The PM Podcast


Project Management Interviews for Beginners and Experts

Episode 164: Project Management Predictions for 2011 and Beyond (Part 1)

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This episode is sponsored by Wrike:
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If you are a regular listener of The PM Podcast, then you know that at the end of the year we always produce a humorous "bloopers" episode, where you can listen in to all those funny moments when things went wrong and nothing worked the way it should have. Unfortunately, we have done this for 5 years now and we're really getting good at not making too many of these bloopers. So in an effort to bring you something new, we decided to create a podcast with predictions from project managers around the world.

We invited 7 guests onto this and next week's episode to give us their predictions for project management in 2011. They are in order of appearance:

Mark PerryTom MochalElizabeth HarrinTerry DoerscherIan KnoxJosh NankivelHal Macomber

 

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at www.pm‑podcast.com or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #164. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

If you are a regular listener of The Project Management Podcast™, then you know that at the end of the year, we always produce a slightly humorous "bloopers" episode, where you can listen in to all those funny moments when things went wrong and nothing worked the way that it should have. Well unfortunately, we have done this for 5 years now and we're really getting really good at not making too many mistakes. So there aren’t really too many of those bloopers and the episode is going to be really short. So in an effort to bring you something new and to keep you entertained, we decided to, this year, create a podcast with predictions from project managers around the world.

So we invited 7 guests to this and next week's show to tell us their predictions for project management in 2011.

This episode of The Project Management Podcast™ is sponsored by Wrike: How do you keep your team up-to-date on all projects? Wrike’s social project management software helps thousands of managers worldwide organize their project data in one spot and ensure the seamless collaboration of their employees. With Wrike, collaborating on multiple projects is as easy as navigating a social network. Keep your team members on the same page. Collaborate twice as efficiently as you did before. Start a free trial today at www.wrike.com. That’s w-r-i-k-e.com.

 

And here are our guests in the order of appearance:

And now, take out your crystal ball, start chanting and enjoy the predictions.

Podcast Interview

Mark Perry: Hello! This is Mary Perry from BOT International, a small boutique PMO firm that for over a decade has specialized in rebrandable content assets for your PMO. As always, it is a pleasure to listen to Cornelius’ podcasts and it is enjoyable to be on them as well.

Predictions for 2011, what a great topic! And yes, I have a few predictions for 2011 and let me give one of them now. This is a positive prediction. In the year 2011, after over a decade of talking about the PMO in terms of PMO models, people, process and tools and selling the PMO which has resulted in untold PMO failures, execution difficulties and false starts.

The project management community will abandon these misguided catch phrases and mindsets in favor of a business-driven and constituent-oriented focus and discussion about how PMO’s can meet the project-related needs that companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes face.

Now, this is a bold prediction. In fact just last week, a project management newsletter found its way into my inbox. In this newsletter, one of the so-called experts in project management provided three tips for setting up a PMO:

Tip 1: Select the PMO model of the many approaches out there.

Tip 2: List out your PMO roles and responsibilities.

Tip 3: Continually sell the value of your PMO.

In my opinion, this is the worst advice you can give an organization considering a PMO. Fortunately, after years of poor results, this kind of thinking is on its way out and only a few pondents. Typically, trainers and consultants still advocate such theoretical and inwardly focused approaches.

PMO do not exist to form an organization of some kind and implement processes, tools and training. While this might serve the project management community well in terms of tool sellers, trainers and organizations promoting their certification, this is not the business reason for having a PMO.

What is now ‘in’ and what I predict for 2011 is that PMOs of all shapes and sizes will no longer talk about setting up a PMO using terms like PMO models, people, process and tools and selling the PMO. Rather, they will talk about the PMO in terms of the business-driven reasons for having a PMO in the first place. And these reasons for having a PMO will be based upon the needs of the business and what the executives need from the PMO, their PMO, not someone else’s theoretical idea of what a PMO should be or should do.

Cornelius, back over to you.

Tom Mochal: Hi! This is Tom Mochal from TenStep. We’re a company that specializes in project, program and portfolio management and helping companies set up and run PMOs. I have a couple of predictions for next year and the coming years.

The first one is that companies are going to have more focus on the execution of work in both 2011 and beyond. And what I mean by that is over the last couple of years, I think there has been a pretty relentless focus in many companies about cutting costs because of the economy, cutting people, but also trying to cut costs not just in IT but in sales and manufacturing and finance and all the business areas. This has resulted in a pent-up demand for work; valuable work that has not been able to be implemented because of the focus on cutting costs.

In 2011 and beyond, this pent-up demand is going to start coming to the surface and I don’t think that that’s going to translate immediately and the company is going out and hire lots and lots of people. I think there will be hiring and I see that the hiring will come back but it’s not going to come back all at once. I think companies are going to be cautious. So rather than just say: “We have all this demand. We are going to go out and hire people.” I think what we’ll see is that companies are going to try to get more efficient and effective in terms of how they’re managing work and how they’re executing work in their organizations. And this is going to lead to an increase focus in project management, program management, portfolio management.

Now, these are the kind of things that we do as a company and so on the surface, you might think I’m just promoting our own kind of services but I think actually that companies are seeing this and we’re seeing it in terms of the demand that we’re getting. Our company is seeing an increased demand from organization. They know they need to get better at managing projects and better at portfolio management which is making sure the right projects are implemented. Companies have these big backlogs of demand for projects but they can’t do them all so they have to make sure that they are doing the ones that are of most importance and that’s where a lot of the portfolio management projects has come in.

So I think that’s going to be key for the next couple of years and I think that there will be an increase demand for project managers and project management training and project management processes and perhaps, more companies establishing PMOs to help guide projects and project managers. I think of this whole area about being smarter about how they do processes is going to be the next key thing. And then ultimately, it will transition into ‘we just need more people decide’ so at that point, cost will have been cut. People will have more efficient and effective processes and then they’ll realize in order to get more work done than that, they’ll just have to have more people to add more horsepower. But I think at least next year, in the next 18 months, 24 months, this focus on better project management and portfolio management will be a key element of what we’ll see in the market.

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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