24 June 2008

Project Management 2.0

I named a tongue in cheek post a while back “Project Management 2.0.” It was simply a joke post riffing on the power of a good acronym.

But one of your fellow readers challenged me to say what I really thought about Project Management 2.0 as a concept.

My first thoughts were that the whole 2.0 think is in the post hype dip, and I didn’t want to go there, and my second thought was “that would be Agile project management” because of the increased focus on collaboration - which is the hook-up to the 2.0 spin.

And then, in the car this evening, I came up with a diagram that I wanted to share with you that might just be “What I Think” about PM2.0 (if there really is such a thing.)

And it fits neatly and conveniently into one of my four box grids that I like to use.

Over the last decade or three many organisations have learned to trust their experts. Not all are there yet, but the trend is clear; decentralised decision making means more adaptable and viable organisations.

At the same time the Project Management profession has evolved from a focus on WBS, network diagrams and gannt charts into an ever increasing awareness of the business and social contexts that projects operate in.

In both instances it seems to me that we are currently in the middle of the adoption cycle of these two ideas. Most (large) enterprises are aware of these issues and are accommodating them to some degree. And many leading organisations have fully exploited the benefits from them.

(Am I being overly optimistic here? What is your employer like on these dimensions?)

Anyway, without really believing in a 2.0, Project Management and it's context is evolving, and my job is different to the previous generation, just the next generation's will be different from ours.

Viva la evolution.


  1. Anonymous1:34 am

    Craig, while I believe that what you drew is the way the project management should go (evolutionary), I am not so optimistic about when it is going to happen. It really may need some 20 or 30 years before PM 2.0 becomes a popular practice. I also think that the big corporations are more conservative and most probably the change will come from the smaller companies which are a lot more flexible.

    Of course, this is a little futuristic topic so everyone is forgiven for making wrong predictions :-)

  2. I have to agree with Craig on the direction the industry is going. All of the research I've seen says that Generation Why is looking for more responsibility and recognition. This attitude will lead toward more decentralized decision making in my opinion.

    I think if you watch the trends in the up-and-coming workforce of 20-somethings you will see that project management will have to evolve to be more Agile because that is how they think and behave. Certain business needs will always have to be met, but they won't always have to be met in top-down ways.

    Just my .02 US (not what it used to be worth)

  3. Thanks for the feedback guys.

    (Mike - haven't heard from you for ages! Hope all is going well with you)

    It was the early 1980's that Henry Mintzberg, Peter Drucker and others identified the need for (some) organisations to shift away from top down management styles.

    It's only recenlty - 10 years or so - that this has seemed to get traction with major corporations here in Australia.

    Where are we in adoption of business knowledge as a technology? I'd say we are a leading nation, but not as leading as parts of northernEurope or North america.

    What does that mean? It means my comments are more of a futirusitic comment if you live in Bulgaria or the Phillipines than if you live in Sweden or Canada where it is or hs happenned.

    And yes - it happens in smaller organisations first. The bureacracies are he last to change.

    And thanks Janet for your 2c worth. (Which used gto be worth AU2c but is puling away again.)

  4. Hia Craig,

    Always love this theme... I think the problem is more related to management in general than specific to PM. Although a lot of old timers are still thinking that we are talking about "soft skills" (yah know... "motivating people"), they are missing the point.

    Soft skills is what you have to do NOW. With the 2.0 stuff we are talking about a whole different ballgame: cultural diversity, economic diversity, age and gender gaps, and at speed never seen before.

    Cause-effects problem chains are getting diffuse; we need crowds to solve them; but we don't know if that works and how.

    In India women are leaving their traditional roles to go to work. What happens if economic down turn hits US hard? I wonder how generation Y is doing when no money is ever coming in...

    Doing PM in this context is the challenge for PM 2.0.

    Wanna play? :)

  5. I see your point. I also think that it would be interesting for you to check out this blog. It's titled Project Management 2.0.

  6. Anonymous10:12 am

    i think project management 2.0 is a very viable concept and something that has definitely taken over the PM sphere.

    I also have a blog on project management on the advantages of its migration towards the online aka online project management blog. check it out.

  7. I don't know if you can call 2.0, but i think we started to see the shift towards the social project management awhile, when project management software vendors understood, that without collaboration features project management software is literally useledd.

  8. i think project management 2.0 is a very viable concept and something that has definitely taken over the PM sphere.

    I also have a blog on project management on the advantages of its migration towards the online aka online project management blog. check it out.

  9. It's only recenlty - ten years or so - that this has appeared to get traction with major corporations here in Australia.

  10. This is one of my favorite blog because whenever i visit this blog found something interested and different,you are doing very well job,keep it up

  11. As long as the notion of PM 2.0 has nothing to do with the software being used and is not connected with the Web 2.0 thing as some try to do (mainly for marketing purposes I guess) I see it as a possible evolution. My point of view on this theme is presented in the article PM 1.0 versus PM 2.0. What Is Next – Project Management 3.0?