Brain on a circuit board
Project management

The digital life of a project manager

Psoda blog author avatar
21 June 2016

As our personal lives become more and more digitalised, it seems logical that our business lives are too. Digitalisation has quietly revolutionised project management.
Back in the day, projects needed to be run with people physically in one place, with hard copies of project documentation and if off site work needed to be done the project manager would have to travel there.
Today with digitalisation, we have:

  • Cloud PPM tools which mean documentation can be accessed anywhere, by any project team member and updated in real time;
  • Social media to communicate with remote staff, and project management experts from around the world;
  • Virtual conferencing to avoid travel;
  • Smart devices that enable all of the above.

Project teams can now be made of people in different locations, making it possible for a project manager assemble resources and knowledge that would not have been available otherwise.
The internet is also awash with blogs, videos, tutorials and training material to help project managers deal with just about any aspect of their jobs. The expertise and knowledge from the best minds in our field are now just a web search, tweet or LinkedIn connection away. This is a far cry from just a few years ago when the knowledge could only be gained through expensive books and training courses, along with hard-won, on-the-job experience.
Meanwhile, cloud PPM tools, like Psoda, put crucial project data and documents at your fingertips – no matter where you are. The information you need to make vital decisions is no longer gathering dust in a filing cabinet somewhere, it is accessible with just a few mouse clicks or screen taps.
These tools are also becoming smarter every day, as big data analytics and even AI become more embedded in project management technology.
One downside of this super connected digital age is that project managers are expected to be available 24 hours a day. However, we also now have far more flexibility to choose the hours and location we work.
With the unprecedented volume of data easily accessible to project managers, it’s also easy to get overloaded and distracted by all of the information we now have available to us.
The challenge is to ensure we can filter through and analyse the information at our disposal and still make the right decisions. After all, no amount of available data can help if we don’t know how to interpret it.
We still have to understand both the needs of our stakeholder and the objectives of our projects intimately. No amount of digitalisation can automate that for us.
And neither can digital technology do the pre-meeting coffee run yet. I’m sure drones will take care of that soon enough!

Rhona Aylward avatar
Written by Rhona Aylward
Rhona is Deputy Everything Officer at Psoda, where she does everything except code. After starting life as a microbiologist she moved into PMO leadership roles around the world before settling in New Zealand with her family.

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