What is a project ?A project is an organized method for reaching specific goals and planned benefits within a target schedule and defined budget. Project management methodology provides organizations with powerful tools that improve its ability to plan, implement, and control its activities.
The past several decades have been marked by rapid growth in the use of Project management as a means by which organizations achieve their objectives. What organizations achieve using project management methodology today would demand greater efforts and time if they are to be achieved in traditional ways.
Evolution of Project Management
Projects have been carried out since the beginning of the civilization. But only in the last 30/50 years the word has become widely used. Till mid 90s PM was seen as a system that might be nice to have, but not one that was necessary for the competitiveness of the firm.
Project Management Today
Today the business landscape is fast-paced and competitive, and product life cycles are shorter. Product development and launch times are also shortening. The demand for rapid change and innovation increasing. Therefore the traditional structures must be replaced by organic project management structures. All organizations are now compelled to achieve some degree of excellence in Project Management.
Technique for new world of work
Today the nature of work in organizations demands use of multidisciplinary teams which are capable of handling dynamic and complex problems. Project management methodology is adaptable to such complex situations. Firms need project management systems for internal improvements or to serve customers that creates new value.
The traditional PM was restricted to only construction and military projects but now all sectors consider it as indispensable for their sustainable growth. Today the methodology is being applied in such diverse industries and organizations as pharmaceutical, chemical, banking, insurance, real estate, entertainment, healthcare and hospitals, marketing, and state. For examples; business activities such as a hospital providing a corporate healthcare solution to a corporate client, a bank servicing a request for a corporate loan, an insurance company providing corporate insurance solution, a manufacturing company developing and launching a new product are undertaken as projects. They are initiated, planned, implemented and monitored using project management tools and techniques. A project manger is assigned to manage such tasks.
Demand to become a project driven organization
Almost all companies in the developed world use projects as the preferred way of accomplishing almost everything they undertake. They emphasize on multiple project. They share resources across projects by grouping projects under programmes.
These organizations now use project management methodology as a means of implementing firms strategy.
They have a separate management systems in place to facilitate project management.
Such organizations are known as project driven organizations. Some of the leading companies which are considered to have achieved excellence in project management are; 3M,Compaq,Ericson,General electric, General motors, Hewlett- Packard, Motorola, and Xerox.
Project Management Skills and Career Advancement
Today Project management skills are mandatory for any profession, discipline or field, be it, Marketing, HRM, Finance, IT, Manufacturing, Services or Government, we are undertaking more and more projects. Our career advancement and National development greatly depends on how successfully we complete these projects.
Writer Mr.Duminda Weeraratna is a Management consultant of Project Management Solutions (PVT) Ltd and holds a MBA from University of Sri Jayewardenepura.