7 Ways Project Manager Roles are Changing


Project leadership is in flux and a good manager knows never to become complacent. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how your role is evolving.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

how are project manager roles changing?

In Review: 7 Ways Project Manager Roles are Changing

As Jennifer said, project manager roles are changing. The days of technical, scope, scheduling, budgeting, assigning resources and delivering deliverables on time have evolved to include soft skills such as conflict resolution, leadership, and even trends towards more business management skills such as business modeling and strategic analysis. These new skills are reflected in the new Project Management Institute (PMI) guidelines for certification and professional development units (PDUs) needed to maintain certification, a new triad of skills they’re calling the “Talent Triangle.”

In short, you’re going to need strategic and business management skills to stay competitive. So, you’re asked to wear more hats, but you’ve only one head. What do you do? Well, follow these seven tips and you’ll have a leg up.

  1. Develop business acumen
  2. Understand markets
  3. Know industry trends
  4. Build stakeholder relationships
  5. Be clear on company logistics
  6. Stay informed on marketing campaigns
  7. Grasp business model

Basically, you need to stay nimble on the job and always keep learning. Isn’t that always the case? The great thing about project management is that it is a flexible discipline and one that is always adaptive. 

Pro-Tip: You cannot initiate change as you might lead a military force with an order from on high, you have to lead a movement that captures your team’s imagination. Orders are yesterday’s steering wheel, so in today’s flatter business environment win people over to your perspective not through force, but positive persuasion.

Take it further: In a previous video, Jennifer highlights in more detail the PDU requirements outlined as part of the new PMI changes in a previous video.

Thanks for watching!

Video Transcription

Today we’re talking about seven ways project manager roles are changing. If you think of project management as an evolution, initially, project managers were required to have technical project management skills. Basically, they needed to understand the scope of the project, how to build a schedule, how to build a budget, assign resources, and ensure the deliverables are produced on time. Then they were required to have leadership skills, where they led the team, they motivated the team, they resolved conflict among the team so that work could get done efficiently.

Now project managers are asked to be business managers. They are required to have strategic and business management skills, really understanding the business and how the business ties into the project, and the project impacts the business. They’re being asked now to bring more to the table. In order to bring more to the table, they need to have an understanding of these seven ways.

One, business acumen. Really understanding the language of business, understanding financials, what the net profit is, what some of the financial reports are, understanding the annual report and what gets reported. They need to understand the customer, what the customer expectations are, what the company wants the customer to experience. They also need to have an understanding of the market, doing a market analysis and understanding how the market impacts that, and where the company and the project sits.

Also understanding the industry trends, what’s happening in the industry, where is it now, and where is it going. Also building stronger stakeholder relationships, because they can indeed help the project manager remove barriers and get things done. Also the operations of the company, understanding more about logistics, understanding the production of the different product, the deliverables. Also understanding marketing and campaigns, and how important those are, and then maybe some legal compliance issues.

And then, again, the strategy, understanding business models and how that impacts the project. So with that, the project manager is required to be more agile, respond more quickly, be more nimble. They are asked to champion, specifically champion the customers, and they’re also being asked to anticipate those market trends so they can respond accordingly to the project.

So if you need a tool that can help you bring more to the table, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.