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What to Expect as a 21st Century Project Manager

Look How Far We’ve Come

Things have certainly changed for IT in the last several decades, and this is especially apparent in the area of project management. Peter Taylor of Association for Project Management highlights the evolution project management has gone through. He says project management started with “accidental project managers,” IT professionals who sort of stumbled into the position as a means of necessity. There was a need for a leader, and they filled it.

However, today’s IT environment calls for non-accidental project managers, people who recognize the struggle they are about to face. There are plenty of resources to prepare for taking on the position. More books are published and courses available than ever before, which is good because the projects are getting more complex, and we need people who intentionally enter the project management profession and aren’t afraid of the potential challenges.

Enter the 21st Century Challenges

One of these challenges the 21st century project manager faces is in interacting with clients in the virtual world, as IT grows increasingly globalised. Here, Taylor suggests three success points: respect time, respect language, and respect views. Another challenge is accepting that you must always be anticipating what’s next. Technology like Google and smart phones are changing the face of IT, but education is playing just as big a role. Universities are now teaching project management, organizations are more project-based, and people are experiencing project management much earlier in their careers. Projects are pushing the growth of the organization, and the whole company is becoming increasingly dependent on the project manager. Step up to the plate and accept the challenges, because if you do, you will be rewarded with a fast-paced and fulfilling career.

For more project management advice from Peter Taylor, check out his original video:

About Rachel Ginder

Rachel Ginder was a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success and joined the team in 2013. She also helped with social media and research.

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