What future for Project management? New reports and disruptive technologies

disruptive technologies

3 Reports to analyze in detail the future of Project Management. 3 reports that the Project Management Institute has just published on the evolution of Project Management taking into consideration the “disruptive” technologies.

These reports were presented during the seventh PMO Symposium in Washington CS, where more than 650 project management executives came together to understand the future of the role and the industry.

The focus was on disruptive technologies  and on how cloud solutions, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have changed the way of doing business in organizations and transformed whole industries.

We have therefore decided to investigate these topics, dedicating this and future articles to the individual reports of the PMI in order to show what awaits us in the near future.

Report 1: Forge the future: evolve with disruptive technology

The Report, born from the collaboration between Accenture and PMI, is very interesting as it looks at the creation of a culture of innovation through the adoption of interruptions.

 Through the adoption of these emerging technologies and new ways of working, the PMO will continue to evolve as a strategic collaborator that guides the delivery and execution of the strategy.

Disruptive technologies are the new reality for every organization in every sector.

Artificial intelligence, cloud, digitalization, blockchain, all offer endless possibilities for organizations to transform themselves and their related industries.

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The report says, that in order to build their future, organizations must be willing to actively stop the status quo.

Unfortunately, though, it is true that for organizations it may be easy to imagine how these new technologies and strategies will work.

In fact, there is often a significant difference between the development of the strategy and its implementation in the everyday life.

Therefore, the project management office (PMO) and project managers can fill this gap, but only if they are ready to evolve first.

Here are some actions that can help:

  1. Enforce e a collaborative leadership culture that embraces change and drives innovation
  2. Reorganize and retrain project managers to incorporate new skills
  3. Evolve traditional delivery methods to include key performance indicators that evaluate organizational progress in achieving strategic goals

Disruptive technologies: threat or opportunity?

the disruptive technologies

The new technologies that emerge every day radically change the way we work and live.

Exploiting their potential requires much more than a technological focus. Organizations have to face their broader business strategy, their ways of working and change management accordingly.

Moreover, they must be willing to evolve and invest in acquiring new skills.

Organizations that already recognize the power of these technologies to increase revenue growth, profitability, and innovation are starting to create interesting evolution systems.

The Report highlights how innovative organizations, i.e. those that exploit disruptive technologies in order to obtain a competitive advantage, in general:

  • have a mature digital transformation strategy
  • are committed to making changes at the organization level
  • experiment with new ways of working
  • see the adoption of disruptive technologies as a high priority

Most organizations have undergone significant transformation in recent years using disruptive technologies, but only about a quarter of these have produced tangible benefits.

So, what prevents organizations from gaining the benefits of disruptive technologies and digital transformation?

The main obstacles include:

Selection of the right areas for the investment

 Leaders must first determine which part of their business would benefit the most from new technologies, it can be profitability increase, better customer service or cost reduction. The wrong choice, in fact, not only costs money, but hinders the business.

Choose the right technology and integrate it harmoniously

Once the technological investment priorities have been set, the next challenge is to select the right tools. Because of limited resources, companies need to choose wisely the new technology and therefore need to understand how to integrate it into existing systems without interrupting the business.

Lack of funds

The cost of moving to new technologies can still be prohibitive. In addition, organizations often find themselves spending significantly to train their workers on new ways of working.

Resistance of employees to change

This is a key factor for any transformation program and it determines the real chance of success – or not. Many employees consider the new technology a threat and therefore resist change. At the same time, the organization is not able to give them a clear vision or an understanding of the importance of change.

Gaps between strategy and execution

While senior managers are at the forefront of defining a strategy to exploit disruptive technologies, their strategic goals are not always translated into actions at the project level.

These general goals – from top to bottom – must be converted into tangible and measurable results. Gaps in communicating the vision and the lack of support from middle management can hinder the plans.

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Project managers therefore have the responsibility to become agents of change and of organizational transformation. It is a necessary change.

The project manager of the next generation should be a version of himself ready for change and far-sighted. Project managers should not be afraid to experiment and embrace new ways of working and should be ready to help team members make these changes.

An organization could take years to complete its digital transformation. During this process, the project manager must therefore have the opportunity to contribute to creating a culture of innovation, agility and critical thinking, reinforced with the right tools and educational opportunities.

The fundamental steps for change

Organizations will have to face change by implementing the following practices:

Enhance the project manager and / or the PMO

The project manager and the PMO must be able to concentrate on the strategic goals of the organization. Strategy and results must be always aligned. To do this, a project manager must have authority and be able to change course if the project is not achieving the goal.

Evolve in traditional delivery metrics

This means, including KPIs that evaluate the organization’s progress in achieving strategic goals.

The project managers and the PMO should therefore not rely solely on the use of traditional delivery metrics.

These new KPIs evaluate the organization’s progress in achieving its strategic goals. The project managers will take care to ensure that the KPIs at the organization level are reflected in the business results and KPIs at the project level.

Reorganize and retrain project managers

In light of new technologies, project managers must embrace all those skills that enable them to deliver projects and programs successfully. For this reason they must be trained on all the new tools and knowledge.

In conclusion, we can say that these changes and disruptive technologies represent important factors for organizations and, in turn, for the workforce.

Therefore, a robust organizational change management program is a top priority to help organizations stay in the market with greater success and predictability.

Project managers, together with the PMO, play a crucial role as agents of change.

Here the link to download the full version in PDF



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