Friday, 30 September 2011

Trends in project management 2011

I gave a free briefing on the future of project management today that identified key trends for the project management profession:

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management techniques are being used by senior management to create an organisation wide summary of all the projects and programmes that are taking place, usually with the intention of removing a larger number as part of their cost cutting or efficiency initiatives.

This means that senior managers are starting to define criteria against which they will evaluate projects before deciding if they offer sufficient value to be authorised. I think this creates an additional pressure for project managers because we now need to ensure that not only are the benefits of our project greater than the costs but we also need to ensure that they are strategically important benefits.

In the briefing we a agreed that project managers need to get in the habit of describing how their projects contribute to strategic objectives because it is the achievement of these objectives that senior management are evaluated against, and they have a strong interest in keeping their jobs!

Benefits Realisation

We recognised that benefits realisation has become a widely recognised term and that senior managers are more likely to talk about achieving the benefits than worry about what is actually being delivered.

We discussed how important it is for project managers who are delivery focused (deliver on time, on budget and to the required standard of quality) to understand how benefits can only be realised if there is successful implementation of what has been delivered.

Change Management

We examined this model to see how knowledge of change management techniques is becoming increasingly important for those working in project management:

Aligning project management and change management is a hot topic. At the conference for the Association of Change Management Professionals in Copenhagen last week there were a high number of project managers in attendance, wanting to know how they could improve their project approach to include more motivation and persuasion activities to encourage operational staff to use the new systems and procedures that they have created.

Do you agree with the conclusions of those attending my briefing? Are you involved in realising benefits or portfolio management? Get in touch and let us know your thoughts.

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