Need advice? Call: +44 2045321469 or Contact Us

Project Management Skills Gap: Bridging the Divide

07 Jan 2013
Project Management Skills Gap: Bridging the Divide

As more organisations adopt project management, a talent gap has developed. In advanced markets, long-time project managers who started on the ground floor of the discipline are at or near retirement. In many emerging economies, there are not enough trained or experienced project managers to go around.

A skills gap is a deficit between an organisation’s needs and the capacity to bring projects to fruition. Organisations worldwide are facing a major project management skills gap. This article explores the nuances of this phenomenon, its implications, and strategies to bridge the divide.

Understanding Project Management Skills Gap

As industries undergo transformative shifts, the demand for specific project management skills intensifies. However, a widening gap persists between the skills organisations require and employees.

According to a study by PMI1, $122 million is wasted for every $1 billion invested due to poor execution and a lack of project management skills. This shows that the lack of project management talent can be rough, resulting in reduced productivity, missed deadlines and even internal conflict.

The repercussions of the skills gap extend beyond the individual to impact the success rates of projects and overall organisational efficiency. Projects become more complex, and the need for more critical skills can lead to delays, increased project costs, and potential risks to the quality of project outcomes.

The skill set expected of project managers has significantly expanded from traditional project planning to newer requirements like Agile methodologies, data analytics, and risk management.

Factors Contributing to Skills Gap

From technological advancements to evolving project management methodologies, several factors contribute to the skills gap. Understanding these key factors is necessary to develop strategies to address the skills gap effectively.

Below are some of the factors that contribute to the project management skills gap:

Growing Demand

Project management is needed everywhere. Projects are a part of every major field in almost every organisation. Employees are facing higher pressure to deliver the desired results. Therefore, Professionals with the ability to get projects completed on time, without compromising quality and on budget, would be highly sought after.

Evolving Project Management Methodologies

Technological innovation and the evolution of project management methodologies are primary factors of the skills gap. As organisations adopt any new technology, project managers must acquire new skills required to use the new technology effectively.

Failure to keep pace with technological advancements has repercussions as it contributes to a mismatch between skills required in modern projects and the skills possessed by project managers. The skills gap widens when project managers fail to align with the new technology and frameworks.

Evolution of Business Landscape

Shifts in business landscapes and industry demands directly impact the skills organisations require in project managers. Hybrid approaches and advancement in project management methodologies enhance flexibility and adaptability but also contribute to increasing the skills gap.

Bridging the Gap

Addressing the project management skills gap requires proactive efforts from individuals keen on advancing their careers. Below are the practical strategies for personal skill development and staying competitive in the realm of project management.

Continuous Professional Development

Project managers should actively seek opportunities to expand their knowledge, whether through workshops, webinars, or relevant project management courses. This commitment to ongoing professional development ensures that skills remain relevant and aligned with industry demands.

Pursuing Relevant Certifications

Professional certifications are a powerful way to demonstrate expertise in particular areas of project management. Project managers should consider pursuing certifications that align with their career goals and the evolving needs of their organisations.

Our Institute also offers notable certifications that can enhance credibility and demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Click here to learn more.

Having Versatile Skill Sets

Diverse skill sets are essential for adaptability. Project managers should cultivate a range of skills beyond traditional project management methodologies. This might include developing proficiency in data analysis or mastering new project management tools.

Role of Emerging Technologies

One of the key contributions of emerging technologies is the advent of AI-driven learning platforms. These platforms leverage machine learning and AI algorithms to provide personalised and adaptive learning experiences. Project managers can benefit from tailored content, real-time feedback, and targeted resources that align with their skill development goals. Moreover, the integration of VR and AR in project management training adds another practical dimension to learning.

As organisations embrace these technological advancements in learning, project managers can harness the power of these tools to stay ahead in the competitive landscape, ultimately contributing to bridging the project management skills gap.


In conclusion, in navigating the growing project management skills gap, it is evident that a proactive and collaborative approach is imperative. Individuals must embrace continuous professional development, pursue relevant certifications, and build versatile skill sets to keep themselves competitive. Simultaneously, organisations play a pivotal role by investing in employee training, fostering mentorship, and collaborating with educational institutions.

Reference Literature:

1PMI. 2016. "The High Cost of Low Performance."