Organizations wasted almost 12% of their project spending last year due to poor performance, according to a recent report from the Project Management Institute (PMI). In response, project leaders should work to improve their Project Management Technology Quotient (PMTQ), which adds an element of project management to a person’s ability to adapt, manage, and integrate content advances in technology for a project or organization, PMI found.

“In jobs of the future, project teams will be more and more reliant on technology as either an enabler or sometimes as a team member,” said Murat Bicak, Senior Vice President, Strategy of PMI. “Having a strong PMTQ, and being technologically fluent, will be essential for anyone charged with making strategy reality.”

SEE: Job description: IT project manager (Tech Pro Research)

PMI identified the following three key components of PMTQ that successful companies prioritize:

1. Always-on curiosity

Project managers with a high PMTQ are constantly learning and seeking out new ideas and solutions for project delivery and technology. Successful organizations demonstrate the ability to shift their way of getting work done, with 60% of these companies using hybrid project management practices, compared to 29% of less successful organizations, the report found.

2. All-inclusive leadership

High PMTQ project managers effectively manage people, technology, and the people who manage technology, the report noted. More than three-fourths (78%) of successful organizations prioritize developing project management business skills, including people management, compared to just 5% of laggard companies.

3. A future-proof talent pool

Successful organizations recruit and retain project managers with strong digital skills, who can keep up with and adapt to new trends and ways of working, according to the report. Some 82% of leading companies prioritize developing project management technical skills, compared to 9% of laggards; and 81% provide ongoing project manager training, compared to 34% of laggards.

How to maintain strong PMTQ

To develop and maintain a strong PMTQ, project managers must have support from all levels of an organization, including the business side, the PMI report recommended. While business leaders often say they want to hire more workers with digital skills, there remains a disconnect in terms of their willingness to invest in training and reskilling programs, the report noted.

Project managers who have support from business leaders are more likely to meet project goals and deliver them on time and within budget, the report found.

The project manager profession will be highly impacted by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), according to a recent Gartner report: By 2030, 80% of tasks involved in project management–including data collection, tracking, and reporting–will be eliminated thanks to automation, Gartner predicts.

“Organization leaders must recognize the importance of building digital fluency across their organization, so project managers can best deliver on the tasks asked of them,” the PMI report stated.