Opinion

New breed of project managers drive the recovery

Holistic project management skills are in the ascendancy, along with the five-figure-plus salaries that such talent now demands, writes Andrew Gardner, senior divisional director at Reed Technology.

The recession has certainly claimed its fair share of business casualties with the near meltdown of global financial markets and the collateral damage that has ensued in terms of the near nationalisation of parts of the banking sector and massive job losses.

The result has been that we have seen financial consolidation on a scale never experienced before. Politicians and business leaders have been working together not only to rebuild businesses, but bolster our entire Western economy against a back-drop of high-level parliamentary inquiries and the dramatic General Election, where the handling of the economy is now top of the political agenda for the new coalition .

Consolidation means larger global businesses merging or being taken over whether they are banks, building societies, energy corporations or insurance companies requiring complete restructuring taking months, if not years to complete. This has led to a hunger for new skills and the emergence of a new breed of project management where IT is at the vanguard.

In a post-recession jobs market there has never been greater demand for high-level IT skills, because salaries and daily rates are increasing year-on-year.

In short, with the takeovers come to makeovers - the emergence of a different kind of IT project manager; one who in addition to their technical ability must have business transformation and change skills hardwired into their DNA. For one of our larger clients 70% of the candidates we have provided are senior project or change managers and we have had to take on extra personnel ourselves to meet the need.

There is now a real demand for individuals who possess strategic vision to lead teams over months and years as consolidation and harmonisation programmes roll out. We are being called upon not to parachute in short-term trouble-shooters, but to build dedicated PMO delivery teams' for the long-haul.

This new breed of talented individual is building the new post-recession economy and because they are currently in scare supply a skills gap is generating the demand and the command for the higher salaries and daily rates we are witnessing.

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This was first published in May 2010

 

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