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The secrets behind hiring a great project manager

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Customers want the best products and services. Employees want better salaries. Executives want growth.

Coming up with solutions to lower cost and enhance productivity has been, however, the major challenge for businesses across sectors.

Findings from Pulse of the Profession research 2016 by Project Management Institute (PMI) showed that compared to last year, fewer projects are meeting original goals and business intent or being completed within budget in Asia Pacific.

Organisations around the region wasted an average of US$109 million for every US$1 billion spent on projects and programs due to poor project performance.

In fact, globally, organisations wasted US$122 million for every US$1 billion invested due to poor project performance, a 12% increase over last year.

Speaking to Human Resources, Mark A. Langley president and CEO of PMI says HR plays a key role in identifying and developing talent to ensure the smooth delivery of a project.

“HR needs to look beyond technical skills when hiring a project manager. While technical skills are core to project and programme management, they’re simply not enough in today’s competitive global economy,” he said.

The ideal skill set for a project manager is a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise.

ALSO READ: The highest salaries for project managers in Asia Pacific

Yet, less than one in three currently prioritise the development of technical, leadership, or business skills with only 25% considering all three skills a priority.

When organisations focus on all three skill sets, 40% more of their projects meet goals and original business intent.

“It is crucial for organisations to develop project manager competency with ongoing training and a defined career path.  HR should provide a formal knowledge transfer process; and prioritizing the development of technical, leadership and strategic and business management skills to keep project managers relevant,” said Langley.

The survey also found that project outcomes are significantly better in organisations that invest in ongoing project management training, offer a defined career path to those engaged in project or program management, and establish formal processes to develop project manager competencies and to transfer knowledge, when compared with organisations that invest in none of these.

Organisations that are willing to invest in all four aspects mentioned above have a better chance of meeting their goals (71% to 54%), completing project within budget (65%-41%) and on time (63%-38%).

Since 2006, analysis of data from the Pulse of the Profession survey has shown that high performing organisations which have implemented the proper project management practices have a much higher chance (89% versus 34%) of meeting the original goals and business intent of the company.

Image: Shutterstock

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