The Future of Project Management

Published 7 May, 2021

The project environment has always been a challenge, but never so much as at the current time. Today’s flatter organizations are having to work with leaner resources and shrinking costs. The “team” approach, the backbone of typical PM operations, is spreading to all types of organizations and to all kinds of work. Promoted by today’s hot philosophies (total quality management, concurrent engineering, partnering, etc.) the team concepts are eroding traditional bureaucratic modes in favor of a more ad hoc style of leadership. 

Conditions are changing:

  • From position power to knowledge power
  • From managing by procedure to “getting the job done”
  • From hierarchical control to individual empowerment

The emphasis is on shorter time cycles, and quicker response to problems and changes. The emphasis is on teamwork and shared responsibility. Even between organizations, and between vendor and client, we are moving toward “partnering.” This changes the way that we use PM software, and makes the information that is provided by PM systems essential for all stakeholders.

More organizations are adopting PM practices, bringing these special methods to enterprises that were previously considered to be outside of the “project” domain. The newer “converts” to project management hardly fit the classic description of a “project” organization. The responsibility for project success is moving to a shared effort among many disciplines, rather than being put in the hands of a project manager. And the emphasis is shifting from a single project focus to managing the efforts on multiple projects.

meet the author

Stijn is one of the founding members of the Club of Engineers and heads the company’s Oil & Gas projects division, having a natural interest and talent in Maritime and Oil & Gas. With over 12 years’ experience working at BP, Stijn became an experienced Project Manager within their fuel storage terminal business.

As an experienced project leader, Stijn has the capacity to bring challenging projects to completion. His strengths are a combination of diplomatic capacity and technical knowledge in operations, processing, storage, materials and construction management. He has been instrumental in the management of various fuel storage terminal projects from concept to construction and commissioning of both brownfield and greenfield projects throughout The Netherlands, USA, South Africa, Turkey and Mozambique.

 Stijn’s previous experience in South Africa includes the establishment of the Burgan Cape Terminals fuel storage terminal, with a capacity of 120,000m3. Stijn also has experience with facilities exceeding 1,000,000m3 in storage capacity of various petrochemical products. His experience includes facilities with all modes of common operation including but not limited to: ship to tank, tank to ship, tank to truck, tank to rail and tank to pipeline operations. Stijn is a strong advocate of best practice standards and regulations such as API, NFPA, EI, ISGOT, ISPS and IMO.

Stijn enjoys a challenging project environment, especially greenfield projects where a world class facility can be built cost effectively meeting or exceeding environmental standards and build quality while realizing an attractive business case.

Stijn van Zelst

Interested having Stijn advise on your Project Management practices? 

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