A 2006 Department of Employment survey on the skills shortage found that across industries the most frequent reason for not employing job applicants was “insufficient experience”.
Michael Young of award-winning project management consultancy ‘Transformed’ says that to combat the Project Management skills shortage APS agencies need to build their project management knowledge and experience bases in order to be able to effectively manage current and future endeavours. He says in this sector, resolving the shortage is not just a matter of sending people on training courses.
Michael says APS agencies need to prepare sound project management development programs that will build the mature level of skills required for complex projects like many critical Defence and other projects. These programs also need to take account of some of the softer skills such as communication, leadership and team management – often missing in traditional project manager training.
A common cause of blowouts in budgets and timeframes of Major Government projects is the “human factor”. That is the skills, experience and emotional responses of the people involved at all levels of the project.
Michael Young says individuals need to develop a broad range of skills to manage communications, people and risks and require a tailored development plan that includes experience on bona-fide projects. This needs to be addressed urgently if the APS is to continue to maintain project manager employment in Canberra.
Deficiencies in the skill levels of Project Managers will be increasingly evident through the incoming Gateway Review process and so will require a renewed vigour in the recruitment and skilling of Project Managers in the Public Sector.
Contact Transformed for advice on developing project manager capability for individuals or for your organisation.