I began working in Project Services in 1997. In the almost 25 years since, I’ve witnessed and contributed to seismic shifts in knowledge, adoption and implementation of ‘best’ and ‘right’ practice project management ways of work, both locally and globally.

At the beginning of my journey, it was evident that many individuals and organisations had a limited understanding of how disciplined project management could improve efficiencies and effectiveness. Fortunately, this led to throught-provoking conversations wth clients who were open to considering ‘new ways of working.’

Back then, having a project manager lead an initiative was considered to be an added and unnecessary expense. Broad acceptance of job descriptions and titles such as IT Manager, Head of Project Services, PMO Manager, Portfolio Manager etc. were yet to emerge and take pride of place in organisation charts.

High project failure rates were well-publicised and there was a level of uncertainty in the market about what approach was needed to turn failure into success. But progress was being mad and quickly. Thankfully, Australians are known for being early adopters and this was no exception.

This was a time for the emergence of Project Management Methodologies, Tools, Training and Certifications, to be a catalyst for change. Whilst working as a founding member of a premium project management brand, I looked at trends in the UK and America to understand what was available in those markets and what might work in Australia.

From there an insatiable thirst for project management knowledge evolved and I established and managed a successful training business that provided individuals with the skills to competently manage essential and, at time, ground-breaking project initiatives. Plus, client were comforted that project managers were better equipped to deliver consistently successful outcomes.


Today, the project management profession has grown, expanded and matured as a result of utilising standards, tools, publications, education and training. And there is now widespread acceptance and recognition of project and program management across industries globally.

Modern business leaders are now confronted by a multitude of organisations offering competing standards, qualifications, tools and services, and they’re seeking Project Management Consultancies for advice, guidance and practical support along their journey.

Now that we have the basics of project management well established, There has been a shift to recognising other critical factors to project success, such as interpersonal or soft skills capability. Leaders now recognise the critical importance of improving collaboration and team engagement and are investing in communication, leadership, stakeholder management, teamwork, cultural awareness, diversity and inclusion and empathy. Business that provide training courses have responded accordingly and developed a robust portfolio of programs to help close the skills gap.
Generally, business leaders need to be adept at managing in a VUCA ( volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world and the past two years have been no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has given many organisations and unexpected crash course in digitalisation, remote work and made organisational restructuring far more common. Delivering mission-critical projects is more all-consuming than ever before, and in some industries, it has bee lifesaving.


The gap between the demand for project management skills and the availability of talent continues to persist, and with boarders closed, the war on talent is more prevalent than ever. Being able to pivot between bringing in skills and up-skilling is essential to longevity and getting the mix right is what’s right for each individual business.

Recently, I have seen a marked shift wth business leaders wanting to gain a better understanding of their internal workforce capability and identify what types of targeted learning interventions are needed. I recently read an interesting McKinsey Global Survey which stated that ’69% of organisations are doing more skill-building now that they did before the COVID-19 crisis.’

According to PMI (2021). Talent Gap: Ten-Year Employment Trends, Cost and Global Implications, ‘The global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030’. And a recent study cited project management as one of the top five areas business leaders would like to prioritise.

Globally, business leaders have had to be agile, resilient, innovative and human-centred.

With the predicted global demand for project management talent, organisation will require businesses to foster a culture of continual learning. Reimagining employee capability-building will be a core focus for the most resilient organisations. In a recent McKinsey study, nearly 80% of business leaders cited capability building as ‘very’ or extremely’ important to their organisation’s growth compared wit 59% before the pandemic. In their words, ‘To foster their own talent, organisations will need to champion new learning initiatives and explore partnerships to equip employees with the necessary project management skills These capabilities include power skills such as collaboration and leadership, business acumen to create well-rounded employees; and mastering new ways working, like increased usage of tech-enhanced problem-solving tools’.

The thirst for continual improvement exists and will continue to do so in the future. New technologies will change how we work, who does what, and what skills will be needed, and the future is looking bright for the project management profession of change-makers.

The world of work has changed forever, leaving business leaders with no choice but to adapt their workplace strategy. Workers want a hybrid working future. I read a recent global survey conducted by PwC which found that only 10% of respondents wanted to return to a traditional work environment. 74% of Australian respondents reported that they wanted a mix of face-to-face and remote working of differing degrees.

These factors have changed the conversation with client who are looking at engaging consultants on a project basis. It is now acceptable to consider engaging with an expert to complete work remotely. This hybrid way of working requires leases to adapt their style of leadership to balance rational behaviours with emotional needs, make data-driven decisions, and cater to different segments of the workforce and priorities the need and motivations of their teams.

I have read CEO surveys for many years and one of the top 5 concerns that persistently keeps CEOs away is PEOPLE. The opportunity to create a workplace that is better for everyone is here and I implore you to embrace the change.

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