How hot is Project Management? Check out the January issue of Computerworld. They rate the top 8 skills for '08, in this article.
Interestingly the last blog entry was all about firefighting. Now it appears that it is us that are en fuego!
Project Management is the second skill listed. Quoting here from the article: "CIOs are hungry for project managers who have extensive experience overseeing complex efforts that have delivered clear business benefits -- not just someone who has obtained a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute Inc.", says David Van De Voort, principal consultant at Mercer International Inc. in Chicago.
This points out that while certification credentials are important, companies are looking for proven PMs who have shown results in terms of successful projects. It's the combination of crendential and its application that seems to be increasingly valuable. This is why some companies are using the PMP certificate as an important consideration for advancement but for real advancement are requiring that the PMs also are able to demonstrate their PM prowess in the organzation's particular application area. Yes, it's true that to achieve the PMP, you first must get through an application process which itself requires showing experience - but companies still want (and deserve) the proof that you will be able to perform on whatever particular playing field they're in.
This article is not alone. Here are the results of a recent survey of 281 IT leaders from a recruiting company. In the article, hiring managers say that "effective candidates typically have much more cross-functional capabilities", and cites the need for "project managers who can also talk business” as opposed to excelling at tracking a project with a Gantt chart. The take away message? Know thy PM, but also know thy environment.
Think this doesn't affect you if you are NOT a Project Manager? Even then, according to this article from Network World magazine, every technical professional needs at least a minimal project management skill set.
But most of the readers of this blog are PMs and (depending on the day) are glad to be one. Now we all just have a little extra "fuel for the fire", knowing that your whole career is en fuego. In a good way.
Burn, baby, burn!