Future Hopes for Project Management Innovations

Thinking about what might be coming down the pipe in the not too distant future can be fun. Have you tried it? I can look back to 1985 (ok, for me it's more like 1990) and say...here's what I would have expected by now, in 2017, to make our jobs as project managers easier. In fact, the entire business world could benefit from these.

We can at least have fun with these, hope that they do appear in the next 10 years, and also think about adding to this discussion by sharing your own feasible – or not so feasible – wish list of improvements and inventions that would make any project manager or business leader's life easier. Please consider the following innovations and how they might help project management and business strategy...

An automated project portfolio dashboard. Think incoming and outgoing flights at the airport. We should have the ability in 2017 to automate a big board dashboard display of all key project status performance indicators for everyone to see – especially the execs in the company. Lots of green-yellow-red indicators, and quick glance budget health view, a quick glance resource allocation issue view, a few high-level needs or wins on the project – something the execs can use quickly to talk to any client (current or future) about how we are performing on the projects that drive and make money for the organization. I realize that some project tools give that now, but more of our internal project management, accounting, HR, and vendor management systems should be automated and tied together to make something like this happening in real-time.

Holographic meetings. Several years ago I envisioned man caves with the ability to show sporting events small on a table top (imagine my Iowa Hawkeyes with 60,000+ in attendance playing in miniature – and in complete 3D – on the coffee table in my family room or the QB right in front of me in life size throwing a TD pass. It should be a capability right now – for a price – making us actually part of the action at home. NFL fans would pay a lot of money for something like this. And if that can happen, so can every business meeting we ever have going forward. All every participate needs is a chair to sit in and a room to have a meeting in – it can even be in your home (we could all be telecommuting by now, too) – and every participant will have every other participant sitting with them in the room via holographic images. Imagine the cost savings as there would be no need to travel for business any more, but the face-to-face interaction would still be happening. The only thing missing would be dinner and drinks with the client – which in Las Vegas may be a good thing considering the amount of trouble a client can (and does, from time to time) get into while they are here and under the influence.

Chief Project Officers. Every organization of any decent size with a project office or at least on-going significant projects that the corporate depends on, should have C-level representation for the project management infrastructure. Lack of corporate sponsorship or buy-in has been a problem with most of the project management office's (PMO) that I've had the pleasure and frustration of being a part of, helping build or been in charge of. Why not have someone on the C-level of the organization championing the project management infrastructure? Need help with this concept in your organization? Give me a call...I'll help you get it done right. I feel strongly about this one.

Summary / call for input

This is just three major wishes on my part. Ten years ago the iPhone was announced and it seems like much longer than that. So will these things above happen? Probably at some point. What are your thoughts? What do you wish for or think will be new PM innovations in the next few years?


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