After seeing an advertisement in the Australian Institute of Project Management’s (AIPM) magazine this month (http://www.aipm.com.au/html/project_manager_magazine.cfm) for a university that has masters degree programs in both “Project Management” and “Project Leadership”, we got to thinking…what do we think is needed most – the technical aspects of project management or the leadership components?
As we work with companies around the world, we frequently see significant gaps in project management skills; risk, scheduling and scope management techniques are sometimes non-existent. However, the real deep-seeded problems seem to lie in a lack of leadership at the project manager level, and at the level above the project manager who have the mission of driving change. Many leaders (and project managers are leaders!) do not understand the organisational, political and cultural elements of driving a project change initiative. It is leadership of projects where the vacuum exists. It is vital that project managers have a breadth of leadership skills and education to fill this vacuum and provide guidance to their management team to successfully implement their project deliverables. In short, we need more project leadership personnel.
A quick internet search yields a plethora of Masters of Project Management programs but very few programs for Project Leadership. Certainly, many of the project management programs include leadership courses, but where is the emphasis? In a sidebar article on the “Top Traits of Future Project Managers” in the same AIPM magazine, 6 of the 9 traits mentioned are leadership versus management skills.
Are you placing the appropriate emphasis on your educational and advancement as a project leader/manager? Where do you see the greatest gaps in your organisation?
Note: Mindavation provides a number of courses on project leadership, most notably our Critical Judgement workshop. You can find details at www.mindavation.com or www.mindavation.com.au, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a presentation for you and your team on Critical Judgement.