The Project Management Institute (PMI)® recently released its 2018 Pulse of the Profession report that charts major trends for project management now and in the future. There were two ‘info nuggets’ that caught my eye:

  1. By 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles…  87.7 MILLION!!
  2. Since 2013 they have seen a 27% decrease in the amount of money being wasted through poor project performance – from 13.5% to 9.9%. Unfortunately, that still equates globally to $1 million being wasted every 20 seconds … or $2 trillion per year!

Those numbers are mindboggling to me. As of March 31, 2018, there were only 853,281 Project Management Professionals (PMP®  and another approximately 65,000 scattered among the other specialty certifications – roughly 900,000 total certified professionals. That’s a far cry short of the projected need in the next decade.

Of course, there are certainly qualified people working in the profession that have not pursued PMI® certification for whatever personal reason they have. Sadly, even adding them to the total will still fall well short of the need. This is where employees that I refer to as “accidental project managers” come into the picture. These are staff members that are asked or volunteered by their management to lead project efforts with little to no training or actual understanding of what is needed to successfully bring a project to closure. In many ways, this is comparable to selecting a surgeon by walking down the street, picking someone out at random and asking them if they would mind doing some “minor surgery” on you while assuring them not to worry that they’ve never done it before, you are confident they will do just fine. After all, how hard can it be?

To help offset the absurdity of the above statement, I believe Solarity’s Best Practices in Project Management class comes to the rescue of the project management world! Solarity’s class provides an ‘accidental project manager’ the skills to be able to understand the basics of ‘just enough project management’ and the skills needed to manage a typical project from initiating to closing. It also gives them the valuable knowledge of how to avoid pitfalls that can quickly flip a project from success to failure.

This two-day class requires the student to bring information for a project they are working on, or preparing to work on. Classes include lecture time with practical hands-on activities to introduce them to the development of project essentials such as a charter, stakeholder register, work breakdown structure, critical path, risk and issue registers, status reporting, and closeout reports, among others. Without fail, at least half of the students in every class will, at some point during the two days, say “I wish I had known all this when I was working on (fill in the blank)”.

After the class, students receive electronic copies of all of the forms used or discussed, so they can quickly implement the project management activities they worked on for their chosen project.  

When students complete Solarity’s class, they have — many for the first time ever — a firm grasp of what it means to be a project manager and what responsibilities are involved with that title. Our satisfaction rating has averaged 4.77 out of 5 on our post-class surveys going back to 2015.

I would suggest that anyone that may fall into the category of ‘accidental project manager’ give us a call, toll-free, at (888) 272-4494 or email You will learn how a small company investment now can make a substantial difference in the odds of future project success and help reduce that $1 million in project waste every 20 seconds.

About the Author

Glenn Thomas, PMP®, is a Project Manager and Trainer with Solarity, helping our clients achieve their strategic goals by assessing their current situation, defining their desired future state, and then acting upon an approved plan to help them reach their desired outcomes. Before joining Solarity, Glenn served as the Director of IT Governance for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is a member of both the global organization & local chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, and has served on the Board of the PMI Bluegrass Chapter as a past President and VP of Communications. Glenn possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge in Project Management, Strategic Planning, and Governance, and we are excited for him to be a part of our team.

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