Fayetteville, Ark. —July 1
With the economic challenges that architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms have faced in recent years, effective project management skills remain a crucial element to business success.
Nevertheless, only 21 percent of project managers report that they receive job-specific training before being promoted to project manager, according to ZweigWhite’s 2011 Project Management Survey. Moreover, fewer than a third of firms reported that they always provide project management training to new project managers.
“When professional liability carriers track non-technical risk drivers of failed projects, they have found a majority of the cases involved an inexperienced project manager,” said Christine Brack, PMP, principal, ZweigWhite Consulting.
“When they dig a little deeper, they usually discovered the PM lacked the proper communication skills, negotiation and problem-solving skills, and good judgment that come with experience and training,” she said.
Half of all project managers and 35 percent of firm management agree that the top training need for project managers is financial management/budgeting, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 20 percent of firm management and 44 percent of project managers believe that project management is a top training need. Leadership/staff management is a top training need for 15 percent of firm management and 40 percent of project managers. And finally, 10 percent of firm management and 35 percent of project managers claim that marketing/business development is a top training need.
”Everyone learns something on the job every day – but to put an untrained PM on a project and hope for the best is a complete risk,” Brack says.