The following blog post is written by Strategy Execution CEO Christoffer Ellehuus
We are in the middle of a growing project-driven economy with a massive shift in the nature of work
As more work becomes automated, employees now spend most of their time focused on running projects intended to change and innovate the business. The problem? Projects are getting increasingly difficult to execute using only traditional project management tools.
The days where project milestones could be followed in the Gantt chart with minimal changes are long gone. Today, projects are managed in volatile, dynamic, and complex environments that require much more nuance to succeed. Traditional project management training is no longer enough.
As the leader of an organization that has been in the project management training business for almost four decades, I hear about this challenge in conversations with organizational leaders daily. This sparked a curiosity to find a better way to solve this problem. In response, we engaged our clients earlier this year to better understand:
- What skills are most critical today to improve project execution?
- How do we best build these skills in employees to improve project execution outcomes?
What We Learned
Executing work is becoming increasingly difficult
The top 4 skills critical to project execution today are:
- A more complex mix of traditional technical project management
- The ability to align projects with evolving strategy
- Building and nurturing relationships
- Developing the right adaptive leadership mindset
More specifically, the top five challenges we identified through our survey were:
- Selecting the right work and eliminating projects/work efforts that should not be started or continued (traditional project management skills)
- Developing a creative, problem-solving mindset and toolset (leadership mindset)
- Building an adaptive leadership mindset, skill set and toolset (leadership mindset)
- Managing multiple priorities and interrelated work streams (strategy and business understanding)
- Creating the conditions for leading and managing a team in an environment of ambiguity and uncertainty (people management and relationship skills)
Business and HR leaders are keenly aware that the most effective learning solutions today have moved beyond day-long sessions in the classroom. What organizations are realizing is that building the skills sets and mindsets listed above doesn’t happen through one-and-done training but through ongoing and sustained behavioral transformation. Learning the right project execution skills and shifting mindsets is a journey that takes time, not a one-off event.
Learning solutions need to be flexible and accessible when the learner needs it. Learning also needs to be embedded within the flow of work. For instance, sometimes the most effective learning intervention might be a 2-minute video with an expert giving tips instead of at a 2-day classroom session.
As a response to these challenges, I’m really excited about the launch of our new Strategy Execution Memberships.
Our new memberships are designed to provide learners with a year-long access to learning content covering all skill areas critical to project execution (traditional project management techniques, people, relationship, business, and adaptive leadership skills). As an exciting innovation, we have also included a library of tools, templates, and micro-learning content organized around the 30 most typical activities employees struggle with, or “jobs-to-be-done,” when managing projects.
I encourage you to check out this exciting new offer to see how Strategy Execution can help you truly see better project outcomes. Feel free to send me a note if I can assist you in anyway: Christoffer.firstname.lastname@example.org.