Project Management Career Q&A – Strategic and Business Management Development

As a project manager thinking about my development for the coming year, what would you recommend in the ‘strategic and business management’ portion of the Talent Triangle?

The great thing about this portion of the triangle is that the world really is your oyster.

Strategic and business management skills are all about you being ‘a success in business’ so you can think about any kind of development that will help you to achieve that. An obvious one for project managers is to understand more about the bigger picture of where your projects reside. PMI has published many reports that highlight the linkages between an organisation’s strategic objectives and how using programmes and projects as a mechanism to achieve those is key. Strategy management, financial planning processes; portfolio management and strategy execution are all areas for consideration.

With business management, the options are much wider. You can choose areas that are closely related to your day job of managing projects, for example, looking at benefits management, change management and business analysis. These will bring a different perspective or set of tools to help you deliver your projects more successfully.

You could choose to look at different areas of the business to take inspiration – marketing, accountancy, human resources, customer service, legal and commercial. All areas that a project manager could certainly use in a project context.

Business management skills can also be sought out within your wider industry or for the longer term, the industries you could be interested in working within in the future.

Then there are options which you may never have considered for your industry or organisation, for example innovation, design thinking, data analytics, psychology – take inspiration from other industries and bring in new thinking in your approach to managing projects.

PMI also recommends areas such as competitive analysis; market awareness, trend analysis and business models and structures.


This Q&A originally featured in PMI’s PM Network magazine – June 2017 edition.

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