IT PM Role is Vanishing Rapidly – What Should You Do Now?
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Numerous studies have proven that the role of pureplay project management is shrinking for information technology projects. Here is a study by Enterprisers Project*. At the same time, many organizations are adopting the role of Product Owner.
Why is it happening?
There are multiple reasons for this change. The key reasons are:
- Changing nature of IT projects
- Diminished requirement for a dedicated project management role
- Diminished requirement for a dedicated business analyst role
- The benefit of combining the Project Manager and Business Analyst role
Changing nature of IT projects
Individual IT projects are getting smaller and smaller in size. Most projects are run in an agile way, which emphasizes small team sizes and short delivery horizons. The rapid growth of Software as a Service (SAAS) has made plenty of development redundant. A large number of independent software vendors (ISVs) offer a myriad of products catering to enterprise needs.
Diminished requirements for a dedicated project management role
Moving away from a person-based project manager role to a team-based project management role – Older software development frameworks proposed large projects with project management responsibilities given to a specific individual. However, newer approaches such as Scrum advocate the project management responsibilities as a shared team responsibility.
Diminished requirements for task scheduling - Scheduling project tasks were one of the primary activities for the IT Project Manager. In an agile environment, task scheduling is the development team's responsibility.
Automation of project status reporting - A good number of project management tools, such as Jira and Slack, have evolved over the last 2 decades, which automate a large part of status reporting. Hence the workload on project managers has come down further.
Diminished requirements for a dedicated business analyst role
In the older approaches, extensive research and documentation were considered necessary. In modern approaches, the emphasis on documentation has been considerably reduced. The formality of requirements approval and traceability has been reduced significantly. All this has resulted in reduced requirements for business analysis efforts.
Benefits of combining Project Manager and Business Analyst role
- Accountability lies with one person – Both PM and BA are seasoned professionals and can learn the skills of the new role.
- Avoid conflict between project manager and business analyst roles
- Reduced cost of project and requirements management - small project teams don't need full-time PM or BA. A product owner role justifies the deployment of senior professionals to a small team of developers.
Here is how the project structure is getting simplified over a period of time:
Study on the decline of PM role: https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2020/4/it-careers-5-fading
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