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Are corporate IT project managers a commodity?

Though some industry reports indicate that IT project managers are still commanding some of the highest salaries, my feeling is that the field is becoming a commodity. Here's an excerpt from a detail post I wrote on the topic and welcome any opinions:

"Are corporate IT project managers a commodity?"

With the depressed economy and lagging growth, compounded by commodification of IT systems and services, companies are now often looking for project management specialists that they can “rent” to perform planning, execution, and control of project tasks... So the pressure is on and the corporate IT project manager is becoming more and more viewed as a a bureaucratic cost of managing change. The trend now is to reduce the cost of project management while maintaining basic services. This is impacting those coming into the market as well as those who have been here for a while.

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In my demand, there is a demand for project managers, but it's mostly for people on short term contracts at mediocre compensation levels. Employers do not believe that there are project managers who are worth paying a premium for thier services. That's essentially the definition of a commodity.


In my experience.... (not "in my demand")

I would really like to know more information that validates that IT Project Managers are NOT a commodity?

Any thoughts!!

I'd have to say that it depends on circumstances. A PM doing "standard" projects, such as relatively straightforward construction or IT ones, following closely an established "template", could well be considered commodities.

On the other hand, PMs doing work where every project has major unknowns, is likely to follow quite different patterns than others, could not really be considered a commodity as they bring a rare, even unique, set of skills and experience different to every other PM, and uniqueness is the complete opposite of commoditisation.
Thanks very much Bernard Gore for sharing your invaluable thoughts.

Don't you think that in todays time (& those coming ahead) our project will be facing more 'unknown' rather than standard outcomes. Specially because of innovation taking lead.

Would immensely appreciate if you could please share any industry Facts and Figures to validate both FOR and AGAINST this topic?

Your response would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Gagandeep Singh

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