Multigenerational Project Management



By Alfonso Bucero, PMP, PMI Fellow

Madrid, Spain



1. Introduction

The workplace is in a demographic transition today. Dealing with different generations and working well with all of them understanding each other is a must. Four overlapping generations (Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z) can be distinguished. What is normal and used daily for people from one generation, maybe not the same thing for people from another. Different habits, behaviors, and even different skills come up to the game.

That situation has become more and more challenging for project managers today. Depicting a picture of the current workplace, some facts like quick technology evolution, uncertainty and complexity increase; more and more changes arise, and the business world is becoming more competitive. Then project managers need to sharp and tune their skills in managing successful projects and adding value to their performing organizations.

The purpose of this article is to describe my point of view and experiences about multigenerational project management. As a frequent business traveler, consultant, teacher, author, and project practitioner, I had the opportunity to work with different generations and cultures over the years. Every project manager needs to understand all those generations and facilitate them working together to manage successful projects for the benefit of the organization. In this article, it is covered how to understand, compare, motivate different generations, how to be aware of our changing environment and which are the PM challenges in our century.

2. Understanding generations

Project managers need to understand people and influence them to get successful results. To do that they need to develop the ability to listen to people. Learning key lessons about listening usually takes time. Let us share an example with you:

One common thing shared among our professional colleagues is that when project professionals try to sell project services to customers, they talk too much but they listen very little to them. However, in many situations, people are not conscious of that. People listen to themselves and are blind because of their enthusiasm.

Project professionals cannot succeed with others by dumping information on them. To help or have a positive impact on people, it is necessary to learn how to listen to them. No human being would listen to your talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next. Too many people approach communication that way, they are too busy waiting for their turn to listen to others. The ability to skilfully listen is one key to gaining influence with others. There are some suggestions to be a better listener:

  1. Pay attention to the other people words when they are speaking instead of trying to answer their questions
  2. Write notes to remember what the other people said
  3. Then prepare your answer, count from 1 to 5
  4. Answer quietly


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How to cite this article: Bucero, A. (2020).  Multigenerational Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj89-Jan2020-Bucero-multigenerational-project-management.pdf



About the Author


Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain




Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow, is an International Correspondent and Contributing Editor for the PM World Journal in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Bucero is also founder and Managing Partner of BUCERO PM Consulting.  Alfonso was the founder, sponsor and president of the PMI Barcelona Chapter until April 2005, and belongs to PMI’s LIAG (Leadership Institute Advisory Group).  He was the past President of the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter, and then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 years of practical experience and is actively engaged in advancing the PM profession in Spain and throughout Europe. He received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award on October 9th, 2010, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

Mr. Bucero can be contacted at alfonso.bucero@abucero.com.

To see other works by Alfonso Bucero, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/