“Project management is evolving from a "one size fits most" approach to a spectrum of approaches tuned to optimize various internal needs.” 

Gartner Inc., November 2010

How does your organization manage portfolios of programs and projects? Are the outputs of projects treated as assets when the project is complete?

The accelerating rate of business change is resulting in technology projects that are more limited in scope and shorter in duration.  The time between the initiation of a project and when the organization needs to realize value from that effort is decreasing.  This shift to smaller project duration is enabled by service-based and component-based technologies, agile development techniques, and improved integration capabilities that allow many parts of the IT ecosystem to evolve more gradually, orchestrated through a series of smaller projects.  The significance of these projects, however, does not correspond to the smaller scope and duration.  Many of these projects will be initiated based solely on their positive impact on strategic objectives.

Most organizations will have "more ideas than money" in the coming years.  As business processes increasingly depend on IT for process execution, having timely and meaningful management information available helps business and IT focus on projects that enable business growth and on communicating to business executives that anticipated business benefits have been delivered.  With limited skills and resources, project and program prioritization will be a key concern.  The development of business cases, project charters and similar tasks will be required to facilitate the ranking and prioritization of initiatives competing for funding and other resources. 

Project management must be a mainstream management skill, with much of the project work elevated to specialists and watched over with significant levels of oversight.  Strong consulting and system integration capabilities, with the appropriate tools and methodologies, will be critical to the successful delivery of these smaller, complex, mission-critical projects.