Project Management for the New Millennium
excellence is vital for the success of a nation, but project management excellence
is vital for the future advancement and prosperity of a nation. The converse,
if it needs to be stated, is that a series of seriously flawed projects can bring
a sector to its knees, whether public or private, and with it the whole economy.
Thus, it is essential to enhance program and project organizational effectiveness,
efficiency and success.
is interesting to note that management as a profession is only just gaining the
recognition that it deserves. For decades, management has been regarded as an
additional skill accumulated progressively through one’s career, typically within
a functional specialization. In some countries, nationally recognized standards
of competence for management have been set up and this has helped enormously
to change that perception and establish it as a specialization in its own right.
Indeed, the demand for qualifications against such standards underscores the
growing popularity of management as a chosen career.
Can the same be said of project
management? In North America, a profession is typically thought of as a body
underpinned by statutory regulation, to which so-called ‘professionals’ must
belong in order to practice their respective arts. Unfortunately, the term ‘professional’,
like ‘engineer’ is a word widely used with other implications. We will not dwell
here on the ‘oldest profession’, but the word is often used to refer to the behavior
of anyone working in a service industry. It simply means that those people behave
in the way the public expects them to behave and has little bearing on their
skills or competence.
the case of project management, there is no widely held standard of competency
or skill, let alone standards with which practitioners really do comply. Consequently,
project management can hardly be considered as a profession. While we, in the
practice would like to aspire to becoming a profession sometime in the future,
let us not kid ourselves. There is an enormous amount of work to be done before
that goal is achieved. Meantime, let’s face it - project management still ranks
only as a discipline.