Opposites Attract?

Table of contents for Economy on PM

  1. Impact of the Economy on Project Management

Today I would like to cover two categories in the survey that are nearly opposite.  The first is Reduced Quality. The second is what I classified as an Increased Demand for Good Project Management.

Fire

Most of these actions appear to me to be short-sighted ones that solve a current financial problem at the expense of long-term viability and competitive advantage.  It looks to me like a lot of unnecessary fire-fighting will ensue as a result.  Here are some sample comments:

  • North Americaquality resources have been let go despite efforts to let go of ‘poor performers’ first.  The survivors are left with too much to do, and very low moral which both lead to quality problems and schedule slippage.  There is definitely more of a focus on the balance of achieving schedule versus burning people out.  I’ve got my PM’s spending more time on the care and feeding aspect of managing the resources on their teams to keep morale and productivity up.
  • Europe – Making day to day methodology ‘enforcements’ lighter, meaning that eventually the company will need only a part time or associate project manager.
  • North AmericaTraining budgets cut, companies asking people to play dual roles – i.e. PMO Director and PM,  PM and Business Analyst, etc.
  • North America – I have seen project management processes eliminated due to resource reductions or skipped to try and get more done.
  • Asia – Engineering teams left to wonder where they’re going next.  Hard to put out quality software as a result.
  • Europe – search for cheaper pm, which results in worse control
  • North America – The need to implement more projects at once and complete them done more quickly.
  • Europe – I am expected to do more with less:  both money and people.
  • fireandwater.jpg

  • North America – Theme common to most economic downturns…do more with less, which generally means more projects than number of PMs to manage them.
  • Europe – willing to spend less money than before on professional education and training on project management in their attempts to cut the costs.

Water

Good project management and support systems can help put out fires, and if done right prevent most of them.  Let’s see what comments there are for this focus:

  • North America – Companies are requesting more qualified professionals and it traslates in a PMP requirement in the case of project managers.
  • AustraliaReduced tolerance for ineffective project managers
  • North America – If anything, a much stronger emphasis on project management especially in terms of budget management. Granted, this has always been the case, but even more so now. One thing I am *not* seeing, is a decline in real demand for true / experienced PM’s who can manage very complex enterprise projects.
  • North America – I work across the US.  Impacts vary by industry and geography.  There are always positions for great project managers.  More needed than ever.

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