2023 Key Insights for Project Leaders

Go from good to great with knowledge that will empower you to lead change in a dynamic business landscape. Explore actionable advice on AI-driven transformation, strategic risk management, systems thinking for complex problem-solving, and so much more. PMI Director of Thought Leadership Edivandro Conforto, PhD shares a 2023 retrospective of key insights for project leaders.

Written by Edivandro Conforto, Director, Thought Leadership | PMI • 19 December 2023

2023 Key Insights for Project Leaders

In the evolving landscape of project management, staying abreast of the latest trends, and insights is crucial for professionals looking to excel in their field. Throughout 2023, the Project Management Institute has produced a number of thought leadership resources to support the project management community in navigating professional growth.

In this article, we offer a snapshot of these key publications on topics including AI, Job trends, Systems Thinking, PMOs, Sustainability and Strategic Risk Management. From in-depth research reports to insightful articles, these resources are intended to provide valuable content to empower our community with knowledge, insights, and actionable recommendations that are relevant and timely.

You can also visit our Thought Leadership page on pmi.org to access these and other reports from 2023 and years prior.

November 2023
Systems Thinking Boosts Project Outcomes: Managing Complexity, Influences and Relationships

Systems thinking is a valuable approach for project professionals to navigate complex problems by considering various interactions, dependencies, factors and feedback loops.

This PMI thought leadership article provides practical examples of how systems thinking can be applied. One example involves a military project manager using systems thinking to design a solution for protecting vehicles in a high-risk environment. Another example comes from a project management professional using systems thinking to rescue a poorly performing customer service provider by identifying the root cause.

November 2023
Building and Leading High-Performing Teams

While organizations are navigating shifts in strategy, technology adoption and market expansion, the challenge lies in creating agile and resilient teams capable of thriving amidst change. This report focuses on four key guideposts – Culture, Empowerment, Engagement and Resilience – that project professionals can leverage to navigate this challenge and develop teams with a competitive edge.

Read this report to explore real-world strategies, insights and success stories to cultivate a positive team culture, empower individuals across generations, forge meaningful virtual connections, and build resilience in the face of constant change.

November 2023
Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey – Thirteenth Edition

Project professionals with a PMP® certification report a 33% higher median salary than those without a PMP certification. Further, nearly two-thirds saw an uptick in their total compensation over the past year.

Drawing from more than 20,000 project professionals, spanning 21 countries, this report provides a detailed country-by-country breakdown of the earning potential for project professionals. It also highlights the impact of skills, experience and certifications on salaries, emphasizing the need for continuous professional development. Whether advancing individual careers or optimizing organizational compensation approaches, this report is the indispensable guide to project management compensation worldwide.

October 2023
Shaping the Future of Project Management with AI

Over half (58%) of the respondents of a PMI Customer Experience (CX) survey believe AI will have a “major” or “transformative” impact on project management. But how can project managers use AI to increase productivity, efficiency and project success in their organizations? The first step is to become fluent in the basics of AI and understand how they can use it to manage projects more effectively.

With only about 20% of project managers having practical experience with AI tools and technologies, and 49% having little to no experience with or understanding of AI in the context of project management, the need for upskilling is urgent. With this report we provide strategies and recommendations to adopt AI in project management, a run-down of the skills project managers need, and recommendations on how project managers can leverage PMI resources for the AI upskilling they need.

October 2023
Leading AI-driven Business Transformation: Are You In?

Generative AI’s impact on productivity could add $2.6–$4.4T trillion dollars in value to the global economy. To guide organizations on their AI transformation journey, we have created this three-part report.

The first part of the report explains how AI is disrupting the business landscape, what some of the frontiers for growth and productivity are, and if it can help organizations transform or optimize. The second part helps organizations align to their North Star and get on a focused way to transform business and maximize the enterprise project management function. The third part of the report offers five key actions every leader should take to successfully start the AI-driven transformation.

September 2023
Navigating the Future of Work with an Agile Mindset

Presuming that the human drive to become “bigger, better, faster” results in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA), how can project managers maintain balance and continue evolving the process in a sustainable manner? The answer lies in agility, adaptability and resilience.

With this article, we turn to members of the project management community to discuss how agile practices have proven successful in helping project managers deal with uncertainty and embrace a change-ready mindset. Their perspectives shed light on how power skills are critical to the development of an agile mindset, and how hybrid approaches help achieve optimal results when dealing with projects of varying levels of complexity and uncertainty.

Read the article to learn more about the vital role of agile in project management, with expert insights on how project managers can adopt this future-of-work approach.

July 2023
Building Resilience Through Strategic Risk Management

Organizations with strong risk management practices are twice as likely to anticipate significant revenue growth and five times more confident in their ability to deliver on outcomes. This begs the question – what are strong risk management practices and how can every organization cultivate them? With this report, we break down strategic risk management as a vital factor in strengthening organizational resilience and ensuring long-term growth, especially in the face of emerging challenges like AI adoption, global connectivity and environmental concerns.

The report advocates for a risk-embracing culture, viewing risks not only as threats but also as opportunities. It presents examples to illustrate the benefits of fostering a mindset of strategic risk management and encourages organizations to empower teams to explore different risk scenarios, leveraging diverse perspectives and technology.

June 2023
The Path to Project Success: Essential Project Skills for Young Professionals

55% of young professionals say senior leaders at their organization place a high priority on the development of project management skills. But what are these project management skills that young professionals need, and how can organizations support this development?

This article dives into the learning needs of young project professionals. It advocates that organizations focus on providing training and development on power skills, emphasizing a culture of mentorship and coaching, supporting networking opportunities, and promoting professional organizations and certifications.

June 2023
Measuring the Impact of ESG Initiatives

Almost two-thirds (63%) of decision makers report feeling unprepared to meet their ESG goals. Further, 72% lack confidence in the data reported to stakeholders. That leaves a huge gap when it comes to tracking the performance of ESG initiatives and keeping stakeholders in the loop. To bridge this gap and unleash the real power of ESG initiatives, organizations must set the right targets and track where they’re delivering — or faltering.

With this report, we explain how project managers are well-positioned to enable organizations to track their progress and achieve their ESG goals. Strong project and program management practices enable project leaders and teams to proactively identify what to measure, ensure the metrics align with the strategic vision, and document outcomes in ways that sustain commitment and deliver results that translate the organization’s ESG goals into reality.

June 2023
The Role of Project Managers in MENA: Maximizing Value From Projects by Elevating Technology and Data Capabilities with Key Power Skills

For many organizations in the MENA region, digital transformation represents a complex challenge. To realize digital transformation’s goal of delivering more value to customers through technology it requires a mindset change and agile ways of working to elevate the organization’s strategically critical ability to adapt quickly.

This report advocates that organizations address this challenge with three key recommendations: improving project outcomes with efficient use of data and technology, developing power skills to enhance the role of project managers as trusted C-suite advisors, and emphasizing the critical focus on value delivery by increasing the maturity of PMO teams. Read the report to find out how

March 2023
The State of Women in Project Management, 2023

Male project managers outnumber female project managers by 3:1. But while there are far fewer women in the project workforce, they are only slightly less likely than men to have a leadership role, and are as or more likely to have certain in-demand skills.

With this report, PMI provides a detailed breakdown of the state of women in project management. Read more to find out the gap in salaries, qualifications and leadership opportunities, as well as PMI’s recommendations to address disparities and build a more diverse and equitable profession.

February 2023
Global Project Management Job Trends 2023

2.3 million people will be needed each year to fill all of the project management-oriented positions expected to open by 2030. What does it mean for your career? What skills will be in demand, and how does that vary by region and industry?

PMI’s annual report on trends and developments in the project management job market answers these questions for 2023. It provides region-by-region deep dives to reveal job opportunities and shine a light on hot sectors and emerging trends driving demand for project professionals worldwide.

Edivandro Conforto headshot

Edivandro Conforto
Director, Thought Leadership | PMI

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