Business As Usual

Table of contents for Economy on PM

  1. Impact of the Economy on Project Management

Status Quo

statusquoAh, it is nice to hear that some people are not feeling any impacts due to economic recession. 8% of the respondents noted that they have not seen any impacts. Half of those were from the North America, other responses came from Australia, India, and Africa.

I noticed 2 similarities from what I could gather in this category:

  • Diversified local economy and/or companies
  • Companies who already have contractual commitments through 2009.

Selected responses

  • North America – In our geographic area, I have not seen PM layoffs, downsizing, etc., in most industries. We are very lucky that we have such a diverse economy–health care, pharmaceuticals, education, construction, IT, engineering, etc. There have been some layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry, but I am told that they are not due to the current economic situation, but to normal business cycles in the pharma industry. So, compared with other areas, I think Philadelphia is in good shape.
  • Africa – I am in a very small town in south Africa and at this stage there seems to be little to no real impact as yet. This may change as the impact gets through to South Africa in the first quarter of 2009. The government projects are still on going and in our case there is such a skills deficiency in project management that projects are canned not due to funds but due to limited skills.
  • North America – The projects that have been in the pipeline for Financial Yr 2009 – we are still committed to completing those projects. For Fiscal 2010 – we will not find out until July 2009. For now I would say nothing much has changed; however, this could change at anytime. Especially if the downturn spiral continues.

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1 thought on “Business As Usual”

  1. While there may not be wide-spread layoffs of PMs in the US, I would say that I have seen a significant impact. Cities like NYC that were VERY heavy in PM consultants (usually of the freelance variety) have some of the biggest impact: as soon as the financial companies started closing their doors and flooding the market with IT staff (including PMs), all of a sudden it was a buyers market and expensive consultants were let go. (And are now looking for a job.) And in towns like Austin, which are heavy in tech, hiring of PMs for anything outside government contracting has come to a halt. Developers are still being sought, but PMs fall onto the “nice to have” list that gets dropped in priority. I think PMs are often hard to quantify because so many work as contractors. I also think that, when push comes to shove, most organizations will decide that if they have to pick between hiring a developer or a project manager, that the developer will win.

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