Monday, 8 June 2009

Programme Managers: wanted!

By Melanie Franklin, CEO, Maven Training.

For a recent client assignment, I was asked to supply a representative sample of job descriptions for programme manager roles. These job descriptions had to come from the public and private sector, and explain in as much detail as possible what would be expected from a 'typical programme manager'.

To get the information, I surveyed a number of job sites. The biggest surprise was the jump on number of programme manager jobs being advertised. I did a similar review in 2007 and on average there were about 1100 programme manager jobs being advertised a day by jobserve. Using the same criteria for this search, there were on average 3500 jobs being advertised, a threefold increase.

However, in checking with the APM Group, who are the examining body for MSP™, they have seen a doubling in the number of candidates taking this qualification (now over 8000 candidates a year) since 2007 and a five fold increase since 2005.

I have also surveyed the key words appearing in these job advertisements and found that 50% stated that an MSP™ qualification was a mandatory requirement. 25% also stated that PRINCE2® was required and 50% of the roles sought project management skills, leading me to believe that many employers are seeking out qualified project managers to move into programme management positions.

However, only one third of the adverts asked for change management skills, or communication skills, which indicates either a lack of understanding of the role of programme manager, or these skills are so obviously a part of the role that those writing the descriptions don't think they need to include them.

I will be very interested to hear what your views are on this subject are. Do you think the demand for programme management roles is growing? Do you think employers value the MSP™ qualification? Where does change management fit into this world? Comments appreciated!

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