Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Future of Project Management - From IIR ProjectWorld Workshop

Dan Rasmus was at last week's ProjectWorld in Baltimore. He documented a session called "The Future of Project Management." This is co-posted from his blog.

I conducted a workshop on the future of project management at IIR's ProjectWorld conference in Baltimore last week. Here is the brainstorming based on Microsoft's future of information work scenarios:

Proud Tower

  • Project Management = science
  • Rigid processes, only need to know what you need to know
  • Single methodology
  • Strong government influence on practice, but company ultimately decides on competitive issues
  • Scope, cost, schedule (pick one)
  • Very reliant on internal resources and capabilities
  • Schedule is driven even if not realistic
  • Low level of forgiveness for failure
  • Control + Good Model = company existence
  • Low innovation and freedom of thought
  • Quality= Doing what the boss says

Continental Drift

  • Project Management = discipline
  • Reduced Innovation
  • Government dictated methodology
  • No outsourcing
  • Resources only extend to region
  • No worry about language (assumed)
  • Divergent standards around the world (practices by region)
  • Duplication of many companies doing the same thing
  • Reduced specialization at the individual level – more “Jacks of All Trades”
  • Projects are low risk
  • Highly secure environment
  • Less variation among projects
  • Many compliance projects
  • Virtualization of organization takes place within trusted core
  • Quality=do what is least risky

Frontier Friction

  • Project management=art
  • All about people, trust and relationships
  • Resources: use who and what is available
  • Need to learn to negotiate with power (when power isn’t constrained by common law)
  • Dependent on the luck of the skills that are in the pool
  • No certifications or standards
  • Skills taught by mentoring
  • Quality = do the right thing

Freelance Planet

  • Project Management = experiment (adventure)
  • Team recruitment=Ocean’s 11 model (people I know and trust)
  • Highly networked teams
  • Only as good as your last job
  • Strong peer pressure to succeed (last job reflects on team too)
  • Either very honest or very dishonest, no room for gray
  • Many projects, smaller in scope
  • Projects are interesting
  • No big firms (can’t gain critical mass among branded individuals)
  • Negotiating with teams for credit, pay, etc.
  • Methodology is determined by team, by project
  • Communities of practice
  • Less economies of scale
  • Prima Donnas
  • Meritocracy
  • Highly personal knowledge, shared only with trusted individuals (including very private Associations)
  • Learn by doing on teams (Take responsibility for your own learning)
  • Quality= do what offers the most learning within time and budget constraints that delivers what the customer says they want (so my contract will get renewed)


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