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Project Manager : Project Manager Oct Nov 2013
4 Project Manager YOUNG PROJECT MANAGERS ARE entering the profession at an increasing rate, with a different entry profile than their forebears and different career perspectives. So what does it mean for the industry as a whole and for organisations such as the AIPM? Do the 'more traditional ' members of the profession put out the silver service and plan an early retirement or should the handover process be more challenging? Eight years ago our demographics showed a skewing towards the older 'accidental' project manager group, with twice the number of professionals aged 54 than 27. Now our figures show an equal split between our membership age groups of 31-40, 41-50 and 51-60. is is 'about right' and shows that, despite natural attrition, the industry has good experience retention and a high level of entry at the other age ranges. I personally don't think we could have a healthier membership profile so long as we understand and respond to the shift in a measured way. So how should a professional association respond to this change? Does it signal a changing of the guard or do the older praetorians guard the change? My ow n view is that events should take care of themselves and there is no need for AIPM to ease the path for the younger generation with protective sentiment. Frankly it would be great to see younger participation at state and national level, but not to the extent that special concessions are made. Like most organisations, the AIPM thrives on corporate knowledge, which is hard to gain and easy to lose. e best entry to senior governance roles is through contributory positions at committee advisory levels. at said, AIPM's democratic processes allow any member to aspire at any level and I for one respect that democratic right. In my role as a competency advisor I have also noticed a significant shift in competency profiles, from the 'accidental project manager' to the 'aspirational project manager' profile. Aspirational project managers, who enter the AIPM at a much earlier stage of their professional life, are also significantly more competent in a methodology sense than entrants 10 years ago. I have great respect for the way that the younger demographic 'get it' in terms of their sense of profession, grasp of core methodologies and desire for better practices. is does not mean we are seeing the 'finished product' walking through the doors of membership. ere are areas of practice improvement such as organisational, interpersonal and commercial acumen that gain more from mentoring and coaching than from formal education. It hardly needs saying that mentoring and coaching is much more difficult to organise than a commodity-style education program, but as a professional body we need to grasp the challenge for the greater good of our community of practice. When I want to be the absolute devil's advocate, I offer one piece of advice to those seeking mentoring. is is to choose your mentor well and make sure they offer something other than a body of ad hoc practice. e AIPM has taken great steps in the development of the young and emerging professional profile. Victoria was an early adopter and Queensland formalised a young professionals community four years ago. We also staged what has been arguably the most successful Young Crew Workshop for the International Project Management Association in Brisbane in 2011. Other chapters have joined the trend and I personally look forward to a solid integrated engagement between the various demographic groups of the AIPM. So is it changing the guard or guarding the change? Neither needs to occur in my opinion. e process of transition within a body such as the AIPM must be natural not forced, and embraced rather than resisted. AIPM's 11,000 members have the natural intelligence to select the right path of development and members of any age have the right to put their credentials for ward. So, while genuinely encouraging newer members of the AIPM to get involved and to contribute through chapter and national channels, I trust you will all forgive me if I don't sit around waiting with the cucumber sandwiches, the slippers and the ar rowroot biscuits. David Hudson National President FIRST WORD Changing the guard or guarding the change? I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THE WAY THAT THE YOUNGER DEMOGRAPHIC 'GET IT' IN TERMS OF THEIR SENSE OF PROFESSION, GRASP OF CORE METHODOLOGIES AND DESIRE FOR BETTER PRACTICES
Project Manager Aug Sept 2013
Project Manager Dec Jan 2014