There is another trend favoring project management, which is as strong as the new employment paradigm and probably even more inevitable. This is the increasing pace of change. Tom Peters is gung ho about this topic. His books and articles repeatedly beat the refrain that the economy is shifting, innovation is rampant, and “doing it the same way” is a recipe for corporate extinction.
The Increasing Pace of Change, Paradigm Shift
Peters has good reason for his enthusiasm over the increasing pace of change. New products and services are exploding onto the scene overnight, while current products are becoming obsolete faster than ever. The Internet and all its offspring are creating a new cyber-economy. Companies that didn’t exist 10 years ago now dominate major new technologies and this is related to the increasing pace of change.
As an example, Teledesic (founded in 1990) plans to revolutionize the telecommunications market with a global satellite-based data communication network. Another firm founded in 1990, Equator Technologies, is developing a new multimedia chip, which it claims will “change how the world’s televisions are going to be built. ”
As businesses scramble to keep up with fast-moving companies like these, riding the tsunami of change can
become the most important part of a business. This emphasis on change increases the importance of project management, because a, rapid rate of change brings a greater need for projects.
In response to a rapidly changing marketplace, a company might re-engineer itself, develop new products, or form marketing agreements with other firms. Each of these innovations is brought about by one or more projects. Greater change = more innovations = more projects.
Everyone benefits from understanding project management
If there is a growing need for projects, then there is ever increasing need for people who understand how to run them effectively. Every project participant, from part-time team member to executive sponsor, becomes more effective once he or she understands the basics of project management. Learning these basics is especially important for managers at all levels, because every manager will be involved in many projects—and their authority will give them a major impact on each one.
This book is written for people who need to understand the time-tested techniques of project management. It is for people who are new to the discipline, whether they are recent graduates, experienced executives, mid-level managers, or team members wanting to be team leaders. This book is primarily about how: how to get agreement on goals and how to reach them, how to enlist team members and project sponsors, how to negotiate schedules and budgets, and how to reduce risk and increase the odds of success.