Reinventing the Project Management Career

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Categories: Career Help, IT

In my previous post, I said, "I can't be sure but I have a feeling that the nature of the project management game is changing." I'm becoming more certain of that all the time -- especially in terms of what that means for my career.

Recall that I articulated three trends that "give me pause:"

• Project management jobs are following other IT jobs to emerging markets
• Agile is gaining in popularity as a way to approach IT projects
• The way the global economy functions is said to be changing

Each of these injects a fair amount of uncertainty into my career plans.

In a project context, uncertainty is interesting in that it has the potential to positively or negatively affect project objectives. The same is true of career objectives, which makes those three trends very interesting to me.

So what are my career objectives? Simple:

1. Continue to manage projects
2. Have enough variety in those projects to keep things interesting

To what extent might the aforementioned trends affect those objectives? It depends on the timeframe. Thinking about the state of the profession over the next four or five years, two questions come to mind:

• Within that time, what is the likelihood that one or more of the three trends I outline will have an impact (positive or negative) on my two career objectives?

• What might that impact be?

You tell me.

What are your overall goals for the next five years, and how will the shifts we see in project management affect those goals?

Posted by Jim De Piante on: May 25, 2011 09:52 AM | Permalink

Comments (5)

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Dr. Edward Wallington
Hi Jim, My career aims align with yours, i.e. to keep managing projects and programmes, and hey, maybe even portfolio's, and to have a varied and interesting range of projects. In terms of trends, I foresee many smaller projects being undertaken and delivered, there is likely to be a reduction in the numaber of larger (super-size) projects, and those that are will be delivered in a staged fashion (i.e. Agile) - not just IT, but all sectors. I also see an increae in complex projects/programmes, i.e. those covering multiple sectors, multiple countries/areas, multiple suppliers, and multiple stakeholders - so I think that that things will become more complex - and therefore more interesting! Regards, Ed

Himanshu Bansal
I, too, see a trend of smaller, more aggressive projects becoming more prevalent.

Technology may try to shadow basic project management philosophy, but I feel basic PM philosophy is the key to project management.

Apurv Raveshia

I do agree and am a little concerned about PM jobs going out of USA. However, I still have conviction that management of projects will remain under the control of managers working from here. Reasons for my conviction are:

1. Project Manager needs to be working with integrity with Sponsor/higher management - you do not have any cheap alternate to that.

2. Project Management will always be as close geographically as possible to where project initiated.

Now coming to your point of agile - I think whatever methodology we use or framework we use for managing project, there will always be need for a Project Manager. It may be turn out that a Scrum Master is Project Manager... and when it comes to generalized term MANAGEMENT, PMI has value.

These are my 2 cents, I am very young in Project Management so my opinion could be incorrect.

Apurv Raveshia, PMP

Steve Clarke
In the face of change, be it economic, technological, social or any other, I believe it is essential for the PM practitioner to remember that PM is more than a single methodology or framework.

I have moved from defense to finance to telecom back to finance and found that a broad, well equipped 'toolbox' is essential to help the practitioner adapt to change and help organizations adapt as well. The key is to stay flexible and have an array of tools to solve problems and get things done!

Scotty Bevill
I agree with your assessment and after reading the comments below, it seems we are all faced with the same change. I don't see project management leaving the country either. I do see the need or PMs to understand diverse teams and summarizing value across the borders and oceans.

My approach is to "the complete project manager." I ask myself what a complete project manager would look like. I've even asked managers to define the complete project manager. Regardless of methods and tools, the bottom line is value and quality. Project Managers are a group that will see ever changing requirements in their knowledge base and must continue to educate in all approaches available.

Steve Clarke's comments says it all, "In the face of change, be it economic, technological, social or any other, I believe it is essential for the PM practitioner to remember that PM is more than a single methodology or framework."

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