Project Management

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Topics: Career Development, Change Management, Talent Management
And ... if this pandemic lasts for many months
With people working remotely, is there a risk that the Project Manager role will be extinguished?

What changes do you foresee in the Project Management function?
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Luis,

as long as there is a uncertain future and there are problems without solution, there will be the need for people who guide into the future, establish trust and be optimistic.
So I see the positive risk, the opportunity for project management to grow and blossom, especially in and after crisis.

If we would extinguish project managers, we would have to go back and rely on priests and strongmen, on belief systems. I think this a threat (and we see some signs of this).

I think the change needed for project managers is to become much more pro-active, not waiting for problems to be presented to them, not waiting for a sponsor developing a charter.
There are problems in abundance. Now medical staff and research people are handling them, and they are - what I see - in general a good job in project management, based on contingency plans for pandemics and disaster response plans.

There are shortcomings though, e.g. supply of material, enforcement of lock-downs, keeping up the mood, finding new jobs for people laid-off, potential of rising suicides and home violence. Why not help make mitigating these problems?
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 04, 2020 12:54 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Thomas
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

With online work (other possible names: telework, virtual work) can companies conclude that project managers are expendable?

I know that it is very difficult to do futurology in a situation as uncertain as the one we live in today

What skills will project managers need in the future?

Specific technical skills to perform the job?
Skills for team work?
Skills to ensure, like all other team members, management and leadership during a period?
Luis -

I believe the PMs at risk are those who have been "checklist" PMs, imposing one-size-fits-all approaches and governance on their teams.

For PMs who keep a laser-focus on business value and who are exceptional at interpersonal relations, as Thomas has put it, this is a great opportunity.

When times get tough is when companies truly start to realize the value of project management and other such disciplines as they can no longer succeed in spite of themselves.

Kiron
...
2 replies by Deepa Bhide and Luis Branco
Apr 04, 2020 10:31 AM
Deepa Bhide
...
Great thoughts Thomas and Kiron.
Apr 04, 2020 1:00 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "I believe the PMs at risk are those who have been "checklist" PMs, imposing one-size-fits-all approaches and governance on their teams"

Question: Are there still project managers today who just do what you said?

If there is a purpose, of course, aligned with the business, can the project team take on the job?
Dear Luis,

If the pandemic last many months the main problem is not only at project manager role level but at every labor work levels.
As long as there is a uncertain future some activities will be more affected then others.

As you really know in our home country companies layoff already started to be implemented even in some technological companies. Remote work doesn't solve all problems in fact doesn't solve the majority of them, big part of the economy is based in human contact, tourism, restaurants, night activities like bars, discos, event activities like weddings, baptisms, religious activities, sports, concerts etc...
The prohibition of all of this has effect in the economy and also in technology. The economy fabric will be changed temporarily and some (or a lot) position jobs will be eliminated.

However in my perspective it is not possible to confine human relationships to virtual relations over a bearable amount of time.

Having said that the project management role will decrease in the same proportion of the cancellation or differing in time of projects and or layoff advance.

After this crisis the economy will recover probably with a different fabric structure, with more remote work, probable the cross-functional teams will evolve in some cases using only a product manager instead a project manager, more offer of live virtual training and education, but there are always activities that will be imperative face to face collaboration, the human touch, essential activities to any sovereign will still have a lot o human presence.

Alexandre
...
2 replies by Luis Branco and anonymous
Apr 04, 2020 1:18 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and ask for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "If the pandemic last many months the main problem is not only at project manager role level but at every labor work levels."

In 2008 I had the opportunity to watch a video on YouTube for the first time with the title: "Did you Know"

The question they asked was: "The top ten in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004"?

The conclusion: "we are currently preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet"

Is this pandemic contributing to the fact that, in an accelerated way, we are reinventing work?

Are we facing a revolution that will have an impact on our lives similar to the one that the industrial revolution had on people's lives at the time?
Apr 08, 2020 4:20 AM
anonymous
...
Need of the hour topic. I do have a similar opinion. The PM role won't become extinct but will have to evolve depending upon the teams we may have to work in the future, possibly a mix of working with on the floor and virtual teams, more of virtual team monitoring and control.
Apr 04, 2020 9:28 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

I believe the PMs at risk are those who have been "checklist" PMs, imposing one-size-fits-all approaches and governance on their teams.

For PMs who keep a laser-focus on business value and who are exceptional at interpersonal relations, as Thomas has put it, this is a great opportunity.

When times get tough is when companies truly start to realize the value of project management and other such disciplines as they can no longer succeed in spite of themselves.

Kiron
Great thoughts Thomas and Kiron.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 04, 2020 1:22 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Deepa
Thank you for participating in this reflection

In addition to considering that what Thomas and Kiron wrote as a great contribution, what is your opinion on the topic?
Apr 04, 2020 8:07 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Luis,

as long as there is a uncertain future and there are problems without solution, there will be the need for people who guide into the future, establish trust and be optimistic.
So I see the positive risk, the opportunity for project management to grow and blossom, especially in and after crisis.

If we would extinguish project managers, we would have to go back and rely on priests and strongmen, on belief systems. I think this a threat (and we see some signs of this).

I think the change needed for project managers is to become much more pro-active, not waiting for problems to be presented to them, not waiting for a sponsor developing a charter.
There are problems in abundance. Now medical staff and research people are handling them, and they are - what I see - in general a good job in project management, based on contingency plans for pandemics and disaster response plans.

There are shortcomings though, e.g. supply of material, enforcement of lock-downs, keeping up the mood, finding new jobs for people laid-off, potential of rising suicides and home violence. Why not help make mitigating these problems?
Dear Thomas
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

With online work (other possible names: telework, virtual work) can companies conclude that project managers are expendable?

I know that it is very difficult to do futurology in a situation as uncertain as the one we live in today

What skills will project managers need in the future?

Specific technical skills to perform the job?
Skills for team work?
Skills to ensure, like all other team members, management and leadership during a period?
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Apr 04, 2020 2:31 PM
Thomas Walenta
...
Luis,

since I worked with virtual teams, from home and hotels since 20 years, it is normal for me as part of my skills as a project manager.

Should be no problem for others. Will it make PMs dispensable? Not at all, on the contrary.

Second part of your question is are there more future skills, yes.


PMI had some research and surveys about this topic in 2019, in its thought leadership series.
Excelente respuesta Thomas
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 04, 2020 1:25 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Pedro
Thank you for participating in this reflection

In addition to considering that what Thomas wrote as a great answer, what is your opinion on the topic?
Apr 04, 2020 9:28 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

I believe the PMs at risk are those who have been "checklist" PMs, imposing one-size-fits-all approaches and governance on their teams.

For PMs who keep a laser-focus on business value and who are exceptional at interpersonal relations, as Thomas has put it, this is a great opportunity.

When times get tough is when companies truly start to realize the value of project management and other such disciplines as they can no longer succeed in spite of themselves.

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "I believe the PMs at risk are those who have been "checklist" PMs, imposing one-size-fits-all approaches and governance on their teams"

Question: Are there still project managers today who just do what you said?

If there is a purpose, of course, aligned with the business, can the project team take on the job?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Apr 04, 2020 5:05 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
Unfortunately I've met and continue to meet "checklist" PMs. Often times, that is what they've been conditioned to do by the heavy, one-size-fits-all governance model of their companies.

Your last question puzzles me - can the project team take on which job? That of the PM?

Kiron
Apr 04, 2020 10:25 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Dear Luis,

If the pandemic last many months the main problem is not only at project manager role level but at every labor work levels.
As long as there is a uncertain future some activities will be more affected then others.

As you really know in our home country companies layoff already started to be implemented even in some technological companies. Remote work doesn't solve all problems in fact doesn't solve the majority of them, big part of the economy is based in human contact, tourism, restaurants, night activities like bars, discos, event activities like weddings, baptisms, religious activities, sports, concerts etc...
The prohibition of all of this has effect in the economy and also in technology. The economy fabric will be changed temporarily and some (or a lot) position jobs will be eliminated.

However in my perspective it is not possible to confine human relationships to virtual relations over a bearable amount of time.

Having said that the project management role will decrease in the same proportion of the cancellation or differing in time of projects and or layoff advance.

After this crisis the economy will recover probably with a different fabric structure, with more remote work, probable the cross-functional teams will evolve in some cases using only a product manager instead a project manager, more offer of live virtual training and education, but there are always activities that will be imperative face to face collaboration, the human touch, essential activities to any sovereign will still have a lot o human presence.

Alexandre
Dear Alexandre
Thank you for participating in this reflection and ask for your opinion

Interesting what you wrote: "If the pandemic last many months the main problem is not only at project manager role level but at every labor work levels."

In 2008 I had the opportunity to watch a video on YouTube for the first time with the title: "Did you Know"

The question they asked was: "The top ten in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004"?

The conclusion: "we are currently preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet"

Is this pandemic contributing to the fact that, in an accelerated way, we are reinventing work?

Are we facing a revolution that will have an impact on our lives similar to the one that the industrial revolution had on people's lives at the time?
Apr 04, 2020 10:31 AM
Replying to Deepa Bhide
...
Great thoughts Thomas and Kiron.
Dear Deepa
Thank you for participating in this reflection

In addition to considering that what Thomas and Kiron wrote as a great contribution, what is your opinion on the topic?
...
1 reply by Deepa Bhide
Apr 08, 2020 12:40 AM
Deepa Bhide
...
Dear Louis, I am a physician and a project manager and so looking at the blend of both these domains, I see a lot of changes that the healthcare and patient care will undergo as a project.

This pandemic will be tamed by the mankind to change its face to being endemic and then it will be prevention of morbidity and mortality as is the case with many pandemics that are now endemic in the world. I look at healthcare never to be same again.

For healthcare where there is a central "project" manager to who manages the patient care, it will be a new way of working towards ensuring care of sick.

Lots of changes to come in...

Thx
Apr 04, 2020 12:58 PM
Replying to Pedro Bautista
...
Excelente respuesta Thomas
Dear Pedro
Thank you for participating in this reflection

In addition to considering that what Thomas wrote as a great answer, what is your opinion on the topic?
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