Business Paper

Business Paper

Question

Background article:
https://blog.capterra.com/5-biggest-project-management-trends-shaping-2017/

Use multiple techniques to collect qualitative data (scholarly articles), interpret the findings and write a scholarly journal article titled-
The New Future of Business-IT no longer has a monopoly on the project management technique.

Include an abstract, introduction, headers, sub-headers, conclusion, and a strong call-to-action for the reader. 

Include:
1. Introduction
2. Summary of the findings and conclusions
3. Call to action for industry leaders to prepare for the future. What should industry leaders do if anything to prepare for the future of business as related to PM.

Address the following:
The context driving changes in project management.
– Societal evolution, Market evolution, Evolution of PM

A range of emerging approaches to project management.
• The key thing project managers must address as new approaches to project management enter their professional context.
• Pointers for learning more and flowing with the changes emerging in the field

Literature review on the evolution of PM

Gap analysis among socioeconomic demand, marketing, and PM

New PM paradigms, techniques, and tools

PM curriculum development and industrial practices

Modeling and analysis of future project management

Answer

The New Future of Business

Contents

Abstract. 2

The New Future of Business. 4

Evolution of Project Management: Literature Review.. 4

Societal Evolution. 6

Market evolution. 7

Emerging Approaches to Project Management. 8

Increased emphasis on project management soft skills. 9

Corporate social responsibility and planning for sustainability in projects. 10

Viewing the project management office as a profit center. 11

Project Management Modeling. 12

Conclusion and Future Projection. 12

References. 13

Abstract

Project management is an essential framework of any organizational structure. It is primarily designed to reinforce the organization’s workflow process. It then follows that effective project management will have a high affinity towards influencing the organizational outcomes. However, the integration of knowledge, skills, tools and essential techniques is highly imperative to project management since this ensures that the project activities meet the project’s requirements.

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The project management field has continued to evolve significantly with time. In particular, project management offices (PMOs) are shifting their operations from purely administrative roles to incorporate more proactive and strategic approaches which yield the expected results. They are undertaking a more extensive range of activities, endorsing projects and other programs which are outside the domain of information technology such as product launches and post-merger integrations. This helps to reaffirm the proposition that IT no longer has the monopoly on the project management technique. Moreover, at the enterprise levels, PMOs are assisting numerous organizations to make the right choices and invest in the worthwhileinitiatives to secure maximum returns on their investments (ROIs).

In the wake of globalization, project management has been forced to evolve and readjust its focus from pure execution of activities to full accountability on budgets and resources. In fact, project management is embracing new technologies and strategies as well as integrating new project management operating models to increase their added value to the majority of the organizations. It can be argued that the key drivers of this evolution are flexibility, sustainabilityand an increased emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR). This will be examined later in this paper, and clear demarcations and inferences will be drawn out.

The New Future of Business

A major problem in the field of project management is the majority of the projects fail to meet both the time and budget goals. This situation is worsened by the fact that most of the completed projects have been found to fall short of their business expectations and this can be catastrophic to an organization. The failure of a plan to deliver what it has promised to its stakeholders can trigger a chain of consequences stemming from investors pulling out to lower expected returns. The premise of this essay is a gap exists between what we know about project management and what we need to know following the rapid changes that have characterized this field. The underlying discrepancy between acquired knowledge and reality is the leading cause of project failure. Some of the organizations that have come to terms with this revelation have made the necessary changes and taken the much-needed approaches to close this gap and improve their productivity levels. Some of thesetactics include embracing new trends and technologies and inculcating the use of flexible models to achieve the desired outcomes.

            This essay will focus on providing some insight into the evolution of project management and highlight the new paradigms, tools and techniques that are being employed in this field amid globalization. It will also present a thorough analysis on the gap between socioeconomic demand, marketing and project management. Finally, it will discuss some PM modeling and summarize with some projections on the analysis of future project management.

Evolution of Project Management: Literature Review

            Project management commenced halfway through the 20th century when the first Program Evolution and Review Technique (PERT) was initiated, signaling the start of a new entity.In the 1960s, several businesses and organizations witnessed first-hand the advantages of consolidating and centering tasks around schemes and understanding the necessity to facilitate effective communication and integrate work across varioussubdivisions and lines of work. However, modern project management can be traced back to the second half of the 19th century when complexities began manifesting themselves in the business realm. These contemporary project management approachesattribute their backgrounds in two analogous but diverse problems involvingscheduling and control in the USA (Cline, 2015).

            The first case involved the US Navy that was at the time deeply convoluted inmonitoringagreements for its Polaris Missile Project (Cline, 2015).The nature of this project was marked by significant levels of ambiguity since neither the budget nor the period components could be estimated precisely. If anything, the accomplishment was based solely on likelihoods which were postulated at the outset. As for the time approximations, the Maximax, conservative and maximum likelihood techniques were employed (Cline, 2015). These time prediction methods were statistically manipulated to define the likely completion date of the project. This is what constituted the PERT. However, this approach had its shortcomings since it did not take into account the time factor of the project which was a necessity.

            In the second scenario, the private sector was involved, in this case E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company, which had recently taken up the project of constructing major chemicalplants in the US. Here, time and cost estimates were very accurate and were not probabilistic. The Project Planning and Scheduling (PPS) tool was employed here since more realistic money and time approximations were used. Later, it was remodeled into the Critical Path Method (CPM).

            The above mentioned programs (PERT and CPM) were widely sought after within the private and public sectors during the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, they paved the way for the development of more efficient and versatile models and techniques that are currently being used today by various organizations and business entities (Cline, 2015). Following the introduction of processors and software packages that were dedicated to project management, these tools became better reinforced. Consequently, low cost projectmanagement software was developed in the 1980s. It is from this period that both the industrial and software development segments began to endorse and integraterefined project management methodologies and techniques to drive success across multiple undertakings (Cline, 2015).

            Evidently, project management has evolved tremendously since its inception in the early 1960s.The central concepts that are apparent in this evolution include scheduling, teamwork, uncertainty reduction, simultaneity, adaptation, strategic focus and globalization. These components represent the different generations of project management conceptualization. The changes that have impacted the project management sphere can be placed into two contexts, that is, societal evolution and market evolution.

Societal Evolution

            The social evolution dynamic entails a non-traditional way of organizing projects by relying on the application of social networking sites such as Facebook to distribute tasks to virtual teams. From a practical standpoint, these virtual teams have a tendency of losing fundamental communication value which is usually present when the groups are assembled. Therefore, it follows that this paradigm relies heavily on the philosophy of maximizing on open and uninterrupted communication between the members of the virtual groups.

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            This evolution has been driven solely by globalization. More projects are being conducted in cooperation with different teams located at different parts of the world. To facilitate this form of project management, collaborative software in association with major social media platforms is inculcated to organize these structures which require technologically arbitratedcommunications. This approach has enabled project work to be posted as an activity stream across the social networks of an organization from where it is picked up by concerned individuals who proceed to work on it.The main advantage of this approach is that it combines both the best historical aspects of project management and the superior technological components that are typical to the 21st century. This is mainly why the majority of the organizations have responded positively to this approach and taken it up as a way of facilitating business.

Market evolution

Current shift towards market evolution has been fuelled by adaptation and strategic thinking. The latter specifically outlines that project management must connect practices with business strategies. The former, on the other hand, concurs with the fact that projects tend to differ across businesses. Therefore, it posits that business enterprises should adapt their project management strategies to fit their project type. The common myth and misconception that goes around in the business world is that all projects are similar hence managers can employ related tools to their projects to yield the expected outcomes. It should be noted that despite the fact that projects have goals, budgets and timeframes, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to project management.

The current market situation is characterized by much turbulence because of uncertainties (risks) and the pressure to meet the demands of both the stakeholders and customers. This is catalyzed by the fact that most organizations have to keep up with trends if at all they are to remain in business. For instance, they are obligated to enforce project management systems that guarantee that their endeavorshowever big or small, are completed in due time, within the stipulated budget and to the desiredstandards in terms of quality (Cline, 2015). This is essentially due to the demands of the market and businesses have to yield or else they are deemed inefficient kicked out of the industry. This factor has instilled motivation in most macro level organizations and has seen the development and integration of new models and approaches that have redefined project management in a positive light.

Emerging Approaches to Project Management

It is no surprise that the value of project management is becoming increasingly noticed in both the public and private sectors. In particular, the trend towards agile techniques has gained ground among traditional project managers.Software development has been at the center of Agile project management for a long period now but agile is gradually creeping into industries outside IT. Recently, it has been revolutionizing the pet food product industry as well as the construction sector.

            A recent survey reveals that approximately 50% of the respondents indicated that they were using Scrum. This software has been used for the last five years in the finance sectors of myriad organizations. According to Augustine (2005), the primary reason why Scrum has gained so much popularity is that it is simple in theory, forthright in practice and has a guarantee that delivers on credibility. Agile is not only being used by people who are new to project management but it is also being employed by traditional project managers who are converting over to Agile. Sliger and Broderick (2008) strongly assert that the Agile project is indeed disciplined and rigorous and it actually delivers on credibility of results.

Several advantages have been cited across the board by users of the Agile project. To begin with, the most substantial improvement seen by those who have crossed over to Agile is change control.Close to 90% of the respondents who participated in the survey indicated that Agile helped them to improve on their abilities to deal with change, more so in technology projects (Moran, 2016). Secondly, the Agile project is highly successful when it comes to project execution. Approximately 55% of the respondents indicated that the software allows them to complete their projects in time and another 70% reported an increase in the quality of work (Moran, 2016). Another 65% reported that there was a decreased time to market, implying that they finalize their projects well before the timeframe even elapses and launch their products on time (Moran, 2016).

Notwithstanding the technical aspects of project management, project managers are also require to lead the way in a transformative way. By interacting with the different departments within a corporation, project managers are often exposed to other emerging trends within the industry.  Three crucial trends have been noticed by project managers are outside the domain of IT. Again, this helps to fortify the statement that IT no longer has the monopoly on the project management techniques.The three trends include increased emphasis on project management soft skills, corporate social responsibility and planning for sustainability in projects, and viewing the project management office as a profit center.

Increased emphasis on project management soft skills

In today’s business environment, it is not enough for one to just possess the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.  This is because the PMP credential has become equally important and many project managers are obtaining it. It is an undisputed fact that earning the PMP credential validates that a project manager is highly competent in the “hard skills” of project management such as project schedule, risk management, project budget, formulation of a coherent work breakdown structure and earned value management.  However, the current market trends demand that a project manager possess another set of skills termed as simply “soft skills”. These include effective communication, leadership and negotiation skills and mentorship. Research indicates that organizations and companies that take time to invest in the development of these skills in project managers have a higher probability of achieving success.

Corporate social responsibility and planning for sustainability in projects

The socio-economical, environmental and technological conditions upon which organizations operate and execute their projects have become pivotal (Silvius & Schipper, 2012). As such, sustainability has become one of the fundamental drivers of project management evolution, implying that there is a positive correlation between project management and sustainability (Silvius & Schipper, 2014). There are several reasons driving organizations towards integrating the concept of sustainability into their strategies. For instance, some do it for ethical obligations and strategic vision while others do it because it is a government regulation for organizations to meet certain standards.  Contrary to this, some companies endorse this concept simply because the certificates and CSR options normally present new prospects in the emerging markets. All in all, the bottom line is that organizations will take up this drive sooner or later. This is because society is becoming more accustomed to reducing waste and incorporating sustainability into the supply chain (Silvius & Schipper, 2014).

Sustainability goes hand-in-hand with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). There is an emerging trend, especially in 2017 of conducting businesses in a socially responsible manner. There is intense scrutiny on those companies that have a tendency to exploit foreign workers and waste natural resources while damaging the environment in the name of increasing profit margins (Jain & Jamali, 2015). However, there is a positive response on this issue since the majority of the companies are practicing CSR.  Ultimately, both sustainability and CSR have a positive impact in the long-run.

Viewing the project management office as a profit center

It is the norm in most companies that when things take a downturn, cutting costs and reducing staff becomes inevitable. Naturally, they turn their eyes on the Project Management Office (PMO). This misaligned action stems from viewing the PMO as a cost center or as an extension of project funding cutbacks leading to termination of some projects. Theoretically, the PMO does in fact, consume resources. Nonetheless, it has the potential to be transformed into a revenue generating center because it is an epitome of unique skills and vast knowledge that have been acquired from years of working with and managing several departmental projects. For instance, this office can provide departmental managers who possess the skills and manpower to generate continuous revenue streams by assigning the labor costs out to other departments. Again, it is very economical to make use of in-house subject matter experts (SMEs) as opposed to hiring outside consulting firms. There are many benefits of having the PMO and this emerging trend is slowly taking effect in 2017 and is projected to bring about unprecedented success to those companies that harness its potential.

Project Management Modeling

A new project management model is emerging known as the emerged PMO. This innovative, strategic and flexible framework has been specifically designed to offer support to organizations during economic downturns and ensure that products and services are being delivered across an organization. The PMO model is specifically designed to address a certain issue. In addition to this, it emphasizes more on integrating basic project management procedures, presenting simple yet crucial techniques and helping in nurturing proficient project managers (Hill, 2014). As it advances, it is able to accommodate a broader range of undertakings.

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            According to Hill (2004), the most common PMO model is the competency continuum.  This framework outlines a chain of evolution stages of a PMO. Each stage presents a particular level of functionality a PMO will have attained should the outlined functions be implemented (Hill, 2004). The five stages of the model are used as indicative markers of an organization’s performance and maturity with time as the PMO’s roles and responsibility transition from project oversight in the lower stages to strategic business alignment in the higher levels.

Conclusion and Future Projection

            In conclusion, it is evident that the evolution of project management is now undergoing the most recent consequences of digital revolution. This has led to the development and integration of the evolved PMO which seeks to support organizations during tough times. The benefits that are being reaped from this model are numerous hailing from improved organizational performance all the way to improvement in communication and flexibility. The future is promising, but there are impediments that ought to be addressed to prevent the downfall of this evolution in project management. These include issues of data security andintegration. To maintain relevance and efficiency, managers and PMO practitioners need to be aggressive in driving the change and consequently adopting new tools, techniques and technologies that will help reinforce the flexibility and longevity of the model.

References

Augustine, S. (2005). Managing agile projects. Prentice Hall PTR.

Cline, A. (2015). Evolution of Project Management. In Agile Development in the Real World (pp. 3-23). Apress.

Hill, G. M. (2004). Evolving the project management office: a competency continuum. Information Systems Management21(4), 45-51.

Jain, T., & Jamali, D. (2015). Strategic approaches to corporate social responsibility. Development-Oriented Corporate Social Responsibility: Volume 2: Locally Led Initiatives in Developing Economies, 71.

Moran, A. (2016). Managing Agile. Springer International PU.

Silvius, A. J., & Schipper, R. P. (2014). Sustainability in project management: A literature review and impact analysis. Social Business4(1), 63-96.

Silvius, A.J, & Schipper, R. P. (2012). Sustainability in project management. Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Sliger, M., & Broderick, S. (2008). The software project manager’s bridge to agility. Addison-Wesley Professional.

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