In project management, there is a desperate need for leadership; But not just any leadership. Project management needs leadership that is adaptive, perceptive, timely, meaningful, authentic and unselfish.
This one sentence sums up the core of The Strategic Project Leader's message: Project leaders, not project processes, are the future for project management. Current practices carefully lays out, the codification and standardization of project management knowledge. However, it has created a commoditized service that can be bought and sold like any other product. Project managers can resist this force of commoditization by adding personal value to their organizations through Strategic Project Leadership®.
“Project Managers and leaders have to focus on business results”, says the noted PM expert, Dr. Aaron J Shenhar, Founder and CEO of the SPL Group. He adds that “Most projects fail, not due to technical issues but due to management or leadership issues and that there is very little or no mention of how project managers can translate the art of management (leadership) into a consistent practice to improve business results”.
Mark Mullaly, who works extensively with PMI, USA, in one of his articles “Life beyond PMP” wrote about the dearth of Project Management Leadership skill. ”Developing these skills clearly goes beyond learning a process or how to apply a technique. The most effective senior project managers are those with effective communication skills, strong teamwork abilities and high levels of adaptability and emotional intelligence. While all of these can be learned (and research demonstrates that it is possible to build programs to effectively develop these skills), doing so requires going beyond the traditional classroom and workshop environment. Today, these skills are typically developed in one of two places: in the real world through on the job experience (reinforced with either mentorship or the pain of trial-by-error) or in an advanced degree program.”
After 15+ years Senior Project Managers often ask themselves what next? But our experience tells us that organizations do not ask what next as they are already in the process of identifying those managers within or outside, who have the capability and capacity to drive strategic transformation in the organization or lead something similar for their clients.
Strategic transformation entails holistic, multi-dimensional, discontinuous, yet comprehensive changes in organizational strategy, structure and management systems. The ability to lead strategic transformation in a highly complex and volatile environment and at the same time drive operational excellence and enable enterprise wide collaboration requires a high quality of leadership and skills. It is unlikely that an advanced degree program would equip managers to bridge this skill gap.
Based on 15 years of research led by Dr. Aaron Shenhar and his team in the US we now have a program that helps bridge this gap. PM Academy, a strategic partner with Dr. Shenhar, now offers a 3-day workshop on “The SPL Experience” for Senior PM Professionals and practitioners.
SPL combines the strategic, business related aspects of projects, the operational needs of getting the job done and the leadership sides of inspiring and motivating your team.