Executives Value Project Management and Are Becoming Supportive of Career Path

178221042(1)This is one of the articles I wrote while working as a Creative Services Account Executive at PMI. I worked in the brand management department, and promoted their bookstore and Standards.

Occasionally I had opportunities to write full-length articles for their monthly publication, PMI Today, which was really exciting.

Most executives agree that standardized project management is important for a variety of reasons, and a significant number appear to be87630552-2 supportive of the idea of establishing career paths for project management professionals.

Those are among the findings of a recent PMI  survey of 103 presidents, vice presidents, directors and division heads in large North American companies.

More than 90 percent of the executives polled said they have benefited from improved on-time delivery,
increased productivity and reduced operating costs by adhering to standardized project management practices. In addition, they expressed interest in improving these areas in their own organizations.

In fact, project management is so important that roughly 80 percent of the executives said their organizations consult project managers to determine their strategic needs. Significantly, 40 percent said they use outside project managers and consultants to facilitate projects because they feel their staffs lack the necessary skills and experience.

174289153Those who do use internal staff reported that half of those managing projects in-house are not full-time or career project managers.

And although nearly 70 percent of the executives expressed an interest in professional development and educational opportunities, only half of their organizations have a career path in place for project managers. Seventy-five percent of these career paths are informal.

470658635Clearly, the individuals who are currently employed in project management efforts but are not titled or credentialed project managers are not receiving the credit or compensation they deserve. The organizations that do offer a loose path for project managers are limiting their employees by not providing them with the concrete training or standardized information they need.


The telling statistics in the PMI study were the result of a telephone questionnaire conducted at the end of 2003 by LHK Partners, Inc., in conjunction with the PMI Research Department.

The hybrid study, composed of one-third open-ended questions and two-thirds closed-ended questions, was designed to ascertain the strengths and weaknes126438252ses of project management within five targeted industries, and to determine the executive level of awareness of PMI and project management.

Dun & Bradstreet lists were consulted to ensure the sample met a quota of 17 U.S. and three Canadian companies within the selected industries: automotive, aerospace, banking and finance, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals. All the participants were required to be with their respective companies for at least a year, and needed to hold an executive level title–president, vice president, director or division head.

Although the results were not entirely conclusive due to the small size of the study, some important information emerged.


While the executives polled were familiar with the benefits of standardized project management prior to this survey, they were largely unaware of PMI. They understood the importance of the consistency, efficiency and quality that standardized language, educational and professional programs PMI has developed and perpetuated within the project management community.

That situation has now changed, thanks to the survey. By collaborating with PMI, these executives now realize that they need not go outside of their organizations to find skilled project managers–they can develop them through an internal project management career path. Read more…

Project Management Institute, PMI Today, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2005. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI.