Improving vendor management practices will top the list of skills for project managers. Ask people in any organisation that outsources its projects or large components of them, and they’ll tell you they have “vendor management” problems characterised by contract scope creep, poor quality, missed deadlines, and blown contract budgets. And, with outsourcing on the rise, these problems will only multiply if their root causes are not addressed. First, many of the issues found with vendor management have to do with how requirements for outsourced projects were written in the first place. Unclear, incomplete, and inaccurate requirements create uncertainty and confusion. Mandating that a contractor provide deliverables against a set of confusing requirements is asking for trouble. Second, organisations often select the wrong contract type based on these requirements. And third, they assign people with the wrong skill sets to work with contractors. Smart organisations will seek to understand the nature of their outsourcing needs and assign highly qualified professionals to write requirements and manage relationships. We will see more organisations addressing this critical need in 2013.