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The Project Revolution

23 Oct 2019
The Project Revolution

The Emergence of the Project Economy

Few appreciated the far-ranging impact the first Industrial Revolution would have as it was happening.

However, a century later, the future of work is once again a contentious topic. Technological advancements and radical transformations are creating tremendous pressures on organisations to evolve or expire.

Yet one thing is clear: the current Industrial Revolution has heralded the arrival of Projectification – diffusion of projects across all aspects of society – and the Project Economy.

The Project Economy has been defined as “one in which people have the skills and capabilities they need to turn ideas into reality. It is where organisations deliver value to stakeholders through successful completion of projects, product delivery, and alignment to value streams. And all of these initiatives deliver financial and societal value.”

The gig economy and the re-evaluation of traditional hierarchical structures that cannot manage projects nimbly are two symptoms of the project economy.

Strategy Execution is via Projects

The future growth and long-term realisation of organisations’ objectives are inextricably linked to the successful execution of projects. The message is simple – the successful execution of strategy demands delivery of the projects that make up the strategy.

Projects are the essential vehicle to deliver change, to get things done, and to create value.

Today’s business and economic climate makes it vitally important to choose the right initiatives and focus on implementing them quickly. Organisations cannot afford to run multiple projects without prioritisation and a disciplined approach to execution.

They need to have processes to select projects, say “no” to many of them, prioritise, focus on the key initiatives and allocate scarce resources accordingly.

Furthermore, they must also build project-management competencies across the board; develop related career paths; adjust incentives and training, and formally position PM on the organisation chart. The main challenges will be encountered in trying to implement this mindset.

Project Management – A Core Competency for National Competitiveness

Project management skills and competencies will be a must-have skill set for both the organisation and the individual in the next decade. Governments need to recognise that project management cannot be taken for granted. It will be a core competency requirement and a key driver of national competitiveness. IPMA® research in Germany shows that 35% of all hours expended in organisations relate to projects – equivalent to €877 billion. The research has yielded similar results in Norway and Italy.

Over 20 years ago, the Institute participated in a benchmarking study conducted by Professor Roland Garies at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna entitled the “Project Oriented Society (POS)”. Since then, project management has continued its march as the preeminent vehicle for the management of change. The project Revolution is upon us.

We need to view the world through the future-focused lens of projects and prepare governments, organisations and individuals to embrace and maximise its offers. Explore Institute of Project Management's courses to enhance your project management skills, competencies and aquire globally recognised certification.