Project Management in 2025

pmcirca2025I and the rest of the PMI New Media council had the opportunity to interview the editors of “Project Management Circa 2025;” David I. Cleland, PhD, PMI Fellow, and Bopaya Bidanda, PhD. This is a collaborative effort by 41 authors to predict the state of various parts of the project management discipline and how it will be implemented 15 years in the future.

It’s descriptive, not prescriptive. In other words, it’s what they think will happen, not what should happen or how to achieve it.

Rather than give the play-by-play, I’m going to do a summary of the discussion, or at least the points I found interesting. Let me be clear that I have not yet read the book, just a summary of each chapter provided by the PMI.

I Liked

  • The collaborative effort that resulted in this book. David and Bopaya talked about how surprisingly smooth the writing process was given 39 authors besides themselves involved in the project. I am glad to see they reached out to experts in various fields for their take on a specific aspect of project management.
  • Looking forward. The editors spoke about the possibility of a second edition because things change so rapidly. I asked about their willingness to incorporate feedback from the project management community’s reaction to the book and they seemed very willing to do that.

I Didn’t Like

  • The seeming lack of a description about how various project management organizations, including PMI, will be supporting the project management discipline and develop the profession. I asked if the book talked about the possible future of internship programs and other activities at play in other professions like the medical field, etc. Again I haven’t read the book yet, but from the answers and summary I don’t believe this was addressed at all.
  • Small-scale projects and companies unrepresented. The authors writing these chapters are industry leaders and a common theme throughout seems to be large-scale projects with a deterministic framework being assumed. Perhaps I will change my mind after reading the text, but it seems to me at this point that Agile, Lean, Critical Chain, and Complex Adaptive Systems are unrepresented as specific chapters or topics. Perhaps these are discussed within individual chapters, I’m unsure at this point. I would have liked to see chapters dedicated to these topics with thought leaders in these areas represented.

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What do YOU think project management will look like in 2025? Leave a comment, and let’s discuss!


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