Saturday, November 17, 2012

Changes in PM Challenges

The focus on Agile
Agile Focus (Image Credit:Kfp1921 Wikimedia Commons)  
I attended this year's Project Management Practitioners Conference(PMPC-2012) conducted by PMI, Bangalore Chapter  on 14th and 15th Sep 2012.  Of particular interest to me was the panel discussion on "Emerging Trends in Project Management" in which challenges facing the PMs  and the skills being demanded are usually presented. The panelists were Gautam Rao(GE),Naresh Babu K (HAL), Prabhakar Kandaswamy(Vmware),Prasad Kasinathan(Motorola) and Ramam Atmakuri(Cognizant).  Few trends that were discussed include
  • Portfolio Management
  • Product Management
  • Global Program Management/Virtual environment leadership
  • New tools for the new generation
  • Shortening life cycle driving adoption of Agile methodolgies 
The skills required from the PMs are to be a visionary, anticipate change, manage interdependencies and suggested best practices include leveraging the face to face meeting opportunities to the maximum in dealing with Virtual environments.

I also attended the 2007 edition of the conference. I would like to recall the challenges in Project Management that were captured in a panel discussion, in which Parthasarathy N.S, ( MindTree)  Narasimham R.V, (Ryzhom)  Srikantan Moorthy, (Infosys)  S.R. Yogananda,( Rotary) and   Arun Sahu, (Central Excise & Service Tax) participated.
  • Shortening life cycle
  • Performance on Non functional requirements
  • Impact of Project on Organisation performance (beyond  the triple constraint model)
  • Virtual teams
The skills required from the PMs are  flexibility, conflict resolution, PM competency, teamwork and  best practices include having checks and Balances, stake holder management, Input chain management, hiring MBA's, better knowledge management and effective use of Email.

If we compare the two summaries presented above, we find that PM landscape has seen the focus move from Projects to Portfolio/Product space, while the pressure on shortening life cycles and challenges of  virtual teams continues.  The PMI is  responding to the trends by focusing on Agile(PMBOK 5th Edition,  and  PMI-ACP), developing more customised extensions to PMBOK (Software extension is in the works in colloboration with IEEE Computer Society).  Do you agree with this summary? Share your thoughts...

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