Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Staffing struggle: project managers

According to the recent ESI 2013 Project Manager Salary and Development Survey by ESI International, organisations may soon face a shortage of project managers in their teams. Needless to say, it is a huge disadvantage as the global economy is recovering.

The problem

Those responsible for project teams face short- and long-term challenges when it comes to the staffing and development of their project communities. As projects continue to increase in complexity and size, many project organizations find themselves with understaffed and underdeveloped work forces. In light of budget constraints, an aging base of experienced professionals, and a likely talent war on the horizon, those without a strategy for hiring, developing, and retaining top project talent are going to find it difficult to meet the increasing demand of their organizations.” - ESI 2013 Project Manager Salary & Development Survey

Mark Bashrum, Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Open Enrollment at ESI, said : "Budget constraints, an aging base of professionals and a looming talent war all contribute to a talent crisis that should be addressed from the highest levels of the organization". He also added: "The growing needs of businesses demand a more strategic view of the staffing, development and promotion of their project managers since project execution impacts an organization's bottom line and its ability to satisfy its customers."

Three main reasons

It’s important to highlight that the problem is not the lack of project managers; it is the lack of experienced, mid- and senior-level project managers.  According to the findings of the survey, 44% of shortages are for senior project managers. Furthermore, 48% of respondents stated it was “very difficult” to find senior staff.

CIO.com summarised the problem, in three points:
  • Many organisations are now expanding quickly as the economy is recovering and they’re either starting new projects or continuing projects that had previously been put on hold
  • Experienced, senior project managers are reaching retirement age or leaving for other reasons
  • Several organisations stopped actively training and developing new project managers internally due to financial cuts

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