Improving vendor management practices will top the list of skills for project managers.
Ask people in any organization that outsources its projects or large components of them, and they’ll tell you they have “vendor management” problems characterized by contract scope creep, poor quality, missed deadlines, and blown contract budgets. And, with outsourcing on the rise, these problems will only multiply if their root causes are not addressed. First, many of the issues found with vendor management have to do with how requirements for outsourced projects were written in the first place. Unclear, incomplete, and inaccurate requirements create uncertainty and confusion. Mandating that a contractor provide deliverables against a set of confusing requirements is asking for trouble. Second, organizations often select the wrong contract type based on these requirements. And third, they assign people with the wrong skill sets to work with contractors. Smart organizations will seek to understand the nature of their outsourcing needs and assign highly qualified professionals to write requirements and manage relationships. We will see more organizations addressing this critical need in 2013.
ESI International, a leading project management training company, recently announced the release of its top 10 trends in project management for 2013. The 2013 trends reveal that expert leadership is lacking in all areas of project management, portfolio management and program management.
“This year’s trends bring a murky problem into specific light,” said J. LeRoy Ward, Executive Vice President, ESI International. “Leadership skills are lacking within the project community, and until project managers learn how to properly lead teams and their projects, project execution will continue to be a problem.”