Carl Pritchard: President Trump and The Project Perspective

Donald Trump, a political outsider, is now on his way to being sworn-in as President of the United States. It’s the Brexit-like election everyone predicted would never happen.
What does this mean for project managers and project owners in the USA? Carl Pritchard, Project Manager Today US Correspondent, interviewed project leaders from the USA to get their thoughts on the impact of the outcome on their project universe over the coming years.

“I don’t expect much immediate change. We don’t know what Trump’s domestic agenda might look like because of the nature and campaign. There is only so much Mr. Trump can do about executive orders. Beyond that, he will have to figure out how he can work with a Congress whose leaders even within his own party were weak during the election.” Douglas M Brown
Douglas M. Brown is a member of Decision Integration LLC as Managing Member and author of Let It Simmer, Making Project, Portfolio, and Program Management Practices Stick in Skeptical Organizations.
He believes that the world will continue to function as it is. “Bottom line: For the next two years, nothing will change. I believe people underestimate the impact of elections upon economic activity.
Even 2008-2009 was an exception, as both Barack Obama and George W. Bush launched stimulus programs to try and jump-start the economy. The old guard politicians couldn’t think of any other way.
Project management: Both stimulus programs were, despite the long-debunked macroeconomic theory that underlies them, dismal failures in practice. The spending was not based on viable business cases and there wasn’t oversight of the investments.
Despite this unprecedented level of intervention, basic economic principles continued to apply as if nothing had ever happened. In the next year, we’ll see even more of the same.
Brown believes that anyone expecting to see changes in budget practices is terribly mistaken.
“Federal agencies will receive more or less the same budgets 2017 than they had before because a new administration won’t have the time for much more than tinkering around the edges. 2018 will see only marginal changes. Projects old and new will be able to continue with the same forecast for the next couple of years. Who knows what the future holds?

Michel A Vachon
Michel A. Vachon is Senior Partner at ViVA Consulting LLC. He believes there will be an immediate effect, but it will be more about project climate than the actual projects. “The polarization in politics (Democrats and Republicans, Clinton vs. Trumps, Brexit vs. EU etc.) “This will lead to more uncertainty and more suspicion.”
Vachon suggests project owners be prepared to work with an American that is different from them internationally. “Lacking government oversight of financial markets and aggressive national isolationism could lead to a rejection of American exports of products and services.”
Export pressures could lead to an oversupply of US products and services, and an environment of price sensitive competition (LPTA: Lower Price, Technically Acceptable Bids).
Brown doesn’t see things that way. “I don’t expect much immediate change. We don’t know what his domestic agenda might look like because of the nature and scope of the campaign.
Trump can only do so much with executive orders. Beyond that, he will have to figure out how he can work with Congress leaders who, even within his party, were reluctant to support him during the election.
On a national level, Trump is likely to let free market magic work its magic. This could mean that we may finally ge