PwC Ireland has today released research on some of Ireland’s key change leaders and project managers ahead of the 2018 National Project Awards taking place today at PwC.
According to the research, almost two-thirds (61%) of Ireland's change leaders interviewed do not consider themselves as fully prepared for Brexit. This may be related to the claim that less than one in four had their project management/change management function involved in developing their organisation's Brexit strategy.
Actions being taken by those taking concrete steps to get prepared for Brexit include strategic impact assessments, increased engagement with customers and setting up a Brexit taskforce.
The research further reveals that the majority believes that Brexit will present opportunities for new relationships and client opportunities, with Financial Services setting to benefit the most.
The research confirms that the majority (79%) of change leaders feel that digital advancements allowed their ways of working to be more efficient, with a third actively looking to invest in new project management software.
However, one in five reported that they are less than successful at adopting new technologies. The digital advancements that have had the most impact on the day to day delivery of projects are 'mature' technologies such as video-conferencing and cloud services.
But it seems that project managers still need to embrace the optimal use of these technologies. For example, digital PMO and artificial intelligence/robotics scored poorly in terms of the impact on their day to day delivery of projects. Customer service, lower cost and greater quality were identified as major advantages presented by artificial intelligence/robotics. However, only a quarter (26%) of change leaders identified their businesses as either 'innovators' or 'early adopters', whereas others prefer to wait and see.
Just over a third (36%) confirmed that they intended to invest in new project management software in the next 12 months. This is not surprising as most respondents were either not satisfied or only somewhat satisfied with their current project management dashboard tools.
The study reveals that challenging and interesting work, flexible working and better work life balance were more important than salary when looking to recruit project management resources. PwC say the biggest priority for change leaders to retain their talent pool was investment in career paths (60%). Investment in skills development and training was less important.
PwC say it is noteworthy that a different approach has been taken to entice millennials to a career in project management. The research finds that strong development plans and valued corporate social responsibility programmes were important strategies to entice the younger generation.
Commenting on the research, PwC Ireland Leader for Portfolio and Programme Management, Feilim Harvey said, "The research highlights a strong sense of optimism and confidence in the future for Irish project managers. However, there is an appreciation of future challenges in resourcing, the application of disruptive technologies and reporting as well as a cautious sentiment regarding preparedness for Brexit."
He added, "The study confirms that there is an opportunity for project management professionals to help steer their organisations and bring their particular expertise to the planning and execution phase of Brexit strategies and programmes."