Project Management

Can You Meet Evolving Expectations for Managing Projects in the Future?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Managing projects has evolved quite a bit over the decades. Believe it or not, there was a time (not so long ago) when project tracking was done on ledger-sized columnar paper…by hand! There were no automated tools. Project managers were left to their own wits, experiences and talent to run projects.

There weren’t any formal rules or a PMBOK® Guide (it didn’t have its first edition until the mid-1990s). Today, we have tons of automated tools, frameworks and methods. We have agile, PMOs and all sorts of ways to visually represent ideas, progress and the like. With all the changes that have taken place, it’s amazing that there are as many project failures as there are.

The 1950s is when formal project management became a recognized discipline with PERT (program evaluation review technique) and CPM (critical path method) making their debuts; mostly in aerospace and construction. Both approaches were popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1980s, the personal computer burst onto the scene, and low-cost project management software followed close behind. IT projects became abundant. Industries began to adopt formal project management practices, and project managers were in high demand. In the 1990s, project management became career viable and worthy.

Fast-forward to 2022, a tool- and framework-rich time. Virtually everyone that works on…

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