Great project managers often are described as good communicators, able to delegate tasks and be cool under pressure.
But as competition heats up in various industries and the marketplace becomes more globally connected, such qualities won’t be enough to ensure a successful project management career. Instead, those abilities – and others such as emotional intelligence and business savvy – will be demanded by companies looking to gain an edge.
“At this point in time, your technical savvy as a project manager is a threshold skill – it just gets you in the conversation.” says Cynthia Snyder Dionisio, author of “A Project Manager’s Book of Forms: A Companion to the PMBOK Guide,” (3rd edition). “If you want to advance in your career and keep your job, you’re going to have to be able to understand business speak.”
That means being able to grasp how to sub-optimize resources, figuring out what the competition is up to and determining how to get the best return on investment, she says. “Those are now the differentiating skills. But in five years? Those will be threshold skills for project managers,” she says.
Specifically, the Project Management Institute (PMI) reveals in its latest leadership research that 42% percent of survey respondents report that both technical and leadership skills are a high priority, a 3% boost over last year.
Snyder and other project management experts say that one of the best ways that project managers can remain viable is to understand the trends that are headed their way, so they can best develop key skills. Some of those trends include:
1. Emotional intelligence.
Project managers may believe their communication skills or organizational abilities are enough to ensure they’re effective in dealing with team members or those outside the organization. But as the consensus grows that emotional intelligence is more important than your IQ, project managers need to show they also have developed skills associated (read more here)