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Changing role of the IT project manager

Raj Sheelavant
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Raj Sheelavant
Over the past few years the complexity of the project management has dramatically increased because of globalization. The life span of business cycle is now getting shorter and continues to shrink at a faster pace. The large organizations do not have the luxury of time to adapt to the changing customer needs. The business processes need to be re-engineered so as to support fast decision making and execution of strategy.

Because of globalization, the role of the IT Project Manager (IT PM) is being redefined. In addition to making sure that the project is progressing as planned, in today’s environment, the IT PM needs to have skills in two more areas:
*To effectively manage resources and customers that are mobile and globally located
*To understand the business and marketing strategy of the customer because in this competitive landscape the project scope can change or become irrelevant quickly

Technological changes have further accelerated globalization and have intensified competition and the organizations need to be ‘nimble and agile’. Agile business processes are very important to adapt to the changing environment. Hence, IT projects’ scopes keep changing.

Agile software development methodologies as well as project management processes have developed over the past few years to address the fast changing requirements and scope. But, the development methodologies like XP, Scrum, etc. that favor smaller development teams are mainly focused on the software development processes. Though they address the issues of shorter lead time, these software development methodologies are very light on integrating global work force. There is also no clear definition on the role of the IT PM in this new emerging environment. As the quest of the large organizations to gain the right talent continues and the barriers to globalization continue to drop, software projects are not localized to a region any longer. The labor today is more globally mobile; software consulting and outsourcing companies have development centers around the globe to not only take advantage of the labor arbitrage but also enable Talent Management. An agile software development process by itself will not be able to solve the complexities arising out of globalization.

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