We are living in an age of digital transformation and market disruptions. What does this mean for project managers and how can we prepare to deliver project success during a period of dynamic changes?
Key aspects of digital transformation include Big Data, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IOT). The velocity and volume of data can be overwhelming, and it is important for us to recognize that digital transformation presents challenges as well as opportunities. As project managers there are characteristics of this transformation which we need to consider:
· Customers demand more value in all transactions AND they expect project managers to deliver much more that specified cost, schedule, and scope.
· Projects have become more complex because the amount and speed of data have increased dramatically.
· Value chains have become fragmented. This has made procurement more complex.
· Value propositions have changed along with economic constraints.
· Transaction costs have been reduced.
· Cost information is now readily available, and this adds to the pressure to deliver more economic value and justify purchasing decisions.
· The variety of project management and reporting tools is immense.
What can we do as project managers to ensure that we leverage digital transformation and not allow it to detract our focus on project success? Here are some thoughts:
· Agree upon the tools we will use at the start of the project.
· Ensure that we reduce the reporting burden on our team members. Automate as much of this as possible using mobile tools and shared data platforms.
· Use communication tools such as Microsoft Teams to share information and hold video conferences.
· Eliminate silos.
· Drive down responsibilities for results to the people who oversee the task, and make sure the results are measurable.
· Be clear about expectations. Hold people accountable for results, not bureaucratic processes.
· Provide flexibility in areas such as remote working and working hours.
· Provide opportunities for team members to regularly synchronize status updates and flag risks.
Above all, focus on building trust, collaboration, and teamwork. Managing customer expectations is key and this starts with listening and understanding.