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Josh Nankivel has a post on pmStudent asking for your feedback, Your Feedback Requested: Impact of the current economy on PM, which got me thinking. (Incidentally, you should go and give your feedback, if you haven’t already.)

We’ve been hearing a lot about how bad the economy is, and how much worse things are going to get. Now, I’m not disagreeing that things are bad, but I think there are reasons to have some optimism. While many businesses are likely to start paring back on some projects, it may well be that these projects should have been cut a long time ago. We’ve all seen the projects that have limped on for too long, but no-one wants to be ‘the bad guy’ in getting them stopped - well, now you can seem like the good guy for stopping failing projects, and saving a business money.

But in the public sector, governments around the world seem to be looking at expanding spending drastically, as Gregory Balestrero, the President and CEO of PMI points out in his blog post, Optimism. Given some of the poor project management that we’ve seen from governments (see here, here and here for details) it seems inevitable that there will be a new and strong demand from governments for project managers.

But more than that, times of financial frugality are times when project management should be in stronger demand in the business world. Yes, there may be fewer projects, but business can no longer afford to allow any projects not to be tightly focused on delivering success. This is your chance to shine, to demonstrate the value of effective project management, to show how project management can lead to business success.

The current economic climate is the time to really get back to the fundamentals of project management. Focus on each project’s business case, make sure it is meeting a real business need, and make sure the benefits expected amount to something of more value than the costs of the project. And become an evangelist - make sure you explain the value of project management in your business, and beyond.

So if you are a project manager, don’t be scared of the state of the economy. Yes, it’ll be tough, and it may get bumpy for a while, but fundamentally, what we do is of importance and value to every business. Effective project managers will be able to sell their skills as a way for business to save money and be successful - and what business is going to turn that down?

What do you think? Am I being too optimistic? Do you have another take on the situation? Let me know!

Originally posted at Project Management Guide. Click through for more like this!

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