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Project management and emerging working context: an interview with Paola Mosca, president of PMI-Sic

We all know the effects of the recent pandemic on the entire work community around the world: like never before, the elementary structure of labor market had to been readapted to a new normality.

Targets and goals had to be organized and planned in light of a new era of digitalization and   virtual communication. In this emerging context, the role of project managers acquires a new meaning: professionals in every field rearranged their schedule and their working routine, adopting new skills.

With no possibility to have a first-hand-look on problems, project managers have to deal with pressure and crisis on a daily basis. On the other hand, having an educated professional figure in charge of a project becomes a plus, a source of priceless value.

To better understand the new working context and the opportunity for a project manager, we have talked with Paola Mosca, President of the PMI Southern Italy Chapter and speaker of ISPM 2021.

How much relevant are education and training in project management?

I like to say that the rules of the PM are a “common sense”, but studying them helps formalizing knowledge and systematizing the know-how.

It is important not only to study them, but adopting them as a “modus operandi”: a way of continuous learning, continuing to deepen, to verify the usability in one’s own field and to possibly dare to propose changes to improve one’s own approach or of the organization.

So not only it is relevant to follow a training, but to train the skills, both hard and soft. For this, I think that being part of a network, global or local, helps to maintain high the attention, to always be in line with the business changes.

In the PMI-SIC, the Southern Italy Chapter, where I currently hold the role of President, we consider this type of training so important that we have been developing a program for high schools for years, with the motto “SKILL4LIFE”.

What is the percentage of employment in the short-term for those who follow a course on PM?

The question is simple, but the answer is difficult.

There are statistics offering world-wide overviews that state that a strong demand is expected for this professional figure, an increase of 33% by 2027 (*), but what happens in our country is more difficult to intercept, even if a strong interest both in the public and in the private sector is recorded.

MANPOWER presented a report in which among the most requested skills in 2021 up to 2030, there are precisely those related to Project Management.

On the other hand, we all know that attending a course or obtaining a certification does not offer the certainty of obtaining an employment contract more quickly.

But I can declare with certainty that having the competence, preferably certified, places your application in greater visibility.

Business world often offers to young people the opportunity to join the PMO (Project Management Office), or the staff of an organization: this is an optimal position to start applying skills acquired by studying.

If you are a senior, this certified competence testifies the experience and the ability to adopt a global language: that is highly appreciated in many contexts.

(*) PMI(2017) Project management job growth and talent gap 2017-2027

How much is important project management in healthcare and politics in Italy?

I think that it is really important both in the Healthcare sector and even more in politics.

Hospitals who practice good project management, like all the organizations, can benefit from reduced costs and better performance. 

Possible benefits are:

  • Increasing the standard of care by changing the procedures that are used to provide treatment
  • Improving coordination between patients and care workers in the healthcare sector.
  • Improving budgeting, since good project management aligns resources directly with critical work
  • Increasing employee productivity
  • Enhancing processes designed to reduce the risk of litigation, primarily because improved processes boost the quality of treatment
  • Enhancing customer relations, including health insurers, government agencies, patients, and others
  • Remembering that patient wellbeing is also a factor making healthcare project management more complex and very important.

In politics, we often see proclamations that would like to become projects: obviously I strongly hope for the adoption of good project management practices in this sector, it would bring better awareness of the use of common heritage, of waste reduction but also of results and benefits achieved both in the short and long term.

Did the pandemic affect project management sector?

The Pandemic has brought the profession to high visibility.

Project management does not represent the solution to all problems but the use of consolidated and recognized practices can fluidify situations: organizing, planning and leading a team with a clear definition of activities and responsibilities has made the difference during a massive adoption of models of smart or remote working.

It has been and still is a challenge for all the Project Manager in the world, but they are the ones who more than others are ready to adopt change and to catch opportunities where the majority of people see risks.

Adaptability, flexibility, navigating in uncertainty but at the same time seeking the value and benefits of the project, even in the long term, are the keywords of this historical moment and are precisely the keywords of the project management world and its evolutions.

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