Used to be, Project Management was straightforward due to somewhat long-term stable economic and social conditions. In the recent global economic meltdowns, no nation has escaped the effects of the financial crises that continue to stall and even totally disrupt not just individual company operations but the entire economic health of nations.
In spite of the situation, several countries, especially in Asia, have performed well, although the distribution of goods and services has not really served the majority of the populations, in spite of the media-created perception. Under these positive-looking prospects, businesses can thrive. With more dynamic and aggressive plans and new technologies, Project Managers can still provide meaningful and efficient assistance to many old and new business ventures and avoid fraud.
What are some of the innovative Project Management principles we need to consider under the present economic realities? And what are the principles that no longer apply? It would be interesting to point out how the global economic crisis has altered how Project Management has evolved.
Let us look at some principles:
- Outsourcing of certain functions
BPO’s (Business Processing Offices) have become a boon for the modern entrepreneurs and corporations. Most anything can be outsourced now – from marketing, customer services, bills payment, accounting, training, programming and a host of other tasks. Aside from freeing a business from overhead costs for maintaining offices and personnel, BPOs also free management from so many man-hours of work which could be utilized to accomplish more productive pursuits.
- Harnessing new technology
We all know how the Internet has revolutionized our lives and how we do business. Managing a project must take into consideration how to use modern technology to create entirely new ideas and innovate on existing ways of doing things. Do we have any examples?
The standing joke nowadays refers to such companies that have made billions doing business in fields where they do not have any direct investments or involvement at all in their supposed businesses. Here are a few: Amazon Books – the largest bookstore that does not have one real bookstore; Facebook – the largest social-media provider that does not have any media outfit; YouTube – the largest theater that does not own a single movie house and Lazada the largest retailer that does not own a single store. Now, is anybody really laughing at these game-changing companies?
- Training people
Staff training can be expensive and time consuming. Hiring the right kinds of people who have top-level qualifications can fast-track a company’s growth to a certain extent. However, specialization requires a business to go specific or microscopic. Developing and marketing a real estate project requires knowing details, such as lot sizes, floor areas, loan-interest rates, monthly amortizations and so many others. Again, the traditional methods may no longer be as effective as the present use of high-tech equipment and social media tools. Knowing where to focus and how much to invest on such tools requires experience and financial savvy. In some cases, training may not be necessary as some tasks can already be either outsourced or done electronically with minimal training required.
- Job satisfaction
Everyone, whether the lowly employee or the company president, desires to achieve psychological satisfaction from doing a job and doing it well. Although some people tend to slough off through their jobs on a daily basis without even considering whether they are happy with their jobs or not, the Project Manager’s task must involve providing opportunities for workers to achieve a sense of fulfillment in doing their job.
Social relevance and personal advocacy can be two of the criteria to be considered in any project undertaking. Allowing people to feel they have a stake in the success of the business and the company allows them to develop a more creative approach to their jobs. In the changing fortunes of the present era, there could not be a better reason or a better time to enhance the relevance and importance of a project not just for those who implement the project but also for those who will benefit from it, whether the families of workers, the customers or the public, in general.