Posted by: kerrywills | March 11, 2011

Complexities of projects

I have spent my entire career on technology projects. I am convinced that projects are more complex than ever…

  • Many technology layers (e.g. front ends, services, database, rules, workflow, content management, vendor products, etc) which require more touchpoints and integration
  • The need for specialized resources to work in these different layers
  • The evolution of many different organizations that need to be coordinated with (governing bodies, review boards, architects, infrastructure, finance, etc)

This is good news and bad news. The good news is that this complexity is driving the need and criticality of the Project Management profession to manage all of the moving parts. It is not uncommon for a mid sized project to have 5+ PMs to manage the different components. The bad news is that the complexity makes it really hard to deliver projects.  Projects require so much coordination and integration now that one slip up can ripple through the entire project.

PMs have to hold all of the pieces together

I wonder how far this trend will continue and if there are enough strong project managers who can actually deliver in this environment. My prediction is that companies will start to use vendor products and hosting more because the complexity to manage internally is just too high. Then, the Project Management profession will become more about vendor management and integration of components than pure delivery.


  1. We can always hope for a corresponding growth of project management positions within the vendors.

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