8. The Changing Face of Project Management

Once upon a time (how all good stories start) project management was within the purview of architects and engineers, however nowadays that has changed … but why?  Well there are a lot of reasons ranging from changes in legislative requirements, to increases in project complexity and the specialisation of professional degrees.  Nonetheless, the world now has professional project managers but even that is changing.

Not so long ago many project managers ‘stumbled’ into the profession either as a result of a new role or from spending too much time dealing with clients, rather than designing.  As these project managers evolved organisations were set up to acknowledge their newfound specialisations through competency-based assessment and to support their professional development.

Move on 20 to 25 years and these organisations have devolved into ‘self-licking ice creams’ that are rapidly melting! Why you ask … because they have not kept engaged with the emerging project leaders.  Most of our emerging project managers, or project leaders as I prefer to call them, have a base degree in a construction-related discipline AND a specialised degree in project management, often at the Masters Degree level.  The majority have worked in the industry while studying.

This is the vanguard of our profession and they are smart, hungry and will not be ‘talked down to’.  They need support networks, growth opportunities and challenges not antiquated organisations generally run by the ‘pale, male and stale’ of our profession.

This big question is, where do we need to go with our profession and what that might look like in 5 – 10 years’ time?  I am not sure what it will look like, but I know it will be very different to what we have now.  Those organisations that tie themselves to existing professional bodies may well find themselves irrelevant in the near future.

Bring on the revolution I say!

GRIPFAST Consulting Pty Ltd provides a range of management consultancy, research, and project management services to both public and private sector clients across Australia. GRIPFAST Consulting has offices located in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.  Gripfast Consulting also operates regionally and nationally through project offices and fly-in fly-out operations depending on the location of the project.