PMI 2018 Pulse of the Profession® In-Depth Report


PHILADELPHIA–()–Project Management Institute (PMI) today unveiled its Pulse of the
in-depth report: The
Project Manager of the Future: Developing Digital-Age Project Management
Skills to Thrive in Disruptive Times
Based on insights from
innovator organizations, the latest research outlines skills that
are critical for employees who manage projects and programs, and
behaviors employers will be required to demonstrate in order to face
today’s business challenges brought forth by disruptive technologies.
The report highlights what will be the most in-demand skills and
competencies for workers, discusses the future of collaboration and
touches on the potential professional culture shifts that may be
required given the changing work environment.

Key takeaways from the report include:

    important digital-era skills for prospective project leaders will be
    data science (data management, analytics, and big data), an innovative
    mindset, security and privacy knowledge, legal and regulatory
    compliance knowledge, the ability to make data-driven decisions, and
    collaborative leadership.

    Organizations can ensure their
    workforce has mastery of these skills by factoring them into the
    recruitment process, as well as investing in training and professional
    development. In fact, the report indicates the vast majority of
    innovator companies (80 percent) are highly effective at recruiting
    and hiring project managers with the skill sets necessary to drive the
    organization forward into a digital environment. And, nearly
    three-quarters of innovator companies consider their organizations
    highly effective at training project leaders.

    multiple approaches, including collaborative platforms and work
    management tools, along with emerging, hybrid, and traditional
    methods, to help them deliver successful outcomes. This aligns with
    the concept of adopting a value delivery landscape mindset, one that
    allows organizations to minimize risks, control costs, and increase
    value by selecting the approach that best fits the needs of the
    project and the organization.
  • VIEW DISRUPTION AS AN OPPORTUNITY: Innovators are creating a
    culture that views disruption as an opportunity to enable dexterity.
    Rather than view disruption as a threat, innovator companies value the
    technological shift toward a digital environment and continue to pave
    the way for evolving and leveraging advances like human-machine
    interaction, where people and machines work together.

Actions for Employers

To effectively manage the change, the report outlines several internal
process improvements for organizations to focus on:

    take on a more expansive role, training and skills development are
    even more essential. Innovator companies are responding with formal
    processes for developing those competencies through internal and
    external training.
    transformation relies on an organization’s ability to leverage
    evolving technology and tools. Organizations must support what their
    project leaders see as the right approach or process – be it
    disciplined agile delivery or design thinking. PMI expects the use of
    new practices to grow to the usage levels of the leading current
    practices, including lean agile, Scrum, waterfall, and Kanban.
  • NURTURE A FLEXIBLE CULTURE: Create and nurture a culture that
    views disruptive technologies as an opportunity to evolve best
    practices. The report found the vast majority (80 percent) of
    innovator organizations value the technological shift toward a digital
    environment and encourage their project leaders to take advantage of
    flexible practices that allow them to move beyond the routine tasks,
    such as scheduling, to higher-level work, such as strategic thinking
    and planning.

Project leaders are becoming even more essential as organizations
continue to recognize that strategy is implemented through projects and
programs,” said Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of Project Management
Institute. “Today more than ever before, organizations need project
leaders with an ability to learn and keep pace with technology. As
disruptive technology frees them from routine tasks such as scheduling
and gathering requirements, the role of the project leader is expanding
to be one of an innovator, a strategic advisor, communicator, big
thinker, and versatile manager.”

PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® in-depth commissioned research was
conducted online by Forrester Consulting for PMI among 469 HR
professionals who hire, direct, oversee, and/or train staff that work on
projects or programs, as well as 523 project leaders. The HR
professionals are managers or higher level at mid-to-large size
organizations. Respondents were in the United States, Canada, Brazil,
the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, India, and Australia.
Forrester Consulting also conducted in-depth interviews on behalf of PMI
with six HR professionals and 10 project leaders.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world’s leading association
for those who consider project, program or portfolio management their
profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than three
million professionals working in nearly every country in the world
through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. We
advance careers, improve organizational success and further mature the
project management profession through globally-recognized standards,
certifications, communities, resources, tools, academic research,
publications, professional development courses and networking
opportunities. As part of the PMI family, creates
online global communities that deliver more resources, better tools,
larger networks and broader perspectives.

Visit us at,,
and on Twitter @PMInstitute.

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