Automated Project Management?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

The internal technology of organizations has been through a lot of change in recent years. Whether it’s the growth of SaaS and cloud-based infrastructure or the focus on big data and analytics, the IT landscape that powers business has changed a lot. Project management software has been a large part of that, and I believe the evolution has been overwhelmingly positive.

However, it does now raise a question: What will project managers do as this technological advancement continues and there are fewer administrative tasks for them to perform? This article is a response to a suggestion that was made to me that I initially thought was a joke. However, the person who made it was completely serious—he said that in a few years, project management would be completely automated…making PMs obsolete.

It won’t surprise you to know I don’t believe that, but let’s look at the factors in play because there will undoubtedly be changes. Project management software advancements have been considerable in recent years, both through direct enhancements to functionality and through improved integration. While basic, foundation-level project management functionality has been mature for some time, there has been tremendous growth in:

  • Project portfolio management (or PPM) platforms: These are the enterprise solutions that handle investment and portfolio …

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