What’s your biggest project challenge right now? If talent or resourcing is high on your list – you’re not alone.
The Project Management Institute recently published its 2022 Jobs Report, providing a valuable insight into the current state of the profession in terms of talent.
Summarising the PMIs 27 pages into a sentence – the ‘talent outlook’ is not disastrous by any stretch, it is challenging though, there are plenty of ‘unknowns’ and uncertainties ahead, and a need to rethink certain resourcing approaches.
To be honest, this is the vibe I’ve been getting and it’s probably what you’re feeling and hearing too.
In fact, I’m writing this at the start of September 2022, ahead of Stoneseed exhibiting at London’s Project Challenge Expo this month (27 September, Stand 34, QE11 Centre – since you ask), I asked colleagues and clients how they were feeling. Again, summarising their feedback into a sentence – “not disastrous by any stretch, challenging though, plenty of ‘unknowns’ and uncertainties ahead and a need to rethink certain resourcing approaches” is the consensus.
PMAAS – RETHINKING RESOURCING APPROACHES
The good news is, as a provider of project talent resources “as a Service”, Stoneseed is well placed to help with many of the key takeaways from the PMI Jobs Report, and the talent challenges you may be facing. If you’re coming to Project Challenge Expo – let’s have a chat. if you’re not (or you’re reading this after 27th September) call Dale on 01623 723910.
Flexibility and Control are key! Turn it on, turn it off, turn it up or turn it down. Stoneseed’s innovative on-demand resource model allows you to dial up and down IT project resources in sync with your delivery needs. With some reasonable planning, Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) provides access to a wide portfolio of project skills, made available against your demand schedule, from a single Project Manager, Business Analyst, Technical Advisory or PMO expert for a few days, right through to a large team of fully utilised project professionals.
FIVE QUICK PMI JOBS REPORT TAKEAWAYS (and how Stoneseed can help)
1 – DEMAND FOR IT PROJECT TALENT IS BOOMING
The PMI report suggests that project management job seekers should lean into the growing demand for our skillset in tech and IT. The demand is being driven by increased tech funding, the seemingly never ending and expanding talent gap and the post pandemic thirst for ‘everything online’.
The latter is especially interesting, everyone’s expectations about what can be done online changed massively post-lockdown and many ‘analogue’ projects turned ‘digital’ as a result. A great example was a restaurant/bar chain refit that switched from being predominantly a fixtures and fittings revamp (the most IT intensive part being a stock system and tills upgrade) to a complete migration to on site ordering and payment via a new app. When a project pivots towards IT outcomes to such an extent, IT project management skills become crucial.
Just sayin’ – Stoneseed’s Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) model provides access to project professionals, resources, and tools at a flexible and predictable cost. Peer profiling and interviewing of talent by subject matter experts ensures a high quality of talent across our team, available on demand for your project.
2 – HYBRID WORKING – IN/OUT, IN/OUT SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT
Arguably, the biggest IT Project talent shake up this decade has been the rise of remote and hybrid working, initially as a consequence of Covid but then as a preferred option for many who enjoyed the better work/life balance it delivered. A key takeaway from the PMI report is that employers and employees are somewhat at odds over this though!
Just over a quarter of employers (28%) think the work approach they offer aligns with the preferred approach of their employees, indeed more than half (52%) of surveyed employers believe their employees prefer hybrid or remote work to a greater extent than what the organisation plans to offer.
One of the pushbacks I hear from hiring organisations is that remote and hybrid working was fine – when that was the only option – but there’s a belief that greater productivity is achieved by staff clocking in for a day at the office. As one CIO put it to me, “At the end of the Titanic movie Kate Winslet is happy clinging to that door because that’s all she’s got, if a lifeboat came along, she’d have been straight in it!”
This would appear to be borne out in the PMI report, asked what organisations in Europe were aiming to achieve by offering hybrid or remote work options just over a third (34%) cited productivity as a benefit. Like anything else, your results are dependent on how well you do something – if you get remote working right, it can have an amazing effect on productivity.
Just sayin’ – All Stoneseed’s PMaaS services are available onsite or remote, in fact we are experts in Remote Project Delivery.
3 – THE TALENT GAP – A REAL RISK TO GROWTH
The buzz from the C-Suite is a positive one. CEOs are optimistic! This optimism will spark project activity and job opportunities. 60% are confident about growth prospects for the global economy (up from just 32% back in 2020), and, better still, almost nine out of ten CEOs (87%) are confident about their own company’s growth prospects and a similar number (89%) plan to hire (“increase head count”) over the next three years.
CEOs still see the talent gap as a threat to growth, albeit now as a risk cocktail mixed with climate change, cybersecurity, and supply chain issues. As we’ve already discussed, there are more IT and tech projects now and this has naturally led to increased demand for IT project talent and more thinly spread availability for the resources needed.
Just sayin’ – Stoneseed’s PMaaS provides access to a wide portfolio of project skills, made available against your demand schedule, from a single Project Manager, Business Analyst, Technical Advisory or PMO expert for a few days, right through to a large team of fully utilised project professionals.
4 – SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES
There is a noticeable rise in IT projects that are held up because of supply chain issues. It can even be somewhere else in the portfolio, at risk of mixing metaphors, it’s amazing how quick all the dominoes tumble when one piece of the jigsaw is missing.
A UK based PM friend tells of how an unexpected increased lead time for PC monitors for a business wide systems and software upgrade almost caused a catastrophic delay to the project he was working on (and a knock-on effect for other dependent projects as resources were set to be delayed moving to their next project).
Everything else was set, shiny new desktops with super-efficient new software all ready to go – just no screens to view it on! Typically, it was a Business Analyst who calmly asked, “What did we do with the old monitors we just took out?”. The old screens were still within reach and got switched on the same day!
Just sayin’ – Stoneseed’s PMaaS has a straightforward commercial model. We work with you to forecast the project resources required and then provide a straightforward rate card with resources defined by type and skill set. Resources are called off against your demand schedule and may flex up and down throughout the period. So, if one project’s delays affect the resourcing of another, we can offer cost effective help. You are simply billed for the resources consumed at the end of each month. PMaaS enables you to align resources as and when you need them, on a cost effective, full-time, or part-time basis.
5 – WOMEN IN DEMAND – PARITY PAYS OFF
Half of women (51%) feel less optimistic about their career prospects now than before the pandemic began. The PMI delivers this message to project hiring managers – parity pays off. There are tangible benefits for having greater gender parity. Women who work for organisations committed to gender equality report feeling better about their work and their employer – productivity, mental well-being, job satisfaction and loyalty are all boosted in organisations that lead in inclusivity.
It’s also vital for attracting the project leaders of the future, 85% of female millennials say that an employer’s policy on diversity, equality and workforce inclusion is important when deciding whether or not to work for an employer.
Just sayin’ – Inclusivity has been central to Stoneseed’s hiring ethos from day one. Our belief is that, to provide the best service, our people need the best mix of skills and backgrounds, best practice isn’t confined to a single gender or ethnic group – a greater diversity of ideas and solutions and a greater diversity of talent go hand in hand.
Stoneseed’s popular PMaaS (Project Management as a Service) model provides access to project professionals, resources, and tools at a flexible and predictable cost. Our services portfolio offers a true end to end service, from IT Technical Advisory, Business Analysis Services and PMO Services through to Programme & Project Delivery.
Let’s talk about your talent challenges and tailor a solution that’s right for you.