A day in the life of a project manager. Given this crucial role is accountable for the day-to-day management of the project within the constraints set out by the project board. A primary activity done on a daily basis that underpins project success is to ensure that required products and services are designed, developed, assured and delivered in accordance with agreed time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefit performance goals. That is, through continual planning and scheduling for the day, week and month/s ahead (that forms the project stage) with enough lag to accommodate unforeseen business changes. Project control, therefore, occurs daily as progress is more about bidirectional information flows with the project team, key stakeholders and any suppliers than delivery - since communication and engagement is key to collaboration and transparency. As a project manager, your continually tracking daily burn rate against budget; periodically arranging independent assurance activities as well as identifying, assessing and responding to business, service and environmental risks. Where required, seeking approval from the project board about requests for change to a baseline. Most importantly, however your enabling the required business changes to realise the forecast benefits but above all else, maintaining the project information and evidence to inform decision making.
Disruption is here; and project management is not immune. The challenge for project managers, in any industry or sector will be the rise of emerging technologies like cloud solutions, digitisation, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G mobile internet, automation, robotics and voice-driven project portfolio management software. While PMs today are already experiencing the benefits of technological advancement with improved mobility and smart phone usability, the disruption will come through automated scrutiny and validation including the integration and two flow communication with organisational finance, purchasing and HR solutions to enable a single source of truth.
Online forms and approval pathways will become the norm to replace project documentation relieving PMOs maintaining project templates to focus on value add delivery and capability support services. While predictive analytics and world wide access to empirical data about project failure will notify and show PMs and Project Owners alike detailed and customised information of potential areas of concern ahead of time like a warning light. Project and stage tolerances for time, cost, risk, benefits, quality (criteria) and scope will also be locked with greater onus on the experience of the PM to manage the day-to-day delivery of agreed customer focused products. The arduous task of preparing highlight and dashboard reports will become automated and customisable, generated from available information and evidence, anytime and anywhere - enabling project boards to manage by exception. The challenge for project managers will be their ability to adapt to this new paradigm of progress information accessibility. It will also highlight those power skills that cannot be easily automated such as critical thinking, creativity and emotional intelligence. So the question to project managers, how well are you prepared for the future?