To look at the change in the project manager's role, we must look at the history of project management. "Historically, project management responded to the need to create civil and building works of some complexity". Project management was primarily founded on taking a clearly defined and approved project through implementation. That model works fine under traditional construction implementation where an individual or group of individuals define the finished product (structure) and hire architect(s) to define that structure. The project manager is given the time, cost and blueprints and is then instructed to "Make it happen". Once completed, the project manager moves on to the next project.
This is contrary to how a large number of business projects are now being created and implemented. In this case the individual who will be the project manager sometimes identifies a problem or need. Then that person develops a business case and submits it to management for approval. If approved, the project manager then has to perform the standard role of implementing the project. After implementation, the project manager may also be responsible for continued maintenance and support of the process, product, system, etc. This scenario is especially true in IT implementations, where rollout, training and ongoing support is either a part of implementation or follows it.
This change in approach to project creation has major implications. Project sponsors, stakeholders and/or company management are looking to the project manager not just to successfully implement each project, but also to estimate ROI/ROV (Return on Investment / Return on Value) and other metrics during the project evaluation phase. This is so that the product can be monitored and evaluated during and after implementation. Unfortunately, project teams rarely do a post implementation review. Even if a post-implementation review is performed, ROI is rarely measured because "With IT purchases, there's no set formula [for ROI] because the sum of the gains is difficult to quantify."
15. Wideman, R.M.,
Improving PM: Linking Success Criteria to Project Type, Available On-Line at: http://www.maxwideman.com/papers/improvingpm/improvingpm.pdf
16. Contino, Diana S, RN, CNE, CCRN, MBA, Feb 2004, pp. 39-40, What's
your project's ROI?, Nursing Management, 35 (2)