Project based workers provide the practical, hands-on solution to the fast paced, complex/complicated changes that organisations have to deliver – not just to stay ahead of the competition but vitally if they are to remain a viable, successful business.
Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, said in 1965, “Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again”. Fast forward 52 years and the evidence is there, all around us, in both work and everyday life with “faster, quicker, smarter” being the modern mantra.
Change rarely just happens, at its best it is driven and managed to successful conclusions and project management is the profession which can be found in the driving seat. This broad term – project management – rather than project manager is a step in the right direction to think about the broader skill sets required within any team charged with delivering change. The time has arrived to recognise the diverse knowledge and skills sets of all the project based work professionals who work together, collectively and collaboratively, to make successfully change happen.
Earlier this week, TwentyEighty Strategy Execution put together a panel of experts to identify the top ten project based working trends for 2017 which highlight the emergence of the one-meta-practice of project management, business analysis and strategy execution.
In this article I take a closer look at the project management part of the meta practice, specifically looking at what project managers in the UK can expect looking forward to 2017.
The Impact of Brexit
Although the full implications of Brexit are still unclear, one thing we can be certain about is that each one of us will be impacted in some way. For project management that could be either working directly on projects which are introduced to manage the changes required within the business – or even how we do business – or something more personal to us – the impact of Brexit on our own career.
Already we are seeing Brexit make an impact on the employment market, a lowering of confidence levels which were slowly but surely rising once again post-recession.
In this year’s Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People, a question was posed to the project management community about the impact of Brexit on the organisations they currently work for and 37% said there was no impact whilst 36% said there was no immediate impact but they expected a detrimental one at some point.
A further question was asked about the project management practitioner’s own confidence levels in relation to Brexit and whether it had been impacted – either positively or negatively. 48% said there was no impact on their confidence levels; 38% thought Brexit had impacted negatively on their confidence and just 9% said it had a positive effect.
The whole subject of Brexit will of course last far beyond 2017, but it certainly is a talking point for project practitioners today.
The News About Chartered Status
Late in 2016, the project management community heard the news that the Association for Project Management (APM) had been given the go ahead from the Privy Council in the form of an Order of the Grant which gave them the green light to start the process to award a Charter. The Chartered Status for Project Management.
That process kicked off earlier this year with a consultation process, which when completed will mean a Chartered Project Professionals register will begin. There’s obviously lots for APM to do and this is big news for project management and those people who work in this field.
The Project Management Benchmark Report also covered this news and we asked respondents what they thought about it.
46% felt that this was an extremely or very important step for the project management domain; 27% moderately or slightly important and 26% felt that it was unimportant or were unaware of the development. The report goes into more detail about the practitioner view, download it here.
The conversations have already started in the project management community – what does this mean for my role? What do I need to do to be a Chartered Project Professional? Will it be popular?
The conversations will, no doubt, run and run through 2017.
The New Regulations Impacting Freelance Project Practitioners
On April 6th this year, those project practitioners working within the public sector on freelance contracts using a limited company, will feel the impact of the new Off-Payroll Workers regulation.
“The change will mean that contractors operating through a limited company and deemed to be a PSC (Personal Services Company) will no longer be in control of deciding if their assignments are caught up by the IR35 legislation. Instead, the hiring organisation will have to make the decision about the status of all roles offered. Based upon that decision, any contractor that accepts a position that is deemed as “within the legislation” will have their invoices subjected to PAYE deductions at source as well as Employers National Insurance becoming due. They will be deemed under Tax laws to be Employees, but accrue no Employment rights as per Employment legislation. The liability for deduction and payment of all money due will fall upon the organisation paying the PSC, be that the hiring organisation, an Agency or any other third-party.”
The Project Management Benchmark Report asked those currently contracting in this sector what they thought about these changes – and what their intentions were.
33% would be looking for an increase in rate to cover the new deductions; 28% would look for an assignment in the private sector then leave and 17% would leave the public sector immediately.
Hiring organisations in the public sector are naturally worried.
With potential increased costs on the cards; the loss of flexibility of resources on their projects; a reduction in available talent and the real risk of contractors leaving projects – this is one of those regulations that could see contractors voting with their feet or settling down after an initial period of disruption before accepting the status quo. It is certainly one area to watch in 2017 for those 41% of project practitioners who choose to work on a freelance basis.