Learning & Development

Industry Research Identifies Skills in High Demand

An annual global survey of project, program, and portfolio managers offers insights into organizational trends related to hiring and the workforce.

Skills

The report, Pulse of the Profession—released by Project Management Institute (PMI)—reveals that most organizations are placing nearly an equal emphasis on the value of leadership skills as they do on technical skills (65% and 68%, respectively).

Top Factors for Organizational Success

Executive leaders identified three top factors they see as being most important to achieve success:

  • Organizational agility (35%)
  • Choosing the right technologies to invest in (32%)
  • Securing relevant skills (31%)

More than 53% of the organizations surveyed indicated they place a high priority on building a culture that is receptive to change. That’s a must-do in a rapidly changing global, economic, and competitive landscape.

Skills Needed in Climate of Continual Change

The skills organizations need to meet current and future challenges are also shifting. While technical skills remain at the top of the list of talent required to support successful projects (68%), they’re closely followed by leadership skills (65%), statistically tied at number one. Following these are business skills (58%) and digital skills (50%).

Culture Counts

Organizational leaders also recognize the critical role culture plays in helping them to both attract talent and leverage that talent to achieve results. Organizations are placing a high priority on developing and nurturing a culture that:

  • Centers on delivering customer value
  • Is receptive to organizational change
  • Invests in technology
  • Values project management

Culture is, of course, notoriously difficult to change and highly dependent on people—both organization leaders and the talent the organization can attract and retain.

3 Key Takeaways

The Pulse report leads readers with three key tenets leading-edge organizations are adopting:

  • The ability to be agile. “Organizations that can fail fast and pivot to what’s next are best positioned for the future.”
  • The recognition that, while technology is important, “disruptive technologies like AI and machine learning are only as smart as the people behind them.”
  • Project leaders are a necessity to help organizations turn ideas into reality, and while these leaders need to be “up on automation and design thinking,” they “won’t get far without people skills.”

The Pulse survey offers a good baseline for assessing your own talent and culture needs—where you shine and where you may need to make shifts to deal with a rapidly changing environment.