A paper presented to the Project Management Symposium on PM: Project Manager Role Evolution, Rome, Italy, 2004.

Updated 7/3/04

"PMI" and "PMBOK" are the registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute.
Published here October 2004.

PART 3 | Introduction | Project Management in the Next Five Years
Project Management Maturity Models | Project Management Around the World
Acknowledgement | References

Project Management in the Next Five Years

So far, this discussion has attempted to present an understanding of what is happening on the various frontiers of project management around the world, and to give the reader readily accessible references (via the Internet wherever possible) to further detail on each topic. It is certain that there are pertinent topics that have not been covered, either in the interest of brevity or the lack of awareness by the author, who will greatly appreciate having these omissions brought to his attention at http://www.archie@unisono.net.mx.

The discussion in each of the three parts of this paper hopefully conveys a reasonable picture of where we stand today in relation to each of the dimensions of project management identified. Here are a few conclusions and cautious predictions about where I predict the discipline of project management will be in the year 2008.

Characteristics of Project Management

The described basic characteristics of project management have not changed appreciably in the past 10 years and are not expected to change much within the foreseeable future.

Major Project Management Trends

Three major project management trends are observed that will continue:

  1. Linking strategic and project management through project portfolio management practices.
  2. Broadening the application of project management to include the total project life cycle, from concept through to full realization of project benefits.
  3. Continued discovery of new application areas for the project management discipline.

Organization Capabilities and Maturity in Project Management

Rather than continue to be developed as a separate specialty within organizational management disciplines, the principles and practices of project management will gradually merge with other areas of management and be an important part of every manager's responsibilities, much like financial management is today: Chief Financial Officers/CFOs set the financial policies and practices of an organization, but every manager has and uses a reasonable amount of financial management skills and expertise. There are numerous financial specialists, including licensed CPA's or their equivalents, who work throughout large organizations within the established policies and procedures.

Within the next five years, project-driven and project dependent organizations will similarly have Chief Project Management Officers (CPMOs) who will set the project management policies and practices of the organization, and every manager will hold and apply a reasonable amount of project management skills and expertise. Project management specialists, many "certified " but none "licensed, " will similarly support the project management policies and procedures throughout these organizations.


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