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World Financial Crisis and Project Manager Profession

The given report will touch upon the impact of the world financial crisis on the profession of project managers all over the world.

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The world financial crisis made the profession of a project manager to be more significant for the employer as it is necessary to solve the serious and difficult questions connected with the organizational changes in the modern society. The waves of the staff reductions, which were carried out all over the world, practically did not affect the professional layer of managers, namely project managers. On the contrary, many employers started to estimate the practical advantage and economic benefit of the activity of project managers higher. Certainly, the appreciation of the project managers is directly connected with their professionalism.

Impact of the World Financial Crisis on the Project Management

There are a lot of researches conducted all over the world about the influence of the world financial crisis on the project management. On of them was conducted by Hruzova, who states:

“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”.

The concepts of “project management” and “projet manager” have obtained an increasing popularity lately. Project management is a set of developmental actions directed at the receipt of benefit and minimization of expenditures. Project management is the process of application of knowledge, skills, methods, means and technologies to the project activity aimed at the achievement or a meet of expectations of project participants. Every modern organization can exist on the market if it constantly develops and adapts for the business conduct during the world financial crisis. It means that a company’s management, planning and achievement of the definite purposes constantly face the corresponding administrative problems – how to plan the work in time, which resources are necessary, etc. All these problems can be solved by means of a competent project management. (Newsline, 2012).

The western companies have another policy: there is a developed strategy having the following key parameters – possible risks, dynamics of the prices, etc. In such company a project manager feels himself comfortably, his expectations are justified, but he suffers from the impossibility to develop in special ways, to make individual decisions. However, project managers are very useful for any organization in the conditions of the world financial crisis.

Project Management Process

Project management process is provided with professionally prepared specialists in the field of project management. They operate by goals-setting for the project and development of the ways of their achievement. The ability to put and realize goals is defined as the ability to know precisely what should be done and how to do it in the best and cheapest way. Therefore, project management is the ordered approach to the activity in the disordered environment. This disordered environment is caused by the current financial crisis.

The disordered environment is, of course, the project itself. As projects are temporary and unique phenomena, it cannot be expected that they will be much predicted. The ordered approach to the project is understood as a conscious and organized one. It means that it is necessary to undertake certain steps prior to the beginning of the project and to its completion; the possible problems should be analysed; the answers to these problems should be planned; even the catastrophic events should be met by the rational measures.

At the same time it is necessary to take into consideration that the ordered approach does not mean categoriality that plans should not change. The deviations from the plan, realizations of the project arising on a course, should be the object of the ordered approach.

The Modern Project Managers

The modern project managers are responsible for the stabilization of the situation in the world after the financial crisis. The traditional approaches to management draw attention, first of all, to the control over the stability and production of the efficiency achievement, the use of rules and procedures, the creation of a vertical structure of management by the employees and achievement of the planned results (first of all, profits). The new approach to project management assumes:
the use of enthusiasm and creative abilities of people, search for the general views, norms and values;
opens an access to the information, encouragement of a team work, cooperation and partnership;
adaptation of the organizations to the sudden changes of environment and achievement of a peak efficiency of their activity.

In order to meet the market needs, societies as a whole, it is necessary for the manager to raise the qualification constantly, a level of business competence, to improve the abilities and skills. The quality of a good project manager is decisiveness.

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According to the leading American experts in the field of management a role of a project manager in the organization will essentially increase in the nearest future. In the conditions of the world financial crisis the competition in the world strengthens, the importance of productivity and quality raises, the personnel starts to be reduced, and the new technologies spread quickly. The changes in effective project manager will start to accelerate; the basic tendencies of this process are the following:
The value of the qualified project managers will increase, the educational programs will become more effective, and workforce planning will improve.
The role of a career planning and personnel development will increase.
The dependence of the functions of a project manager on computer technologies, which will operate extensive volume of the information necessary for new programs on the personnel, will increase.
New technologies will accelerate the necessity of regular training and mastering of project managers for the maintenance of a company’s competitiveness. (Ciptono, 2008).

Each of the listed above tendencies is not only a new challenge, but also a new possibility for self-realization of project managers. As a rule, a degree of project success is in many respects specified by the achievement of the put project goals and effective accomplishment of certain project stages, such as initiation, planning, accomplishment, control and completion.

Even nowadays, when project management has expanded the borders of a technical trade, project managers are thoroughly chosen more by the principle of knowledge of a subject than by the principle of knowledge of managerial processes. In the majority of organizations a project manager fulfils two tasks: the first one – as a manager, the second – as an expert in this or that project.

The practice shows that the project managers, who have achieved the good relations with the employees, based on mutual trust and respect, achieve the best results in work. Besides, it should be said that the project managers should perceive the information of new researches, innovations in techniques and technology areas in the field of project management.

A qualified project manager should not necessarily possess the skills and experience of the projects activity. An ideal case is when a project manager possesses the strong skills in both fields: project management and skills aimed at a product.

In order to provide the possibility to use the whole toolkit of project management, a project manager should actively involve the members of a project team and delegate the responsibilities for the implementation of a project technical part as much as possible. Thus, a project manager should possess special knowledge and skills for the effective implementation of a project.

Special knowledge

Human qualities

Comprehension of managerial labor and project nature

Possession of human resources knowledge

Knowledge of official and functional duties, ways and methods of goals achievement and work efficiency increase

Ability to adjust internal relations with partners and governing authorities (state, regional, etc…) within a project

Ability to use modern communication facilities and IT for information and decision-making

Ability of self-assessment, constructive analysis of one’s actions and persistent professional development

Ability to think strategically and to manage in a real-time scale and within a definite project

Proficiency to create the atmosphere of confidence, partnership, unity of goals and actions

Table 1. The requirements to the professional competence of project managers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is possible to say that a modern project manager is, first of all, a comprehensively developed person, possessing necessary knowledge and qualification for the performance of the projects. Secondly, he is the member of the team promoting its successful functioning, development and adhering to the values accepted in it. Thirdly, it is the person possessing certain moral qualities, capable to create communications and to support normal relations with colleagues within the project. The work of project managers consists in the organization and management of the personnel for the achievement of the overalls goals of the project. Moreover, project managers can help the organizations to overcome the consequences of the world financial crisis by means of the completion of the effective projects.