Project Management

The New Role of the Project Manager

Paula K. Martin

Are you using old management technology to manage your new projects? Many project managers don't realize that management itself is technology. Generally, it provides us with an understanding of how to optimize the functioning of organizations and in the case of project management, it defines how to best manage projects. At the moment, most managers are still married to an old, obsolete management technology. Why? Because it's the way they learned to manage. It's how it has always been done. The only problem is that some point all technology becomes obsolete. And unfortunately, the old technology is already obsolete. 

The old management model worked well enough for about 40 years, from the end of World War II to the mid-1980s. However, by the 1990s, it was being replaced by a new technology driven by the discoveries in humanistic psychology and systems theory. 

In the old model of management, managers used a directive approach to managing. The project manager created the project plan, sometimes with input from team members, and then delegated assignments to individuals. The manager typically decided not only what needed to get done, but also how it should be done. The manager was expected to know more about the work than the individual contributors. Project managers expect to be the source of answers to all project questions – they are the …


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"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."

- Mel Brooks