Another Door Opens

By Russell Ruggiero

When things are going well (e.g., rising stock markets, strong growth, etc.), the tide carries a wide-range of industries along for the ride. The expression “Riding the Wave” comes to mind and seems to describe this scenario perfectly. However, when life throws us a curveball, we must adapt or take a strike call. With so much carnage caused by the global commodities fallout, people who have been displaced must leverage the talents and experience they possess into new areas such as the banking, technology, insurance, and life sciences verticals. This positive mindset and game plan will carry them forward and help to fill job gaps in these and other verticals facing ongoing problematic talent shortages.

When evaluating outsiders to help design and effect change - Whether that’s new hires or management consultants - An executive’s first criteria is typically the persons’ expertise and experience in their industry. However, we are now aware of hospital system CEO’s, for example, asking search firms for non-healthcare, transformational-leader candidates, due to the scale of the change they feel needs to be made.
Michael Taylor, CEO SchellingPoint
A Wave of Corporate Lay-offs?

Innovative talent acquisition will be essential considering the current energy stage-it seems that every part of the globe is being adversely affected by the recent precipitous drop in oil prices. The list not only includes the largest foreign producers such as Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, United Kingdom in Europe, Brazil in South America, Nigeria in Africa, but also domestic producers in Alaska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The current oil price downfall is not only an economic event harming a single geographic location, but it is one that is effecting the entire globe. As a result, the wave of corporate layoffs in this vital segment will continue at an ever increasing pace over the foreseeable future.

In management consulting, there’s an insatiable appetite for talent that breaks the traditional MBA mold. Firms are looking for all things digital, from data scientists to social media specialists, but there’s also interest in other specialist skills such as ethnographers, industrial designers, and experienced industry practitioners.
Nathan Simon, Director, Lead for Strategy & Operations Consulting Research, ALM Media
Talent and Experience in One Industry May be Leveraged in Another

In relation to project management, skills and experience obtained in one vertical may be leveraged in another such as proficiency in the following:

  • The Triple Constraint (a.k.a. Iron Triangle) of Project Management: Scope, Cost, and Time
  • Defining Project Objectives
  • Gathering Requirements (e.g., labor, information, materials, technologies, etc.)
  • Managing Project (Plans, Stakeholders, Team, Schedule, Budget, Risk, Conflict, and Delivery)
  • Project Management Tools
  • Iterative and Waterfall Models
  • Promoting open lines of communication that help foster harmonious project environments

The above are just some of the basic skills required for successful project management and specific verticals such technology will require knowledge of methodologies that include Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

When transitioning from one vertical to another the word perspective comes to mind. For example, there are various benefits when drawing upon past industry experience and providing new perspectives regarding the defining, designing, developing, and deploying of private and public sector solutions. As a result, people leaving one industry for another may not be biased by existing industry roadblocks and barriers leaving them the freedom to explore ideas and concepts that those confound by industry norms may not. As a result, reaching beyond the obvious can add both a fresh and invigorating outlook to business problems, and it also helps answer the following question.

"If you were a successful Project Manager in Energy, why can't you be a successful PM for a software company in Silicon Valley?"

Understanding widely accepted deployment methodologies, combined with the knowledge of popular project management tools and models enables one to hit the ground running. Accordingly, these skills act as foundation pieces and are regarded as essential for the successful management of projects across a multitude of industries. It also stands to reason that expertise in understanding key components-scope, cost, and time-will be of value concerning solution deployment. In addition, an ear to what is happening pertaining to hot topics like “Big Data” and "Cloud Computing" will be vital regarding the direction of current and future trends and efforts.

Exposing the Needs and Finding the Solutions

Every PMP-certified program and project manager is taught that creating and sustaining alignment among stakeholders is a core responsibility of the role. This is a key ‘horizontal’ skill applicable in any industry. Those using SchellingPoint’s Alignment Optimization Technology (AOT) to assemble endorsed program charters, within one and across many organizations, irrespective of geographic location, are exposing, confirming, and clarifying needs to be filled by existing and new business partners.

In terms of technologies used, an Exchange that leverages Apache’s Hadoop open-source framework for distributed computing would seem to be a logical choice. It would be far different than current job sites because this model is predicated on a Slice & Dice – Emotion driven approach, which focuses on new criteria (e.g., haptics, more advanced types of predictive modeling, data sifting, etc.) for matching a candidate with the defined job opening. Not only could this new effort bring awareness to the current state of affairs, but also point people to an Exchange/Collaborative platform where they could get jobs and help fill the technology gaps in places like Silicon Valley & Silicon Alley.

Current job sites scratch the surface of the true potential that a human being brings to the table. As new platforms aggregate and process much larger swaths of data, we’ll be able to make explicit previously implicit data points of a candidate’s value. This might include motive, breadth of knowledge, and capacity for insight. This can greatly aid in more precisely predicting not just job performance but workplace transformation."

Raneeth Kumar Thunga, Perspective Analyst Perspective Mapper Perspective Mapper

In properly managing expectations, the adjustment from one industry to another will always be filled with air pockets and roadblocks no matter what skillset a person possesses. Various challenges such as acclimation to the new environment (understanding the job role - building rapport with coworkers - closing knowledge gaps) will indeed be faced and must be dealt with. It is about looking within and using inner strength to not only overcome the various challenges, but also making the new environment a more positive one. Bottom line, the primary components for success revolves around leveraging knowledge gained and past experiences, along with a “move forward” attitude. It is this mindset that will help segue from the door that closed to the new one with endless possibilities.

Russell Ruggiero writes on economics, politics, and technology with over 100 published works ranging from editorials to a co-authored book on Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). His Cloud Computing work may be seen on the Information Management and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) websites. His economic and political works are included in the San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Chronicle,, and World News

About the Author

Dan Strongin works with medium to small companies, helping them master the art and science of managing.

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