The Project Economy: The Evolution of Project Management

November 1, 2019 by FlexPro

Recently, you may have seen that the Project Management Institute (PMI) has launched a new, updated logo. It has also launched a new concept called the “Project Economy.”

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



PMI Logo

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It’s an interesting concept, and it’s defining the direction that project management is evolving.

In her article “Welcome to the Project Economy,” Cindy Anderson, vice president of brand management at the Project Management Institute, explains that project management is becoming more about defining work around what actually needs to get done and determining the best way and people to get there. She calls this the project economy.

According to Anderson, the continual advances in technology and automation are putting significant pressure on companies to keep up if they want to succeed. Current, once-successful practices no longer move fast enough to compete with technological and industry advancements, again forcing companies to adapt or risk failure.

She discusses a concept that came about a few years ago and is considered part of the project economy called the “gig economy.” She highlights Uber as an example of utilizing workers who operate much like contract or freelance employees for very goal-focused or task-based assignments. This type of business model appeals to a new and younger generation of workers who thrive in the fast-paced and technologically ripe environment.

As the younger generation is now up and coming in the business world, a new trend is emerging that is seeing this generation as less likely to be interested in settling into one company and making a career there. Unlike their predecessors, who would often work for the same company for decades, this next generation is more interested in assignments that build their skills and increase their knowledge, which they, in turn, can take as they move on to the next assignment.

Their resume will have a portfolio of project experience rather than a job description. Their skills will be utilized until it’s time to move on to the next project and potentially the next company. Anderson’s article predicts that companies will be hiring and regrouping employees based on experience that they will bring to a specific project.

Anderson states, “Once executives start structuring their entire organization around the portfolio of projects that deliver the most value to their stakeholders, they have much more flexibility in terms of how they hire, train, assign, engage and retain a capable, high-performing workforce.”

It’s becoming clear that the advancements in technology are going to keep coming at a frenzied pace, with the latest and greatest of today being replaced with something better and faster tomorrow. Whether it’s a self-driving car or a robot that can cook dinner, the way we conduct business also is going to continue to evolve.

The next generation of employees isn’t looking to plant roots, and employers are beginning to recognize this. At FlexPro, our goal is that our employees get the best of both worlds by having the security of belonging to one company while still having the variety and learning that comes with various projects and clients.

Projects are a critical part of every company’s business plan, and having the right people is the key to success. As PMs, we already know this, but now it seems that everyone else is finally catching on!

Welcome to the Project Economy!

The FlexPro Group is a project management consulting firm, specializing in the Life Sciences industry since 2008. FlexPro combines industry-certified experts with proven project management processes and subject matter expertise to deliver results on-time and on-budget. Our focus areas include Product Development & Commercialization, Supply Chain Optimization, Integration Management, and Early-Stage Acceleration. Contact FlexPro today to learn more!



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