Table Recessionary Effects

Recession Layoffs

Characteristics

R&D

Training

Solutions Sought

Results of the Recessions

1979-1983 Blue collar Eliminated Eliminated

1989-1993 White collar Focused

Focused

Short-term

Long-term

Return to status quo No project management support

No allies for project management Change way of doing business

Risk management Examine lessons learned

• 1985: Companies recognize that they must compete on the basis of quality as well as cost. Companies begin using the principles of project management for the implementation of total quality management (TQM). The first ally for project management surfaces with the "marriage" of project management and TQM.

• 1990: During the recession of 1989-1993, companies recognize the importance of schedule compression and being the first to market. Advocates of concurrent engineering begin promoting the use of project management to obtain better scheduling techniques. Another ally for project management is born.

• 1991-1992: Executives realize that project management works best if decision-making and authority are decentralized, but recognize that control can still be achieved at the top by functioning as project sponsors.

• 1993: As the recession of 1989-1993 comes to an end, companies begin "reengineering" the organization, which really amounts to elimination of organizational "fat." The organization is now a "lean and mean" machine. People are asked to do more work in less time and with fewer people; executives recognize that being able to do this is a benefit of project management.

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