Project Management

Will Projects Ever Be the Same?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

It’s kind of ironic that at a time when no one is traveling, the way we work has come to mirror the way global project teams operate. The fact that we cannot all come together in a shared office space but must collaborate remotely from our homes has resulted in a dramatic increase in the use of virtual collaboration software and has led to a lot of people exploring some of the power features of such platforms for the first time. It makes me think that things are never going to be the same again.

There are many reasons why organizations chose to co-locate teams before the current crisis. While remote working and global teams have increased in popularity throughout this millennium as technology has improved, it was still not seen as a common approach to work—even on projects, where distributed working is a more realistic approach than for some operational areas.

There was still a sense, particularly among organizational leadership, that having a team in the same place led to a greater sense of belonging to something, of being invested in an initiative. And of course, the belief was that would lead to greater productivity and ultimately better projects. Even when specialist resources were required from other locations, it wasn’t unusual to fly people around for kick-off meetings or updates—even if it was only partial representation from those remote …


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"Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking."

- Steve Allen

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