On 22 November 2017 Prosource facilitated a workshop at the PMI Belgium Chapter meeting. The objective of the workshop was to find out how the community of project management professionals defines the ideal project manager of the future. The fast-evolving professionalization of project management and the fast dissemination of agile practices has had a big impact on our profession. In most agile methodologies, the role of the project manager is not defined. Instead, servant leaders guide self-organizing and self-steering teams. Does this mean the death of the (traditional) project manager?
We presented this question to a group of about 50 professional project managers at the PMI Belgium chapter meeting. By means of the LEGO® Serious Play® method we facilitated a group discussion and got input from all participants on their view upon the ideal future project manager. The group was split into 5 tables of about 10 people. Each table was facilitated by a Prosource facilitator. All tables and all participants were asked the exact same question. 100% of the participants contributed to the outcome.
According to the project management community, the project manager of the future is a leader rather than a manager. He does not just organize and co-ordinate the work but also defines the vision for the team and guides them towards achieving the known objectives. Using his excellent communication skills, he is trusted by all stakeholders and gives energy to the team. Is the project leader the future project manager? Food for thought…
According to the project management community, the project manager of the future must master both agile and traditional project management techniques. Moreover, she must be able to apply them in project practice. Regardless of agile or traditional approach, there should always be an emphasis on a good project preparation; define scope with buffers on time and scope, or define time and cost with buffers on scope with agreed priorities.
Whether ladies or men make better project managers was not discussed during the workshop. Most project managers are still men but the share of female project managers is steadily growing. Will the shift from management to leadership further accelerate this growth? Food for thought… Fact is that the Prosource team of female project managers is steadily growing.
Author: Nico Marien
Special thanks to: Ira Peeters for organizing this workshop and to our co-facilitators; Caroline Libaers, Roeland Bollen, David Rombauts, Paul Doms and Michel Coens (presenter)
Special thanks to Koen De keersmaecker (Bizzuals) to make the nice drawing to visualize the output of the workshop. For more information about how to use visuals to improve your communication do not hesitate to visit his website: www.bizzuals.com.