As I was preparing to speak at the upcoming Project Management Institute (PMI) EMEA Congress in London next month (if you’re attending too, please let me know!), I came across a research report forwarded to me by a colleague who is a very experienced PM and fellow CQ Certified Change Leader.  He sent me the study because as he noted, “it so clearly highlights the need for PMs to build their Change Intelligence!”  Here’s an excerpt from the study’s press release:

ESI International, the project management training company, announced the release of its top 10 trends in project management for 2015.  ESI Managing Director, EMEA, Alan Garvey comments “Organisations will increasingly begin to view strategic execution as a core discipline….The impact on project management is significant. Project managers, who used to just be accountable for delivering project outcomes, will now also be responsible for how those deliverables impact the business. This shift will require a finetuning of their skillsets. At the same time the PM’s role as a critical enabler of business strategy will emerge.”  ESI’s top trends include:

1.     Lofty expectations: PMs need to become adept at managing gaps between [project] constraints and the business expectations.

2.     Out-of-whack:
 Talent management within the PM community comes back into focus.

3.     Fuel for the hybrid:
 As the pace of change continues to accelerate, hybrid project methods will become the norm.

4.     Too little, too late:
 The ability to find and hire top PM talent is dwindling.

5.     Bottoms up:
 Organisations must build bottom-up processes to link project outcomes to organisational strategy.

6.     Ignore them at your own peril:
 Project managers will continue to be ignored and not get the coaching and mentoring they are screaming for.

7.     Run!:
 Project managers continue to sacrifice project transparency as they flee from conflict and avoid difficult conversations

8.     Change is coming:
 The disciplines of change management and project management continue to merge as PMs become responsible for delivering project and business outcomes.

9.     Knocking at the door:
 Project management and business strategy better align to the benefit of the organisation.

10.   Culture shock:
 Organisational culture becomes a bigger consideration in risk management practices.

Building Change Intelligence enables PMs (and all Change Leaders) to meet these challenges with skill and savvy – CQ equips Change Leaders to:

Engage the “Heart” – connect people with each other, the project, and its purpose; foster communication and feedback loops up, down, across, inside, and outside the organization; promote open and transparent dialogue about cultural considerations and project expectations;

Inspire the “Head” – align project objectives with strategic business goals; facilitate crucial  conversations about critical success and failure factors such as talent development, resource allocation and risk management; aim key stakeholders toward a new vision for aspirational outcomes;

Help the “Hands” – drive execution via efficiently managing plans and processes; ensure people have the right training and tools to get the job done; promote mutual accountability for sustainable success.

A final note from ESI’s Garvey: 

“Savvy PMs will identify their opportunities for career growth and will position themselves to improve their competencies in some critical areas. Bettering interpersonal skills, learning the discipline of strategic execution, and becoming well versed in change management practices should be on every PM’s list.”