Technology Skills, Digital Fluency Key to Success for Project Managers, PMI Report Says

Technology Skills, Digital Fluency Key to Success for Project Managers, PMI Report Says

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Technology and digital fluency are more important than ever for project managers. That’s one takeaway from the 2019 Pulse of the Profession® report from the Project Management Institute (PMI), which focuses on the integration of technology into project management.

The annual report from PMI calls skills related to technology the Project Management Technology Quotient (PMTQ). The report refers to PMTQ as the “must-have, make-or-break skill set” for anyone in project management who has been tasked with implementing change in a world “constantly remodeled by tech.”

To underscore the importance of PMTQ, it’s in the title: “The Future of Work – Leading the Way with PMTQ.”

PMTQ Defined

PMI defines PMTQ as the ability to “adapt, manage and integrate technology” into the job of project management.

It’s not a new term. But according to PMI, it has taken on a new urgency as organizations strive to keep pace with technology changes in a way that is sustainable. The report identifies three characteristics that indicate a high PMTQ. They are:

Curiosity Always looking for what’s next, including innovative ideas, new perspectives and new technologies.

Inclusive leadership Getting the best from team members no matter their age, position within the company, skill set or location. This also includes the inclusion of technology.

A “future proof” pool of talent – Recruiting and retaining professionals with digital skills, adaptability and the desire to stay on top of trends.

The report also makes a case for PMTQ based around the idea that the very nature of work is changing – and that performance is not, in many cases, keeping up.

The Case for PMTQ

The PMI writers open the report with a discouraging statistic: the percentage of money wasted by companies in project management due to “poor performance” has remained unchanged over the past five years at about 12%.

According to the report, “It’s time to add a new ingredient to that old formula, especially given the fundamental shift in how work is getting done.” That ingredient is technology. As noted by the report, few jobs in the future will revolve around a “bulleted list of static responsibilities.”

Rather, people will manage a portfolio of projects, and those projects will be tied to technology.

A $2 Trillion Investment

Companies around the world recognize the need to invest in new technologies. They are doing so at a level expected to reach $1.97 trillion annually, according to numbers from IT market intelligence firm International Data Corp quoted by PMI.

It’s not always money well spent. The report notes that numbers from PMI and Forbes Insights’ The C-Suite Outlook indicate that while 80% of organizations have experienced significant changes because of technology, only about 25% of initiatives have resulted in tangible benefits.

Clearly, that’s where process improvement professionals can make a substantial difference. The report suggests areas where shifts in approach can yield significant results.

  • Put technology first – In every case, search for digital solutions to challenges
  • Train people at all levels – One of the roadblocks in adapting technology is the lack of “digital fluency” across an organization – people cannot get creative with technology if they don’t know how it works
  • Craft new career paths – Younger workers especially understand that their current job might not even exist in 10 years. Project managers understand their jobs must involve project management skills, leadership training and technology skills
  • The triangle of skills The report recommends a combination of skills in tech, business and leadership and emotional intelligence skills for project leaders. All are needed for success in project management

There are many examples of how digital fluency can aid project managers. For example, in PMI’s PMO of the Future report, Capgemini reported that many project managers see an immediate benefit to using technology to bridge the financial gap between strategy and delivery.

That report said putting digital acumen to work has helped lead to 66% of those surveyed at high-performing organizations saying they fully or mostly understand the potential value a project management office has in business strategy.

It’s a lot to absorb. While project management continues to grow in terms of use by organizations, the PMI report isolates an area – digital fluency – that has become of utmost important to the job.

Attaining knowledge and earning certification in process improvement methodologies can help project managers on the journey to acquiring the skills they need to maximize their skills in this challenging, rewarding field.

Pulse of the Profession is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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By: admin
Posted: April 9, 2019, 2:16 pm

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