The project manager of the future is a machine
Author : Gilbert Silvius - Authentic thinker, Experienced lecturer, Innovative author
Meet the project manager of the future. She is a machine. A computer to be more precise. Am I serious? Absolutely!
Think about it. Why wouldn’t the combination of developments such as sensor technology, the internet of things, machine learning and big data, eventually lead to computer generated PBS and WBS structures, more reliable resource requirements, duration estimations, optimized schedules, critical paths and more objective risk analysis. Human beings can build upon their experience, but computers can process and share data of a far greater number of experiences and therefore be more reliable in their judgment.
Hold on, you may say. Project management is more than just developing a plan. That’s true of course, but the computer can also help us in selecting the most effective team, organizing the work, monitoring progress, reporting, etc. And body monitoring smartphones and wearables may even measure the wellbeing of individual team members.
So, what’s left for ‘human’ project management? Or should project managers really start to worry about being replaced by a 200$ piece of software? Well… first of all, as far as I know, that piece of software does not exist yet. That may be comforting for now, but I am certain it will come on the market within the next 10 years. So, project managers that see the essence of their role as the planning and control of temporary tasks, should worry. Structuring, planning, coordinating, monitoring, reporting and controlling are processes that can be automated. Probably it will start with useful aids that help project managers and make their job more efficient. Nothing wrong with that! But it will soon require project managers to redefine their roles. What is it that project managers bring to the table, when the ‘technical’ side of project management is done by a machine?
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