Many organizations are already aware of the importance of project management, not only when it comes to planning and executing their strategic plans, launching new products or services, etc., but also when it comes to continuous improvement and day to day changes. In a world where operations have become standardized, projects make a difference. Most organizations are alike when managing HR, manufacturing, logistics, marketing, sales, finance, legal, etc. They try to differentiate themselves, therefore, in the projects they decide to undertake and in how they manage them. Simplifying a lot with one example, we could say that Apple became the successful company we know thanks to 6 emblematic projects:

Nowadays, the word “project” is not exclusively applied to those great efforts to create unique products, services, or results. We use the world “project” usually for any set of tasks, normally done by a team, to turn ideas into reality.

Think of any organization suffering strong market pressures, or needing a rapid growth, great innovation, or simply having to stay ahead of the competition, etc. All these organizations need to increase their project management maturity level to survive. High performance teams are needed, but they alone are not enough to effectively turn ideas into reality. Top and middle managers need predictability in projects. They also need to anticipate problems, take corrective actions before it’s too late to meet the business goals (schedule, cost, scope, quality, etc.). Above all, they need to ensure that value is delivered in each and every project.

Many organizations are getting “projectified”. PMOs have to do more with less resources. Managers are engaged more and more into projects. Many functional managers are more concerned about the projects inside their business units, than about their ongoing operations. These organizations need portfolio managers accountable for portfolios, program managers accountable for programs, and at the lowest management level, working to turn ideas into reality, they need project managers accountable for projects.

Professional project managers can take accountability for meeting the business goals and delivering value. They are supposed to have the necessary skills to manage predictive and agile projects, to lead teams, to manage stakeholders expectations, etc. There are many interim project managers who are managing projects for different organizations at the same time. Projects that are managed by professional project managers are more likely to have a successful closure, although this is not always true: projects are influenced by so many factors impossible to control, and on the other hand, as any other job, there are good and bad professionals.

According to a pre-COVID report by PMI, employers would need nearly 88 million individuals in project management-oriented roles by 2027. Those estimates, based on the big macroeconomic changes forecasted back in 2019, had to be increased to include the huge number of projects promoted by public administrations to recover the economy. According to PMI’s report Talent Gap: Ten-Year Employment Trends, Costs, and Global Implications 2021, 25 million new professionals will be needed by 2030.

Project Management is a profession with a great future, but it must adapt to our times. Stakeholders expect the project to meet the business goals and deliver value. Controlling a project implies measure and adjust. Stakeholders don’t want us adding bureaucracy, wasting our time on paperwork, or even worse, wasting their time or team members time in meetings we should avoid. They are not supposed to have project management skills. However, in plain language, they need to know how the project is doing real time, just by getting evidence on 8 performance domains: stakeholders, team, development approach and life cycle, planning, project work, delivery, measurement, and uncertainty. Above all, they want the project to be predictable and to avoid crisis.

Thanks to the technology available nowadays, we can work remotely in projects and collaborate as a team seamlessly, and many project stakeholders can be engaged from their mobile phone. Micromanagement is not effective anymore, nor command and control vertical structures (sponsor -> project manager -> team). Projects increase their chances of success when there are many people following them, providing feedback, warning of potential problems, and making suggestions for improvement. Management and execution structures are becoming more horizontal every day, with fewer bosses and more self-organizing teams.

“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” – Manifesto for Agile Software Development

Quoting one value from the agile manifesto, we prefer individuals and interactions over processes and tools. In projects, we should use some of the available software tools, nowadays more and more good and cheaper, to devote more time to what is really important: expectations management, team leadership, anticipate problems, measure and adjust, taking corrective actions, etc. Project managers main professional duties are summarized in this inspiring video by the great Rita Mulcahy:

In PMPeople we help project managers collaborate professionally. PMPeople means “People collaborating on Project Management”. It is a freemium project portfolio management product. Organizations in the Project Economy can start implementing their digital transformation with PMPeople. Projects are managed professionally by people collaborating using different roles. Upgrading to premium does not include all users, only those who actually manage projects. That is, many users do not count as premium seats, if they only use the following roles: stakeholder, team member, resource manager or sponsor. With PMPeople, people can collaborate professionally to turn ideas into reality.

PMPeople is project manager centric, meaning that professional project managers can do their job effectively, engaging the rest of stakeholders, and expressing the significant project management facts in plain language, in each review date, as quick as possible, avoiding bureaucracy. A handbook document describing the use cases for the project manager role can be downloaded at: https://bit.ly/3l43jF7

PMPeople is the tool for the project economy. It is aimed to unify professional project management by these differential points:

  • Designed by and for professional project managers, following professional project management standards.
  • Online productivity –less meetings, less documents, less workflows– through distributed collaboration among 12 specialized roles: Organization Owner, 6 roles on demand management and 5 roles on supply management.
  • Freemium product –unlimited time, unlimited users– usable via web and mobile application.

Start using PMPeople for free, for unlimited time and for any number of users. In premium organizations, only managers have a cost. Several roles –stakeholders, team members, sponsors and resource managers– are always free. You can increase or decrease your premium seats according to the organization actual needs. Premium organizations have access to our interactive support through Slack. Our servers are located in EU. This software can also be hosted on customer premises.

Read this article in Spanish.