The Project Manager Skills in the Age of Digitization

The Project Manager Skills in the Age of Digitization

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Date

August 6, 2020

Only 19% of organizations deliver successful projects; according to a recent survey published by KPMG. This affirms how critical is the project management profession and the project managers’ roles.

This importance and criticality are getting noticed over years for realizing the success of the projects and with view to the four pillars of success:

  • Cost;
  • Time;
  • Scope;
  • And stakeholder satisfaction.

Project Management Basic Set of Competencies and Skills

Success of a project manager is mainly dependent on a basic set of competencies and skills, as described by the Project Management Institute (PMI); and classified into three main competency areas:

  • Knowledge: including skills across three main pillars:
    • General Management Knowledge: such as leadership, communication, team building and other human resources management skills.
    • Project Management Knowledge: including the specific tools and concepts such as project scope, project time, project scheduling, project cost and cost control.
    • Industry Specific knowledge: such as industry life-cycle dynamics, and product development methodologies.
  • Proven Experience: this is about having track record of project management experience including hours of project management exposure, size and complexity of projects managed in addition to independent references.
  • Personality: this is arguably is considered the most important one, and it has two pillars:
    • Intra-personal: those are set of personal characteristics such as can-do attitude, confidence, enthusiasm, open mindedness, adaptability, and personal integrity.
    • Inter-personal: those are the skills needed for people management such as the ability to communicate, ability to motivate and the ability to influence.

The Project Manager Skills in the Age of Digitization

Digitization Impact

Emerging and digital technologies are revolutionizing every aspect of business, the project management practices are not exception. For example, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning could be providing project managers with valuable data and insights that can transform projects and business performance at large.

The Internet of Things (IoT) also led to the evolution of Industry 4.0, that refers to the fourth industrial revolution that is primarily powered by the existence of unlimited connected and networked devices such as vehicles, machines, sensors … etc.; this connectivity allows these things to connect, interact and exchange. By exploiting this connectivity capabilities, Project Managers can, for example, retrieve real-time valuable insights and data that can rapidly increase efficiency and performance.

Digital tools also allow project manger to utilize unlimited collaboration tools and platforms and human resources management tools, to ensure effective team management that is essential for delivering successful projects.

In this context; every project manager should be having new set of skills; that goes beyond the project management, including:

(1) Data science, data management, analytics and big data.

(2) Innovative mindset and innovative thinking.

(3) Security, privacy knowledge, legal, regulatory and compliance knowledge.

(4) Data-driven decisions making.

(5) Collaborative leadership and digital collaboration tools.