Project professionals rate people management and stakeholder engagement as most important skillset

The Association for Project Management (APM) has launched the final paper in its Projecting the Future series to help address challenges posed by a rapidly changing world.

Project professionals rate people management and stakeholder engagement as most important skillset

David Thomson

Projecting the Future is a ‘big conversation’ about the future of project management, in which the project community has been invited to share its insights on some of the most pressing challenges affecting the profession and the environment in which it operates. This conversation will help APM to shape how it will support and represent the project profession on key challenges.

The paper, The Future of Work and Skills, comes as APM’s newly published Salary and Market Trends Survey research report found that most project professionals see people management and stakeholder skills, and project leadership as the most important skills for the future.

However, APM is inviting project practitioners to join the conversation and debate the issue further, including the significant and dramatic changes in working practices caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

David Thomson, head of external affairs at APM, said: “Project professionals are at the forefront of planning and delivering successful change to achieve social and economic benefits for the future. In recent weeks, we have seen the world transform at an astonishing pace. Identifying the skills that will help projects succeed in this volatile and uncertain world will be vital in helping the profession fulfil its purpose and support organisations of all types to address change, whether it is climate change, technology or immediate issues like the current pandemic.

This debate is about building the capacity of the profession – increasing the numbers and skillsets of adaptive project professionals to meet these new challenges.”

With the Projecting the Future challenge paper series now concluding, APM will begin to draw conclusions and recommendations from the insights shared. These conclusions will influence APM’s learning resources, qualifications and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme as well as developing the profile of the profession as it becomes an increasing important strategic lever for delivering change.

Tim Banfield, chair of APM’s Projecting the Future group, said: “This is the sixth and final challenge paper in the Projecting the Future series and we are almost a year on from the launch of Projecting the Future as a ‘big conversation’ about the future of the project profession.

“We have been listening over the past months. Now we need to ensure that our next steps align with what contributors say is needed to support individuals and organisations alike in a changing world.

“The engagement of APM members and wider stakeholders has been at the heart of the success of Projecting the Future. The most inspirational message I have taken away is that, as project professionals, everything we do changes the world a little bit for the better.”

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