Over the last decade, modern professional project management (PM) has been embraced by organizations involved in information technology (IT) more rapidly and more seriously than in any other sectors. The increased use of PM in technology organizations has been astounding, as reflected by the rapid growth in membership in the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI has seen its membership increase from 50,000 to over 270,000 worldwide over the last 12 years, with 80% of the new members working in IS, IT, Telecoms and other technology-oriented organizations. In particular, PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) certification has been widely embraced and adapted by IT organizations, to the point where the PMP is now one of the most sought after certifications within the IT sector.
Many of us who have been involved with the PM profession for many years have been amazed at these trends, wondering what it all means. Is the PM profession now to be completely dominated by IS and IT organizations? Why haven't we seen similar growth in adapting PM among older, more traditional, project-oriented industries and organizations, such as in aerospace, construction and defense? What is really driving these trends? Why all the interest in PM by IT professionals and companies? Will this trend continue?
In this paper I have outlined seven major reasons why I think IT organizations and professionals have so rapidly and fully embraced PM. In this context I include software, hardware, systems and subsystems development in the IT sector. The factors discussed below apply to all of these industries, and the projects and organizations within those industries. These seven reasons have all put enormous pressure on technology organizations to embrace professional PM to improve performance on IT programs and projects.
The seven good reasons for the rapid growth of PM in the IT sector are:
As I said, I believe these seven factors have fueled the growth and interest in PM in the IT sector. In addition, these factors when taken together have also led to other important trends and developments in the PM field, including Project Portfolio Management and Complex PM.