Project Managers Today’s Biggest Challenge

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Project management is facing a major challenge today because the volume of project-related work and jobs is growing too fast for us to keep up with our professional approaches.
Let me explain. There are many acronyms to be aware of, so I apologize in advance.
The focus of work is shifting to projects. It’s not just project professionals that are doing this, but business leaders are also realizing the importance of projects in any company. Therefore, more project management standards are being applied.
The Project, Programme, and Portfolio Office roles are growing. People who are interested in working in projects have many options. A project support officer, risk professional, or PMO specialist could all be options. Many companies use the management frameworks and organisational structures that support project-based work.
This growth means that project management can be interpreted differently for different people. Project management jobs can be found with salaries starting at PS20k and going up to PS80k. It is impossible to find the same job with the same responsibilities.
The role of industry bodies
Our approach to professionalism and explaining the essence of project management revolves around industry bodies. This is quite clear in the United States, where PMI(r), sets the standard for project management. This is not because I am a fan of the PMBOK (r) Guide or PMP credential. It is because there isn’t as much competition among industry bodies in the US.
It is different in the UK. AXELOS produces and manages the PRINCE2r and MSP frameworks. These are the requirements for programme and project managers. The Association for Project Management is also affiliated to the IPMA. They have their own knowledge and credential scheme, which is also very useful. We also have a small, but active PMI Chapter. This means that there are people who have PMP and other PMI credentials.
The qualification challenge
It’s a mess for employers. Do you want to be a PRINCE2 (r) Practitioner, a PMP, OR both? What is APMP and how does it compare to a Master’s in Project Management? What should I look for when I am looking to hire a PMO manager? Employers can’t use a national standard to help them make the right decisions for their company.
It’s worse for individuals. People often contact me to ask which course they should take. Employers are looking for PRINCE2(r), but this course won’t teach proper scheduling or reflect your field experience. Should you also take the PMP?
What about the new Registered Project Professional designation of APM? This is still a relatively new industry designation, but it is the idea that those who have RPP will then become Chartered Project Professionals after the APM receives its Royal Charter. This will likely propel them into the same ranks as Chartered Accountants and Chartered Surveyors.
Let’s say that you want to do this. Who will pay? Many employers won’t pay for membership fees to more than one professional body. Individuals must pay for PMI and APM memberships. They can ask their employers to send them PRINCE2(r), recertification courses, every 5 years.
It is very complex.
Why I don’t know the answers (and neither do you)
Articles like these should end with the author offering their suggestions on how to tackle the challenge. Problem is, I don’t know the answers. The production of certificate-based courses by professional bodies will not suddenly cease. It is how they do it.

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