The role of project manager has undergone an evolution. The role that started with checklists and pure execution has evolved into a consulting position that involves diagnostics and strategy. George Konstantopoulos explains the shift is a result of the dot com era. During the height of dot com hysteria, many organizations pushed a first to market strategy that resulted in little ROI. However, as that period came to a close, the organizations realized that cost is just as important as schedule.
One way to eliminate excess costs was to combine the position of consultant and project manager. Previously, the project manager would execute the tasks on a presented checklist. The project would then be reviewed by a consultant, who would diagnose any problems and recommend a solution. But why work through two channels when you could just work through one?
The new project manager doesn’t just execute the tasks laid out before her, but realizes the bigger picture behind the project goals and works toward delivering them. The new project manager hasn’t evolved past checklists, but the project manager who only concentrates on lists is now extinct. The new project manager can work as a consultant and an organizer, because that’s what the post-dot com era calls for.