Essential Tools For Project Management

Why Project Management is an essential tool for organisational success

Rapidly changing business environment and technology, demand organizations to adapt very fast, therefore there is a demand for organizations to be very flexible in order to accommodate change. They should be learning organizations. Traditional functional organizations are rigid and bureaucratic and are not flexible enough to accommodate rapid change. Hence there is a demand to replace traditional structures with project structures which are organic in nature and able to support changes very quickly. Flexible nature of the project management methodology allows organizations to tailor project management tools and processes to suit different environments quickly.

Today, dynamic business environment trigger more projects than ever making organizational survival and growth challenging exercise. Therefore, it is seen that most of the activities we undertake in organizations today have become projects. Project management has become a central activity for many organizations. Project management is a necessity in good and bad economic conditions (Kerzner,2017).

Sigiriya is considered one of the most important urban planning sites of the first millennium, and the site plan is considered very elaborate and imaginative. The plan combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings. On the west side of the rock lies a park for the royals, laid out on a symmetrical plan; the park contains water retaining structures, including sophisticated surface/subsurface hydraulic systems, some of which are working even today. The south contains a man made reservoir, these were extensively used from previous capital of the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Five gates were placed at entrances. The more elaborate western gate is thought to be reserved for the royals.

A Powerful Tool

Today the executives are in agreement that solution to most of the corporate problems involves better control of resources and efficient use of resources. Current and emerging challenges demands organizations to look inside and examine how well activities can be managed.

Project management is proven to be the most appropriate tool that can be applied to manage activities more effectively and efficiently under such circumstances and create a positive impact on the triple bottom line (Kerzner,2017).

Merdith & Mantel (2017) found that during the last several decades the use of project management as a means of achieving organizational goals has rapidly grown. Project management equips organizations with powerful tools that enhance its ability to manage its activities effectively and efficiently as well as to optimize resource utilization. The current development in the society demands use of new methods of management. These developments are; the exponential growth of the human knowledge, increasing demand for wide variety of complex sophisticated customized goods and services, and increasing global competition. These forces together increases the complexity of the goods and services produced and the processes used to produce them. To address these challenges there is a demand to create cross functional teams including external experts to solve problems that were traditionally solved by single person. This in turn creates a need for more sophisticated and flexible structures to manage activities. Project Management has emerged to solve this problem .

Rapid Migration to Diverse Sectors and Disciplines

Due to the new challenges in the business arena, the practice of project management is expanding to industries which were less projects oriented in the past. Today project management is applied in almost every industry. It is applied to not only in traditional defense, construction, engineering but also banking, IT, health care, pharmaceutical, chemical, manufacturing leisure, real estate and local government and non-governmental organizations etc. Big fives have already recognized project management as a strategic competency. All multinationals have well-established project management systems with the capability of deploying globally within short period of time. No matter how well your organization is structured, the success of the business will ultimately come down to the quality of its project execution.

Moreover, project management also has started to move in to other nontraditional disciplines rapidly from recent times. Today people from various disciplines; marketers, lawyers, accountants, human capital developers, financers, administrators, scientists, teachers, doctors, and community workers undertake projects as a part of their day to day work, though they do not hold the title of project manager. Success of their career mainly depends on how successfully they complete these projects. All professions and careers need these skills to accomplish their challenging objectives. Project management skills set are transferable across most businesses and professions. Project management fundamentals are universal. Since an average person is experiencing three to four career changes, this universal skill is worth acquiring (Clifford et al, 2017).

Evolving Methodology

Clifford et al (2017) identified shorter product life cycles, expansion of knowledge, triple bottom-line focus, corporate reengineering, increased customer orientation, and small projects deals with big problems, as the current drivers of project management.

Although People have undertaken projects since the beginning of the recorded history, the characteristics of projects and project environment has changed tremendously. Organizations are challenged by rapidly changing technology, rising cost, increasing competition, frequent resource shortages and pressure from interest groups with opposing views. Hence, modern projects are dynamic, complex, and uncertain and they demand diverse set of skills from many disciplines (john et al, 2017).

An Essential Skill for All

Considering all of this evidence, it seems that the global economy has become more project-oriented now. All organizations need to take project management seriously in order to survive and thrive. Organizations now want workers across all departments having some training in project management methods such as Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Project Cycle Management etc.

Last to Be Redundant

Many recent studies have shown that increasing capable systems are gradually replacing professionals across the world. Software is eating the world and AI has started to eat software. Still, project managers will continue to lead irreplaceable integration of specialists, technologies, processes and stakeholders to help world grow amidst numerous challenges. If all professions are to disappear one day, project management will be the last.

Demanding Skill

The talent gap for PMs will widen in coming years due to increasing demand for project managers. According to PMI USA statistics, by 2027 employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles. PMI expect 22 million new jobs in project management around the world by 2027. This is a 33% growth.

If your organization is not using project management you are already behind. If you are not skilled in project management your career advancement is challenged.

Dr. Duminda Weeraratne