Service jobs have far outgrown what might be classified as “producing” jobs in this country in the last century. Some sociologists would categorize the change as transistioning from a “blue-collar” economy to a predominantly “white-collar” one. In previous centuries, even until the second World War, workers made something, delivered tangible products or fixed them when the didn’t work, i.e.: farmers, milkmen or factory workers, whose earnings came from physical labor.
With these changes to the so-called “service economy”, people earn their livings as servers–conduits for the acquisition of products by consumers. Servers now provide functions that further the process in an organized system. A preponderance of us aid in the processing, tabulation and recordkeeping of the transactions that occur between the buyer and seller. A major portion of the workforce now falls under the category of CSRs, customer service representatives, facilitating communications between the buyer and seller.
Changes in the work force have also brought about changes in the management system, with the creation of a more adaptable and diversified process. This new system, project management, provides a more sophisticated way of measuring the efficiency with which the work gets done. Instead of one manager overseeing the same employees performing the same tasks daily, the project management system utilizes manpower and technology to constantly realign its methods for the achievement of a specific outcome. In such a complicated bureaucracy as most businesses have built, a project manager plays a key role in overseeing a specific aspect of the process, when no one person could monitor each phase of the entire operation. In today’s economy, a company’s success will be determined by how well it applies project management to provide it’s customer base with the service they need.
This term is defined in the 3rd edition of the PMBOK but not in the 4th.