Everybody Needs to be a (Different Kind of) Project Manager

Everybody needs to be a project manager to meet the future demands of work, but not in the way we do it now.

In a prediction released yesterday by Josh Bersin for Deloitte, the research team predicted that in order for organisations to be agile in the way they work, it will require a shift away from the traditional hierarchical organisation and a move towards a network of self-organising teams that scale up and down quickly.

Forward-thinking organisations such as SpotifyCisco and Atlassian are already the pioneers in this area and are reaping the rewards of being able to build products and services that meet the needs of their customers in the shortest possible timeframe.

In these organisations – and as outlined by Deloitte – all managers manage projects and “sponsor” people. This doesn’t mean blindly following a prescribed project management process to ensure ‘consistency of approach’ or producing endless packs of information to avoid making decisions.

It means having a flexible mindset and the emotional intelligence skills to build teams, squads or tribes that build a micro-culture around a problem and work cross-functionally to get the work completed before disbanding and moving on.

In this model, everybody needs to know how to project manage, but sending people on a course to learn a method or set of connected processes won’t work if you’re looking to achieve this.

People need to be more self-aware, address the gaps in their soft skills and learn to communicate in different ways. They need to learn how to think differently, make risk-based decisions and not be held back by ‘the way we’ve always done it here’. They need to understand how to prioritise their workloads, have fun and celebrate success. And they need to know how to coach others, build trust and be kind.

Head of R&D and Work Futurist Dominic Price said last year that Atlassian ‘build teams that you want to take home and introduce to your Mum.’ This is what the future looks like and if you’re not already doing this, then you’re already being left behind.

My Project Leadership Academy program is popular for one simple reason. It’s the future of work and not the past. It covers leadership, culture, recruitment and retention. It builds purpose and connection and challenges people to think differently. And it provides the skills required – at all levels of the organisation – to get any project delivered in a way that people talk about, forever.

If you’re interested in following many others in building an organisation that’s fit for the future, not the past, I’d love to talk more. You can download the brochure below or else drop us a note at and we’ll find a good time to talk.



This article was originally published on LinkedIn.