusing on developing their leadership skills in all areas of their work this year, according to a new list of predicted trends in project management.

The list of trends for 2013, created by project management training company ESI International, suggest that expert leadership is lacking in all areas of project, portfolio and programme management.

It notes that many organisations have said their project managers lack leadership skills like communication, negotiation, organisational change management and client relationship management.

“This year’s trends bring a murky problem into specific light,” said executive vice president J. LeRoy Ward.

“Leadership skills are lacking within the project community and, until project managers learn how to properly lead teams and their projects, project execution will continue to be a problem.”

Many of the predicted trends focus on the need for project managers to improve their project skills, processes and overall management of initiatives.

“It is clear that it is no longer possible to hire project managers and expect results,” said Ward. “We need our PMs to be experts and take control of our projects to get maximum results.”

ESI’s predictions of the upcoming trends in project management are as follows.

  1. Organisations will continue to call for strong project leaders, but will focus on investments in hard skills.

  2. 'Agile' implementation will be viewed in some organisations as a failure, but for the wrong reasons.

  3. Project management is not just for project managers anymore.

  4. Large projects pose unique challenges that are increasingly tough to overcome.

  5. Project managers will focus on proving their worth and driving innovation.

  6. The US government will upgrade its project management certification in the face of rising criticism.

  7. Improving vendor management practices will top the list of skills for project managers.

  8. Continued poor project performance in many organisations will result in more project managers being terminated.

  9. Portfolio management will take on a greater role as funding continues to tighten and the number of projects grows.

  10. Organisations will adopt ‘agile’ methods to accelerate time to market, but what they ultimately achieve may be a different story.

Further commentary on the predicted trends can be found here.

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