Project Management South Africa (PMSA) CEO Taryn van Olden states that the project management adoption has begun to spread to a variety of unexpected industries and has become bigger than ever before.
“Project management as an industry has a long history in construction and engineering. However, with the increased adoption of automation and new technologies in a variety of industries, South Africa is seeing increased demand for project management services in several unorthodox industries.”
Van Olden explains that project management has matured over the decades in service industries, such as information technology, financial services and telecoms. In addition to construction and engineering, other industries are also identifying the benefits of using project management.
She emphasises that those in public service environments are now also identifying the need to implement project management practices to improve client relationships, and become more efficient and effective in their service delivery.
Van Olden states that at this year’s three-day PMSA biennial national conference – taking place from November 14 to 16 at the Wanderers Club, in Johannesburg – a speaker will highlight how the legal sector is looking to project management as a mechanism through which to manage legal matters, and this is a way in which existing project managers can diversify their offerings and tailor a value proposition for law firms.
She further states that, at a previous regional PMSA conference in 2015, a representative from the film industry illustrated how a film script serves a function similar to that of a project plan, and called on seasoned project managers to develop a project management methodology for the film industry.
“Historically, project management was seen as a way of getting things done. It was all about completing a project on time, on budget and within scope. Nowadays, it is seen as a profession that includes competences, tools and methods that assist a business in delivering effectively on its strategy through project selection and benefits realisation.”
Van Olden concludes that project management is considered a critical skill, and is currently a growth industry, which includes practices that, among others, facilitate change management, optimise resources, engage stakeholders, entrench good governance and grow institutional knowledge.