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Project Manager : Project Manager Oct Nov 2011
38 Project Manager As the baby boomers retire, will the next generation of project managers be able to fill the skills gap? Baby boomer brain drain Baby boomers are leaving the workforce in droves and taking their knowledge and experience with them. With 76.4 million boomers on the cusp of retirement, organisations are nervously eyeing the next generation of project managers, hoping they’re up to filling their positions. Dr Neveen Moussa, Principal at global consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz, told project manager that most boomers are ‘accidental’ project managers with 'deep' first-hand experience. The next generation of ‘aspirational’ project managers may have qualifications but won’t necessarily be equipped to take their place. “ You can’t buy immediate experience ... to be an experienced project manager you need to have shadowed someone, and that takes time.” She went on to predict that, unless immediate steps were taken to address the skills shortage, there would be fierce competition for talent and organisations would have to widen their search to include overseas candidates. The only course of action, in Moussa’s opinion, is for all organisations to institute a professional development program that includes mentoring, training and succession planning. “Ever yone should make a concerted effort to upskill the next generation of project managers to prepare them for the frontline when the baby boomers retire.” Skills wanted But which skills do the next generation need? Many baby boomers have a technical background and “fell into project management”, explained Moussa. While technical knowledge is valuable, what’s needed now is a broad range of skills. “What makes a good technical person successful in their technical discipline does not always make a good project manager.” Moussa believes strong leadership skills set apart good project managers. “As a project manager, you deal with all levels of the organisation, all kinds of personalities and individuals, various environments and career centre «to be an experienced project manager you need to have shadoWed someone»
Project Manager Aug Sep 2011
Project Manager Dec Jan 2012