Leadership skills vital for project management success

Accelerating new leadership and communication skills tops the Top 10 Global Project Management Trends list by global project management learning company, ESI International.

Building the project manager’s (PM) influence and increased use of informal learning approaches such as social media and experiential training are also important to success as identified by a global panel of consultants and senior executives assembled by ESI.

In 2011, project managers will have to put special focus on leadership skills such as critical thinking, crucial communication and organizational change management. They will also have to make more use of virtual teams and ensure that their project is completed in time and in the specified budget.

Those in search of success will have to identify the meaning of leadership in the project and program management context.

ESI’s Top 10 Global Project Management Trends for 2011 list also indicates that project managers (PMs) demonstrating very high mobility and experience will get the best opportunities for career growth through “overseas” assignments.

Demand for competent and experienced PMs will especially come from India, China and the Middle East.

Project management organizations adopting Agile software and product development approaches will continue to grow and competency models will be core to managing professional development and promotions for PMs.

ESI says experiential learning will be more the norm than the exception and informal learning for PMs will gain momentum in 2011.

Also, in 2011, project sponsorship will become an area of focus in South Asia, outsourcing will remain a risky business, and PMs will team with “change partners” and use structured methods to facilitate adoption.

“Project management continues to play a critical role in driving operational efficiencies. Savvy business leaders are putting more stead in project management to fine tune their competitive advantage,” said J. LeRoy Ward, PMP, PgMP, executive vice president, ESI International. “Alongside technical savvy, other skills such as negotiation, communication, critical thinking, change management and leadership are taking on new importance for project managers. Influence and organizational agility will be key factors for performance improvement going forward.”

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