We have entered a period where for program and project managers to be successful, they must be fluent with current technologies and have an appropriate consciousness of emerging ones. One of the top technology strategists I interacted with recently said, “the most dangerous issue we face today is the increasing number of those who think they know what is going on in the rapidly changing world of technology and in all actuality they don’t.” I believe that equally as dangerous are those that do not believe they need to maintain a solid awareness of current technologies and those that will be emerging in the near-term. During a board meeting a co-project manager was asked about demonstrations that took place over emerging technologies that are a threat to multiple well-paying jobs for workers. This was particularly important given the company was about to kick-off a series of projects under an automation initiative that leveraged a few of these job disruption technologies! The program manager stated they were unaware of the events that occurred in multiple countries and covered by the news media within the past 30 days.
As a long-time program and project manager, I can easily see just how my career could have been negatively impacted by a lack of technology awareness. As professionals, we should stop and consider for a minute the emerging technologies that are likely to impact the company we work for or that could be introduced into one of our current programs or projects. The number of technology related questions seem to increase on a very frequent basis. Here are a few of the most common that I have seen asked and have actually experienced personally.
- What are the top three technology risks for this project?
- When did you first become aware of and monitoring a technology (they named) that would be a part of this project?
- What do you feel is the biggest challenge you face as a program or project manager of initiatives that involve new technologies?
What if you were interviewing to become a program or project manager? How comfortable are you that you could properly respond to these three questions? After all, related current and emerging technologies are part of domain knowledge. However, having a proper response is not an easy task. You have to filter out the bias reports about existing and emerging technologies. It would be very interesting to hear some of you respond to these questions in the comment section below!
INSIGHT: Researching one specific technology often results in conflicting information from well reputable sources. Do you believe analysts say what supports the majority of their clients? That seems to be a growing opinion!