Projects have long been how we get things done in complex organizations. But as the rate of change and the complexity of our organizations increase we need to make sure that our project management skills and way of working are fit for today’s challenges and ready for the future.
- Projects are increasingly “horizontal” cutting across the traditional vertical silos of function and geography. Project managers today need to be adept at navigating matrix management and leading remote and virtual project teams
- Many projects are already incorporating elements of digital transformation. The project manager of the future will be leading faster paced, multiple projects with much higher levels of technology integrated into the way we work
Traditional project management training tends to focus on planning and organising tools and to assume a relatively simple people management environment. Navigating organizational complexity and getting the best out of people are becoming increasingly challenging for project managers. The so called “soft skills” are becoming the most difficult ones to develop and exercise. A recent McKinsey study into large projects identified soft skills as a relatively neglected and vital area of project success
In major projects the norm is now
- matrixed project team members with multiple bosses and from multiple functions, business units and geographies
- multiple team membership, with many project team members also working on other projects at the same time
- virtual collaboration, with most collaborative effort done through technology such as conference calls rather than face-to-face with significant implications for engagement, trust and speed of response
- complex stakeholder environments more and more time been given to managing these relationships and exercising influence without authority
- increasing accountability and transparency of delivery of results, whilst at the same time reducing control over the resources needed to achieve them
In our work as specialists in inspiring and enabling people to succeed in increasingly connected virtual, matrix and digital organizations we have experienced these challenges in many organisations and the secret of success lies in upgrading and project teams to navigate this increasingly complex organizational environment.
If you need to get started in building the skills now, please contact us direct.