Human management

Project management: the skills you need in an era of uncertainty

John is a recent graduate working in an advertising agency and is responsible for organizing a client’s inaugural hybrid event.

Sarah is a third generation entrepreneur looking to digitize the family owned traditional food and drink business.

Eve is the manager of a fashion outlet facing severe headwinds due to record low footfall in retail stores, supply chain disruptions and growing consumer demands for sustainability.

What do they all have in common?

They are agents of change.

After all, in an age of continuous and rapid change, more professionals than ever before must be equipped to lead and navigate change; whether they are students, volunteers, entrepreneurs, specialists or business leaders of all ages and from all backgrounds. What they all have in common is a willingness to bring about positive change for the world.

And as the world of work is more and more project-oriented, project skills will be essential for change agents seeking to generate impact. Just consider the three Change Actors mentioned above: Although they face seemingly different challenges in terms of sector, scope and scale, they are mostly about projects.

“Think of it this way: a project has a start and an end, a team and stakeholders, a budget, a schedule and a set of expectations to meet,” says Ben Breen, global construction manager. and Managing Director, Asia-Pacific. , Institute of Project Management (PMI). “So you can see how almost anything we do at work or even at home can be a project. “

Welcome to project economics, where we will see an increasing demand for project management skills. In the increasingly uncertain world we find ourselves in today, these skills are needed to sustain, grow, innovate and excel.

Students need project management life skills to break through the clutter and rise above it. Young professionals seeking to accelerate their professional development should be supported with certifications, specialist references and experiences. Employers need to invest in the workforce to develop it and derive greater value from human capital.

But what exactly is project management?

It refers to the use of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques that enable people to turn their ideas into reality.

In the workplace, it can mean anything as diverse as developing software to improve business processes, organizing disaster relief, expanding into a new sales market, or building. of a new building complex.

Even the construction of ancient Egyptian pyramids can be seen through the project management framework.

Highly transferable skill sets, across the ages

Designed and built 4,500 years ago, the Pyramids of Giza – which housed massive tombs and temples for the afterlife of the Egyptian pharaohs – were a remarkable feat of engineering and enigma. Today, they still leave scientists wondering about the effort (and level of project management skills) required to bring builders, planners and raw materials together.

These early pyramid architects, builders and engineers were probably the pioneering project managers. Today, project managers are found at all levels and in all departments of all organizations: they can be managers, subcontractors or independent consultants.

And there are millions of other “accidental” project managers today – those of us who may not be in formal project management roles, but who have to handle “projected” tasks and tasks. work regularly.

And this is what makes project management skills a beacon of certainty in an increasingly uncertain world – they offer consistent lifelong value in everything about project and change.

Mr. Breen adds, “Whether you are in construction, retail, technology or finance, project management skills are invaluable. With the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (Vuca) times we live in, the world around us is changing at a rapid rate. We see the work breaking down into specific projects. More and more workers are being hired, grouped and regrouped based on the knowledge, experience and abilities they bring to the specific projects that provide the most value to an organization’s stakeholders. Additionally, skills upgrading and retraining have become a priority for workers during this period, as many seek to change careers or switch industries.

And as economic and technological changes accelerate, organizations are investing more in improving the skills of the workforce so that they are able to adapt to change, remain relevant and resilient.

According to PMI’s Talent Gap report, 25 million new project professionals will be needed globally by 2030. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, recruiters are expected to fill two million project management-related positions over the course of the years. Next 10 years.

Project management in work and daily life

This is why, even though there is a growing demand for project managers in all industries, those who are certified professionals also enjoy increased earning power.

Conducted between March and June of this year, PMI’s salary survey, which involved more than 30,000 respondents in 40 countries, showed that even with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, respondents in Singapore PMI Professional (PMP) ® certified holders reported receiving 13% more median salaries than their peers who did not have this certification.

Singapore was one of the Southeast Asian countries where project professionals reported the highest median salaries at US $ 74,936 (around S $ 102,250).

“Project management skills and certification are for everyone at any stage of their career. But it is particularly crucial for young employees, such as those aged 35 and under who are starting their careers or mid-career professionals looking to upgrade their skills, maintain their qualifications and acquire ever-changing skills to help them. to navigate the winds of change, ”says Breen.

Own change by being an actor of change

The rising generation of project managers are dynamically changing the workplace and boldly reshaping the future. According to a PMI study of young people, 85% of people between the ages of 15 and 25 “think they can do bigger things, if given the chance”.

These young agents of change do not let a global pandemic stop them from forging a better future. They represent the project managers of the future who demonstrate their ability to approach problems with a naturally curious and collaborative mind. These are the future leaders who drive transformation and positive change in many industries.

In order to empower this community, PMI has partnered with the Asean Youth Organization (AYO) to sensitize its 450,000 members to the importance of project management. AYO is a foundation established in Jakarta in 2013 that aims to equip young people in Asean with the skills, knowledge and resources to help their local communities.

Mr Breen says young change makers can enroll in a variety of PMI’s globally recognized certifications, courses and training, depending on the stage of their current professional career. One example is Kickoff – a free 45-minute online course and toolkit that covers project management basics to help people with little or no project management experience work smarter and lead projects. successful projects.

He adds, “As organizations continue to navigate the new normal, the complexity of business initiatives tends to grow exponentially. This creates a growing need for a workforce with the right agile skills, such as rapid decision-making, collaboration, rapid reaction and adaptation to changes – all of this can be learned by passing PMI certifications. Agile.

It’s also why he believes companies should offer their employees training and development opportunities, especially those with globally recognized certifications, if they are to develop and retain top talent.

“As a leader in project management, we aim to empower people to turn their ideas into reality and bring the winning aspirations of change agents of all ages to life. “