Project Management

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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management, Strategy
The Future of PM (in light of Agile product-oriented delivery frameworks)
I have been challenged with coming up with information and data predicting what project management will look like (if it will be relevant, value-add, or obsolete) in the next 3/5/10 years. Our firm has various focus areas, one being project management. Another space is Agile product delivery. Executives are challenging us to validate the project management practice as they are seeing huge volumes of client activity in the Agile space and our Agilists are implying (sometimes declaring) a lack of need for project management. I have found a great deal of opinion articles. Do any of you know where I can go for data-based trends and conclusions?
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It is simple, and that is what everybody has to understand from the very begining: focus is on solutions, where solution is equal to "the thing" (product/service/result) to be created plus "the way" (project) to create it.

there is lots of research by PMI ( and others like IBM ( or PwC ( or And here is a nice series of reports on agile (

Research works in a way that they ask a certain population, mostly in their ecosystem, so I would caution to understand who asks whom.
Or, if you know what you want, you can find the research that supports your case.

And remember nothing is as unpredictable as the future.

My personal opinion:
1. agile was a marketing hype targeted at people who look for easy solutions for problems they do not have experience with.
2. project management has a bright future. It is at its core to provide security to stakeholders (so they can reduce their fears about the future). The VUCA marketing hype is certainly fuelling PM.

Bonnie -

Any endeavor requiring more than a single agile team working on a simple product or result is likely to need project management for orchestrating work efforts.

The question is whether your company wishes to move in a product-centric delivery direction in which case project management will be shared across key delivery roles (e.g. release train engineers) or do they wish to remain project-centric.

Most of the "we don't need PM" comes from either product-centric companies or those working on small, simple products or services.

Within 10 years, I'm sure we will use better tools and different modes of communication, but PM won't change much.

Often people only focus on the digital realm where changes can be made quickly, making the iterative and incremental delivery methods effective. When dealing with physical products that take a long time to manufacture, the time to execute a change is often very long, and the cost of change grows exponentially. If you have to rework or scrap a component that took 18 months to manufacture, you are probably set back a year and doubled the cost of a very expensive part.

That's unlikely to change in 10 years, unless technology enters an entirely new era where we can move mountains of earth in less time, invent entirely new ways to shape metals, and safely provide high voltage power without wires.

The fundamental physics governing the engineering does not exist, and won't exist 10 years hence unless we re-invent physics in the next month or two, and then the entire world embraces the change.

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