skip to Main Content

Insights

The need for leadership in project management

Author: Bethany Brown

Insights

The need for leadership in project management

Author: Bethany Brown

Did you know that 60% of projects fail due to the lack of qualified project/program managers (Gartner Group 2002)? The Project Management Institute (PMI) recently released research indicating that technical PM skills alone are not enough in today’s workforce. Companies are searching for PM professionals that also exceed in leadership.

Projects are becoming increasingly more complicated. Project management is more than just working with numbers, templates, charts, graphs, and computing systems. A common denominator in all projects is people. While technical skills are essential to Project/Program Management (PM), do you also have the leadership skills to motivate your team to succeed?

 

68% of organizations would like to develop leadership skills within their project and program management teams and 65% of organizations focus on developing the technical skills of their PM personnel (PMI, 2020). A 2017 study by the Journal of Applied Psychology found that participants undergoing leadership training improved their capacity by 25% and their performance by 20% (Lacerenza 2017).

Organizations that are high-performers in PM reported that 81% of them prioritize technical training and 79% prioritize leadership training. For low-performing organizations, 34% report prioritizing technical training, and only 11-13% prioritize leadership training for their PM teams. 😥

With a 60% rate of project failures due to the lack of qualified project/program managers in leadership, it is essential to get yourself and your team up to date on all necessary training.

How do you incorporate leadership with project and program management?

Your employees might think you’re a good manager, but are you a great leader? While leadership and management may seem similar, they are the difference in how you enable and motivate a team towards success and control the outcome of a project.

Management
Management relies on planning, organizing, controlling, and coping with complexity and everyday functions. In particular, the top Project Managers consistently demonstrate several key skills, including but not limited to the ability to:
  • Focus on the critical technical project management element for each project they manage. This focus is as simple as having the right artifacts readily available.
  • Tailor both traditional and agile tools, techniques, and methods for each project.
  • Make time to plan thoroughly and prioritize diligently.
  • Manage project elements including, but not limited to, schedule, cost, resources, and risks.
Leadership
Leadership is a concept in which an individual sets a strategic direction and motivates or empowers people to achieve the vision. The qualities and skills of a leader are housed in dealing with people and include the following:
  • Being a visionary (e.g. help to describe the products, goals, and objectives of the project, able to dream and translate those dreams for others);
  • Being optimistic, positive, and collaborative;
  • Managing relationships and conflict by building trust, satisfying concerns, seeking consensus;
  • Applying persuasion, negotiation, compromise, and conflict resolution skills;
  • Great communication like managing expectations, feedback, and active listening;
  • Being able to build effective teams, be service-oriented, have fun, and share humor effectively with team members.

“People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me the choice is easy.” – Michael Scott (The Office, Season 4, Episode 3)

Takeaways
The high-performing organizations state that advancing these competencies can support longer-range strategic objectives. Leadership is an integral part of project management and only enhances PM processes.

Using the management skills as a backbone will get your projects done, but being a leader to your team and peers will ensure motivation, success, and overall better business. Finding the balance between the two should be a responsibility of a Project/Program Manager, not another set of skills.

For more information and training on program management with leadership, check out our course FPM 334: Progressive Leadership in Program Management.



Sources:

STAY IN THE LOOP

Stay in the loop with special offers, educational content, and more.

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!

© 2021 Business Management Research Associates, Inc. | All Rights Reserved

STAY IN THE LOOP

Stay in the loop with special offers, educational content, and more.

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!

© 2021 Business Management Research Associates, Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Back To Top