Project Management for the 21st Century

A project is an organized method for reaching specific goals within a target schedule and specified budget. Project management methodology provides organizations with powerful tools that improve its ability to plan, implement, and control its activities.

Use of project Management as a means of achieving organizations objectives, grew rapidly during the past several decades. What organizations achieve using project management methodology today would demand greater efforts and time if they are to be achieved in traditional ways.

Duminda Weeraratne
Project Management Consultant
Project Management Solutions (Pvt) Ltd

Evolution of Project Management
Projects have been carried out since the beginning of the civilization. But only in the last 50/30 years the term has become widely used. Till mid 90s PM was seen as a methodology that might be nice to have, but not as one that was mandatory for the competitiveness of the organization.

Project Management today
Today the business landscape is fast-paced and competitive, and product life cycles are shorter. Product development and launch times are also shortening. The demand for rapid change and innovation is increasing. Therefore the traditional structures must be replaced by organic project management structures.

Today the nature of work in organizations demands use of multidisciplinary teams which are capable of handling dynamic and complex problems. Project management methodology is capable of providing a structure for such situations. Most of the routine work in organizations can be automated now. But firms need project management systems for internal improvements or to serve customers that creates new value.

Therefore, there is a demand for all organizations to achieve some degree of maturity in Project Management.

Scalable Methodology
The traditional PM was restricted to only construction and military projects but now all sectors consider it as indispensable for their sustainable growth. Today the methodology is being applied in such diverse industries and organizations as pharmaceutical, chemical, banking, insurance, real estate, entertainment, healthcare and hospitals, marketing, and state.

For examples; business activities such as a hospital providing a corporate healthcare solution to a corporate client, a bank servicing a request for a corporate loan, an insurance company providing corporate insurance solution, a manufacturing company developing and launching a new product, are undertaken as projects. They are initiated, planned, implemented and monitored using project management tools and techniques. A project manger is assigned to manage such tasks right throughout.

Demand for a project driven organization
Almost all companies in the developed world use projects as the preferred way of accomplishing almost everything they undertake. They emphasize on multiple projects, sharing resources across projects using programme management methodology.

These organizations now use project management methodology as a mean of implementing strategy. They have a separate management systems in place to facilitate project management. Such organizations are known as project based organizations. Some of the leading companies which are considered to have achieved excellence in project management are; 3M, Compaq, Ericsson, Hewlett- Packard, Boeing, Microsoft, Walt Disney, First Energy,Motorola, and Xerox.

Project Management Skills and Career Advancement
Today Project management skills are mandatory for any profession, discipline or field. May it be, Marketing, HRM, Finance, IT, Manufacturing, Services or Government, we undertake more and more projects. Our career advancement and National development greatly depends on how successfully we complete these projects.

More details about project management discipline, certifications, and training programmes can be obtained at

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