Inherent to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that is upon us are three key perspectives: velocity, scope, and impact.
Technological advancement is exponential, unprecedented and disruptive to every country, organization and individual. Such chaos interferes with the operations of established systems, convolutes management frameworks and overturns governance concepts which took decades to develop.
Today, billions of people and organizations are interconnected with mobile devices, social media platforms and cloud technology which expose them to nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things, to name a few.
Challenges and Opportunities
Technology has created more opportunities for more people in every walk of life with the introduction of new jobs, the rise of innovation and entrepreneurship, globalization and a consumer-centric economy. Simultaneously, humans are exposed to ethical challenges, a rise in cybercrime, labour market disruption and Copyright infringement.
Impact on Project Management
The pace of change in today’s global marketplace is sufficient to create surprises at every turn for CEOs and CIOs. Keeping abreast of the digital disruption while ensuring projects are managed effectively and efficiently to deliver the expected results poses numerous challenges for the most agile of project managers. Technology platforms today connect people and use intelligent devices that give access to real-time data and information, conjure innovative ways to communicate, execute processes and engineer better-than-expected results. Such ease of use creates lower barriers of entry into professional environments which previously had to be developed over time.
The shift to the digital age means the manner in which the Project Management Office (PMO) operates must incorporate appropriate technologies as well as the knowledge of how to use data and technology to add value to the organization. Templates and best practices must be adjusted to use the speed, flexibility and enhanced collaborative features that technology affords. Essentially, business leaders must understand their changing environments, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams while continuously and relentlessly innovating.
Thus, we pose the question: How do project managers stay relevant in this 4IR?
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