PMI’s Global Job Report (2015)

Manifestly Important were delighted to be asked to contribute to the recently published ‘2015 Global Job Report‘ from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) – the report itself looks at the eight countries (Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Nigeria, United Kingdom and United States) with the biggest need for Project Management skills.

pmi-logoAlongside thought leadership from PwC and KPMG we were invited to consider what the outlook for Project Managers would be in the UK for 2015 and whether any specific new skills were being sought by employers – our answer to the latter point was, perhaps unsurprisingly, that there is an increasing demand (and expectation) that Project Managers are experienced in Change Management and that those who are strong in this area will be well placed to advance

The responses featured within the finished article represent only a sub-section of the original contribution and so, for completeness, I thought it would be useful to provide the full questions and answers here.

1) How would you describe the outlook for Project Managers seeking positions in the UK?

The outlook is, in the main, a positive one with the picture continuing to improve inline with the economic recovery – we have seen a strong uplift in 2014 in the number of project roles being advertised with no signs of slow-down as we head into the last few months of the year.

2) What are the challenges that project practitioners in the UK face when it comes to getting hired and promoted?

The key challenge is the amount of competition, especially in the interim/contract market. Whilst there may be more available positions there are large numbers of project practitioners that are either between roles or looking to make a move from their current role. Therefore it is becoming increasingly important for individuals to differentiate themselves with extra knowledge, skills and/or qualifications that may be seen to be outside the ‘typical’ Project Management remit (e.g. Lean Six Sigma, Kanban).

3) What skills do you think Project Managers need to have or to develop in the UK so that they’re equipped to meet employers’ needs and to advance in their profession?

Change Management skills, especially around strategic/transformational change, are being asked for more and more; as such Project Managers who are particularly strong in this area will be well placed to advance their career. Once again this comes down to differentiation as, although all strategic change is delivered through projects and programmes, not all Project or Programme Managers have the necessary skills to oversee complex business change initiatives.

4) What do you think is the primary sector (or sectors) in the UK that is most in need of Project Managers?

Construction is responsible for approximately 10% of GDP in the UK and is widely anticipated as the sector reliant on Project Management which is likely to grow most rapidly in the immediate future. Construction in England suffered considerably during the course of the recession from 2008, with some sectors within the industry falling more than 30% from their peak. Most sectors, particularly commercial and residential development, are now enjoying what appears to be sustainable growth.

5) How could project practitioners become better equipped to fill positions within that particular sector(s)?

A number of progressive contracts which are expanding in use within the industry, particularly within the public sector, specifically refer to Project Managers as the contract administrator. As well as an adequate working knowledge of the industry, Project Managers filling such roles will require a solid understanding of contract law, tort and the specialist legislation which relates to the industry.

Given these answers were provided towards the end of the Summer last year it will be interesting to see how things play out in 2015 and I would certainly be keen to hear the thoughts of any of my connections/followers on here – is the UK really ‘Surging Forward’ with a ‘Sunny’ outlook?

For more discussion of this nature, and also to join a vibrant community of like-minded Project & Programme Management professionals, please feel free to join my LinkedIn group – Manifestly Important People.