Project Management Institute

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We Asked the Project Management Community: What Steps Are You Taking to Future-Proof Your Career?

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We asked the project management community: What steps are you taking to future-proof your career?

EYE ON THE FUTURE

What steps are you taking to ensure you have the right project management skills for the long haul? Share your tips on the PMI Project, Program and Portfolio Management LinkedIn Group.

DATA STRATEGY

“The future is all about data analytics, so I'm constantly focused on learning how to develop those skills to create value. Above all, data can improve decision making. But it's important to understand how to best achieve that. Make sure the data can help solve business problems. Learn why sophisticated algorithms that will recommend actions must be contextualized to address those problems. Building your big data and data analytics skills will put you in a better position to help organizations and projects achieve their goals. The key is knowing how it aligns with business and strategy.”

—Marivi Briz, PMI-ACP, global internet of things and big data business development manager, Telefónica Chile, Santiago, Chile

BACK TO SCHOOL

“I recently returned to school to pursue an MBA in cybersecurity and data analytics, which has been the best investment I've made in a long time. I also spend at least two hours of my day reading or writing something that expands my knowledge in an area of interest. My advice? Don't worry about getting up to speed on all the buzzwords. Instead, work to understand the drivers behind the new wave of technology. Find your niche, then become an expert and commit to moving that discipline forward. From artificial intelligence to data analytics, the choices are endless.”

—Sam M. Sweilem, PMP, vice president, Health Plan Services, Tampa, Florida, USA

IT PROWESS

“Project professionals need to look beyond new buzzworthy technologies like artificial intelligence. Right now, I'm finding real value in IT infrastructure library framework—it gives you a broader view that really tries to create a partnership between IT and business. So instead of learning one skill—like, how to do a work breakdown structure—I try to consider business value and other business motivators. Ultimately, that makes me valuable because I gain a broader perspective and credibility.”

—Courtney Brooks, PMP, IT project portfolio manager, department of environmental equality, State of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, USA

WALK THE TALK

“In this age of technological disruption, project managers need to keep current with emerging technology to future-proof careers. They need to be conversant in technical languages because digitization has increased the specificity of every role. For instance, agile and DevOps are driving work velocity, so building skills and vocabulary in those areas is smart. Likewise, being conversant in scrum or JavaScript can help project managers bridge any communication gaps between developers and key stakeholders.”

—Thomas Cooper, PMP, project manager, TennCare, Tennessee State Government, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

NETWORK UPGRADE

“One of the best ways to future-proof someone's career is to be multidisciplined so you can respond to changing market requirements. By actively developing skills and industry knowledge, one can adapt and adjust to different situations and move into different sectors. One way to do that is by building a strong network. It's a great way to stay connected globally, and keep myself up to date with technologies and knowledge that help me take calculated risks as per industry demands. The urge to learn new things drives me to reach out to more and more people to upgrade my network.”

—Rachna Singh, senior project manager, Wells Fargo Enterprise Global Services, Bengaluru, India

FOSTER DIVERSITY

“In today's global work environment, having the people skills to support diversity is valuable. Fostering a workplace culture that supports diversity improves collaboration and teamwork. Project managers must ensure their team's interactions—and their own interactions with the team—remain supportive and respectful of individuals’ culture, gender and the like. This can boost productivity—and help build a team willing to go the extra mile when certain risk is realized.”

—Bharat Kotikanyadanam, PMP, project manager, agile scrum master, Ericsson, Plano, Texas, USA

Dedicated Development

The pace of business change will only quicken in the years ahead. Here's how project managers can adapt and thrive.

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of organizations believe people skills are much more important today than they were five years ago.

Earn a Certification

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of project management office leaders believe certification is very relevant for midcareer project managers.

Complementary Skills

These skills will have an increased emphasis in the age of automation, according to business and human resource leaders:

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65% Technical skills

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63% Complex problem-solving skills

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55% Cognitive abilities

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54% Process skills

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53% Resource management skills

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52% Social skills

Sources: Pulse of the Profession®, PMI, 2018; Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte, 2018

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

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