Zweig Group’s 2019 Project Management Report of AEC Firms presents an in-depth look at the responses of over one-hundred project managers and firm leaders in the industry. What are they doing to optimize project delivery systems, team structure, and develop future leaders?
Project management (PM) structures have become more common over the last few years in the industry. Two out of every three survey participants said they had a PM structure in place that covers best practices and protocols for projects. This structure may include staffing, which could explain why more firms are switching to a more consistent method of selecting staff. Almost half (48%) of the firms in the survey assign some or all their project staff on a permanent basis.
In addition to in-house and on-the job training, firms are providing more external forms of PM training relative to prior results of this survey. Over sixty percent of firms are offering seminars/conferences and webinars/online courses, a substantial increase since 2017 where less than half of firms were offering those methods of PM training.
Project managers are also becoming more and more involved in marketing and business development. Only two percent of firms in the sample keep their project managers out of the marketing aspect of the company. Project managers are an important factor in pursuing additional services with a current client as well, which leads to continuous workflow and excellent client relationships. Because of this, firms are increasingly recognizing the value of project managers in business development. Over seventy percent of firms offer some form of business development training to their project managers, which is drastically improved from forty-three percent in 2017.
With added responsibilities comes challenges and fears, though. Forty-four percent of project managers selected time management as their biggest challenge in the role. Additionally, the biggest fear of project managers in the sample was getting away from the design/technical work that they love due to the increase in responsibilities from marketing to financials.
With this report, firms can analyze ways to utilize the talents and optimize the time of their project managers while also allowing them to remain involved with the design/technical side they know and love. Grooming these project managers to potentially become firm leaders and principals will help the continued growth of the firm and improve PM methodologies in the process.Click here to learn more about Zweig Group's 2019 Project Management Report of AEC Firms.