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Project managers in demand

Michelle Davidson
Michelle Davidson,
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Earlier this year a Forrester Research survey found that 59% of the CIOs the group surveyed said they plan to train their staff in project management this year, and 29% said they will hire project managers. The reason: increased pressure to deliver projects on time and on budget.

At the recent CIO Decisions conference, CIOs there echoed that sentiment, saying project managers are critical to ensuring the success of a project. Projects need someone who can plan, who can mitigate risk, and who can ensure milestones are met. Without that person and without a plan, projects are doomed, many say.

Not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, however. While a CIO may believe in project managers, executives higher up may not. And due to cost issues, they may force projects to go ahead without proper management or planning.

Another issue, CIOs say, is the lack of project management expertise out there. As James Woolwine, CEO of Bradford Enterprises, said in a recent SearchCIO.com article, "Project management is not only an undervalued skill; it's the rarest of IT skills."

Yes, there are certifications, but those alone don't turn you into a good project manager, CIOs say. Good project management skills are almost like an art form. One may know technically what to do, but performing those things takes talent. The good news is many CIOs say they're willing to pay the big bucks if they do find someone with that talent.

What do you think? Are project managers essential? Can projects succeed without them? Send your comments to me at mdavidson@techtarget.com.


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