Project Industry Trends

A presentation by Jim Harrison of Itcom Australia Pty Ltd to the PMI Melbourne Chapter this week, focusing on project management trends primarily in the ICT and Finance sectors of the Victorian and Australian Eastern Seaboard economy. The presentation highlighted some interesting trends that would appear to have a wider implication and correlate with our experience and other sources of information.

The first key finding is that project management maturity is starting to develop. 80% of the organisations surveyed by Itcom had some form of PMO and most had a defined PM methodology; 30% based on the PMBOK® Guide, 30% on PRINCE2 and 20% an in house methodology. The trend over the next few years is likely to be focused on enhancing existing PMOs capability and value rather then creating new PMOs.

The second key finding was the increasing trend towards people seeing project management as a career. Over 70% of the people surveyed expected to stay in project and program management moving to larger projects or program manager/project director roles as their career develops. At the junior end of the spectrum, the emergence of PMOs provides an employment opportunity for project support staff to begin their working life as project admin staff, schedulers, etc., and then progress into project management.

The strategic importance of project management capability is also being increasingly recognised by senior management with a significant trend towards making project managers permanent staff roles rather than contract roles. The weak spot in this finding was that over 60% of organisations did not appear to have a project management career path defined to help develop their staff. Staff development will become increasingly important as 85% of organisation expect to increase their project spend this year and the job market is already starting to see shortages of appropriately qualified applicants.

The resources needed to develop a career framework are freely available, the PMI PathPro™ Career Framework can be used free of charge by any organisation to develop a customised framework and is also free to any PMI member to plan their own career development. Organisations that back the framework with effective training and mentoring to help employees grow their careers can offer a clear point of delineation in an increasingly competitive market for skilled employees. For more on PathPro™ and the various PM certification frameworks see: or download our report on the certification frameworks used in the Australian project management arena.


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