You are on page 1of 11



I. Introduction All over the world, economies are undergoing an economic adjustment process. This process is described by many different names like structural adjustment, globalization, export oriented industrialization, and sometimes simply economic development. If economic change is not in favor for project managers, resources for projects are expected to do more with less, so the project manager is expected to better manage those resources to achieve success. In such tight environments, the project manager’s skills in leadership are more important than ever and the methodology chosen has a major impact on how resources are managed. It is probably true that today, more contract and temporary positions in project management exist in proportion to full-time positions. Professionals that once had traditional, full-time, stable roles may be forced into contracting, which can be less secure. However, this can also provide many people the opportunity to broaden their experience and build a stronger resume, as well as gain more autonomy in their work-life balance. A related effect is a greater emphasis on portfolio planning of projects (for whatever industry the organization is in: construction, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, NGO, IT, etc.). This has created a positive opportunity for those professionals skilled in portfolio management practices. But there are economic changes that have great advantage for project managers or what they call economic improvement/development but require more experience. There will be an increased interest in credentials and certifications to complement experience. Competition for jobs is fierce, and experience remains as vital as ever. Many professionals are adding credentials and/or certifications to their resume to make themselves more appealing in a tight job market, and in response to more and more job advertisements asking for a minimum of credentials from interested applicants. This change is having several effects on the profession. As more professionals seek credentials and certifications, project management has become a career option open to more people. The ripple effect is providing a positive impact on the wider economy, with the “economic multiplier effect” of more employment in training, preparation and exam administration to support this up skilling need. Several government and not for profit organizations offer financial assistance for job training, which provides

underemployed/unemployed with educational opportunities, while further extending the benefits to the training providers. Some changes to the methodology of project management. Thresholds for change controls and performance metrics are tighter. Competent project professionals are striving; those at the lower end of the talent pool will find it a challenging environment in which to operate. Objectives The objectives of the research are: 1. To know the different strategies of project managers in times of economic financial crisis. 2. To know the positive and negative effects of economic crisis in project management. 3. To learn what are the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies used in Project Management. 4. To know the different effects of economic crisis in good or bad way. 5. To learn the best solution in managing projects in times of economic crisis.


II. Study of Discussions from Other Authors Changes in careers arise from a result of many factors, including advances in technology, responses to changing markets and the wider economic environment, alterations in demographic trends, and customer driven demand, to name just a few. As well as industrydriven advancements, major shifts in the global economy and global events can have a profound, structural effect on a multitude of professions. Major global changes bring about a realization that “We cannot continue to do what we have always done.” The full impact of the global financial crisis on all aspects of the economy may take years, or even decades to fully understand. It is arguably true that the crisis has “left its mark” on attitudes towards the project management profession as it has on many other professions. Some changes have been challenging at an individual level, such as the struggle for many to maintain gainful employment. Other changes have spurred positive adjustments to the way the profession operates, such as fostering a drive for advanced project management processes and a general realization of the importance of project management to controlling outcomes with scarce resources. Global economic downturn has been a catalyst for organizations to rethink their processes. The approach to project management plus program and portfolio management has, for many organizations, been part of this overall rethink. In many cases, the outcome has led to project management being recognized as a valuable way to provide security and control of initiatives undertaken. This has led to opportunities and also some challenges for those of us in the career. (Gary Hamilton, Gareth Byatt, and Jeff Hodgkinson) It’s true that we cannot do what we always do because everything will change in just a matter of time. So the experts of project management must go with the flow in these changes as well as project managers because it is up to them if the project will fail or to success. Their approach to a specific challenge matters in times of financial crisis. Kerzner’s prediction that “executives will be facing increasingly complex challenges the next decade”, became reality sooner than forecasted. “These challenges will be the result of

high escalation factor accompanied by a mild recession” (Kerzner, 2009, p. 1). The challenges are of catastrophic portions. The economic crisis plagued the entire planet (Buti & Szekely, 2009) and shook all economies worldwide (Cevorova et al., 2010). The impact on enterprise (Kislingerova & Krause, 2010) affects all aspects of business. The authors identify impacts being production volume, sales, turnover, profit, employment rate, debts, investment, bank loans, new product introduction, and advertising. Management must function under more challenging and uncertain situations (Geraldi et al., 2008). The close link between strategy and Project Management needs to be kept vital (Meskendahl, 2010). Ironically, the economic crisis and Project Management share certain characteristics. Both are unique, high risk, and temporary. Crisis is a natural stage within the economic cycle. However, the circumstances leading to the current crisis left few enterprises prepared to cope with the severe conditions within their respective life-cycles. There is an evident gap in knowledge and literature available on Project Management during periods of substantial economic downturn. One reason is the difficulty in managing projects under crisis and the strides taken by enterprises and Project Management methodologies to avoid such potential situations. In addition, a crisis of this magnitude has not been witnessed in the history of modern Project Management (Hruzova, 2010b; Kerzner, 2009). Lastly, the crisis continues and reverberates globally. The downturn is still very fresh, more or less unexpected (Buti & Szekely, 2009), all-embracing, more or less unpredictable. Economic crisis is a worst downturn for every project, and can lead to failure. It may also lead to confusion in your team or members. Traditionally, farsighted leaders have used times like these to prepare their organization to sprint past their less nimble competitors, But the fact is that today’s executives have never before had to manage through a crisis of this scale, and they may unconsciously project their own doubts and discomfort onto their employees. In Europe, when the financial crisis emerged, project managers talk with their team to generate a high value, act with high ethical standards, and adopt a new long term view on their job. Leading organizations across sectors and geographic borders have been steadily embracing project management as a way to control spending and improve project results.

When the recession began, this practice became even more important. Executives discovered that following to project management methods and strategies reduced risks, cut costs and improved success rates, all vital to surviving the economic crisis. More than half of the executives in the Economist Intelligence Unit report said following a project management practices became more important since the recession began. Compared to 2008, respondents reported:    Investing more time in project planning and due diligence (40 percent) Conducting more frequent project reviews to assess risks, overall value (37 percent) Measuring quantitative and qualitative project outcomes more frequently (38 percent) “Many companies admitted that the economic crisis underscored their project management limitations and forced them to do better,” the report says. With little room for error and fewer resources to rely on, project management expertise and oversight is helping organizations streamline their delivery process, cut costs and sidestep risks, enabling them to ride out the recession and implement stronger project management practices for the future. “Good project management discipline stopped us from spending money on projects that fail,” says Ron Kasabian, general manager at global IT giant Intel, Folsom, California, USA. Tighter budgets and fewer resources mean less money for the innovative projects that help move the company forward. Getting the most out of those available assets, then, becomes paramount. “Resources are precious, and we’ve got to be sure we are spending them in the best and most efficient way possible,” he says. “When project failure rates decrease, Intel gets the biggest benefit out of IT, which in turn improves Intel’s ability to remain competitive.” Companies are also discovering that as their project management strategy matures, the business value derived from it also increases. To increase that value and ensure strategic alignment across the project portfolio, executives at many global organizations are creating formal project management offices (PMOs). Implementing project management across the organization helps create a strategic value chain that gives companies an edge on their competitors, particularly in high-risk milestones and

sectors and markets. Being able to deliver projects on time and within budget often determines whether a company will get the next job or whether its new product hits the market. Ninety percent of global senior executives ranked project management methods as either critical or somewhat important to their ability to deliver successful projects and remain competitive. Smart, strategic organizations will realize that the down economy is the time to invest in project management training, best practices deployment in order to optimize performance. Organizations need to develop a talent management strategy incorporating recruiting and retaining talent to improve business performance. Keeping projects on track and on budget can counter ill effects of the down economy. The pressures for Project Managers to "get it done yesterday" are ever increasing, particularly with tightening budgets in the downward increase economy. Project managers need to be up to speed deploying best practices in their project selection, work more closely with the business, know when to say no to projects that won't deliver solid ROI and which to green light. They need to understand the business implications and what that means for projects, and how they can drive organizational change through effective project or project-portfolio management. It is important for us all to be prepared for continued change. Louis Pasteur once said that "chance helps the prepared mind.” H.G. Wells is quoted as saying: “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.” We must prepare ourselves for continued change by constantly honing our processes, developing professionally, and being willing to adapt. Those individuals and organizations that are prepared and that embrace the opportunities presented are the ones that are set to continually strengthen their position. We must overcome a deep and painful crisis. Organizations have to decide how and when to cut expenses and if necessary reduce personnel. Even in this difficult environment we can increase Project Management adoption if we understand exactly Top Management needs and create an indispensable tool for them. To win this challenge we must involve personnel with proven experience in Project Management and adopt maximum flexibility in order to present innovative proposals and to apply Project Management tools and methodologies in a highly effective way. Our target must be to cover critical Organizations needs in a very short

period of time. Producing results quickly and with low cost, will help us create the basis from where to start and step-by-step, with consecutive successes, increase the Organization’s Project Management orientation. We must pay attention not to abandon Project Management standards application, but apply them in a way to fulfil customer’s immediate needs. Any Organization, especially during this difficult period, perceives the necessity to produce changes in its processes. To address change, Organization must set Strategic Goals and prepare detailed Strategic application plans, which must be based on sound data, taking into account Time. Then Strategy must turn into practice. This means continuous data collection and elaboration, in other words correct and reliable and up to date Information. During the present economic crisis, organizations are not carrying out all their planned activities and are limiting themselves to those that are essential. Therefore, organizations are more interested in working in accordance with standards (PMBOK), procedures and best practices. This is based on their belief that organized and efficient work will help them ensure the success of the projects that they chose to carry out, as part of the effective management of their organizational group. Globalization of Project Management The globalization of project management profession has been promoted strongly by leaders of various professional project management associations worldwide, e.g., PMI and the International Project Management Association (IPMA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2008 at the PMI Global Congress in Denver, Colorado, USA to collaborate on promoting the profession of project management globally. In pursuing their objectives, the two organizations will seek opportunities to increase the supply of qualified, educated professionals to fill expected vacancies in the profession. The organizations will also explore future opportunities to improve the quality of academic research on the project management profession and its application. Global project management forums have been held worldwide, where professional leaders have met and discussed initiatives. While such professional cooperation is critical to advancing the project management profession around the world, a broader model is needed to understand the relationship of the profession to current,

volatile economic, industrial, political, social, cultural, technological issues and changing conditions. Hence, the relationship of this profession to academic, governmental, and industrial organizations must be better understood as well as the effect on the profession of significant events and trends around the world be considered and addressed, in terms of short-term impacts and long-term strategic issues. The purpose of this paper is to examine recent events and trends that have affected or may have an impact on the project management profession on a global basis. How significant that impact is will be drawn and an assessment made as to the global implication of project management associated with the current, global economic crisis. During 2008 and early 2009, many significant events occurred worldwide, particularly the “rapid-fire” ones since September 2008, have sorely weakened the world economy, several with potential long-term implications to the global project management profession. The impact of these events has resulted in the current trending within the globalization of the project management profession. After a full year of recession in the U.S. caused by the financial crisis that began with junk mortgages in this country leading to the meltdown in U.S. housing values, its economic downturn was actually accelerating late in 2008. The U.S. economy, originally estimated to have declined at a 3.8 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter, actually plummeted at a 6.2 percent pace and has shed 5.2 million jobs, with more than half of that number lost in the last five months alone starting in November 2008. Consumers’ co nfidence was shaken and had capitulated to despair, reflecting reaction to last fall’s bankruptcy of a U.S. giant investment bank, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and the financial and stock-market panic that followed. China’s economy had its weakest growth in 2008 since the epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, shook Asia five years ago. The recession, starting in December 2008, will be fairly deep and the recovery is expected to be slow. The current economic crisis has been global in nature, resulting in a global recession that has been on-going for more than one year, causing severe downturns in North America, Europe, Japan and China. G-20 financial chiefs met in London in March, 2009 to deal with the global financial crisis in preparation for their Leaders’ Summit in London in early April, 2009 resulting in a G20’s $1.1trillion injection into the world economy to stimulate growth and global trade in order to battle against the global recession and pursuit global economic recovery. The G-20 represents more

than 80 percent of the global economy. This was unprecedented and historic. Global stimulus packages address technical challenges associated with projects, particularly those associated with clean energy (low-carbon), infrastructures and climate change. Many of these projects, among others, will actually see the light of day in 2009 and the potential will be vast when the recovery is expected to start early in 2010. The shortage of skilled project managers worldwide to effectively run these projects/portfolios is still severe as project resources must be allocated carefully, judicially and prudently to reflect today’s increasing demands for greater corporate accountability, higher productivity, shorter schedule and lower costs. (Dr. Nghi M. Nguyen, 2009)