The first Thursday in November is International Project Management Day, a celebration of the economic and social value of projects and the people who deliver them.
This year, to mark the day, new research by Association for Project Management (APM) has revealed what project professionals consider to be the biggest economic and societal opportunities for the profession, and highlights some of the skills gaps identified when it comes to successful project delivery.
A survey of 1,000 UK-based project professionals was carried out by APM, in partnership with research company Censuswide,
The findings show that, within the next five years, 33% of project professionals consider the biggest opportunities for the profession to be pivoting to new energy sources, whilst 32% think it's projects tackling climate change and achieving the Government's Net Zero Strategy. Advancements in technology, including artificial intelligence, automation and big data is also considered the biggest opportunity for 32% of respondents.
The survey also identifies the capabilities and skills gaps within an organisation or team delivering projects, highlighting the need for personal development and training. A quarter (25%) of respondents recognised knowledge in technology as a skills gap, specifically in digital and data skills. Strategic management skills were also identified as lacking by a quarter (25%) of respondents. Risk management (cited by 24%), and people management and stakeholder engagement skills (24%) were also common answers given.
Interpersonal skills and communication skills were recognised as the biggest challenge among respondents in the financial sector (cited by 38% of respondents in this sector), in the technology sector (32%) and aerospace and defence (33%). Strategic management skills was cited by over 35% of respondents in the engineering sector and project leadership skills by 30% working in the construction sector.
Professor Adam Boddison, Chief Executive at APM, yesterday said:
In a changing and challenging world, the project profession has never been more important, and it's vital that we understand the current challenges and opportunities facing project professionals around the world. On International Project Management Day, and as the only chartered membership organisation for the project profession, we are proud to represent and support the project community, including our many Corporate Partners and members.
*All figures rounded to the nearest 1%
Read more APM research: