Project Management

The Growing Importance of Technology Awareness

From the Emerging Technologies Blog
UPDATED MAY 2020 - This blog will appear monthly from now on. Today, all organizations depend on technological innovation in order to sustain their existence. Analysis of emerging technologies and identification of those technologies with the greatest potential is essential to being prepared for upcoming projects. The objective of this blog is to establish future oriented technology analysis and insights. This blog was established to provide program and project managers with information about these emerging technologies. These emerging technologies have far reaching repercussions for program and project managers. This blog will jump-start the learning process and allow program and project managers to become proactive.

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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.

  1. What are the top three technology risks for this project?
  2. When did you first become aware of and monitoring a technology (they named) that would be a part of this project?
  3. 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!

Posted on: May 06, 2020 12:37 PM | Permalink

Comments (3)

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Very interesting article, thanks for sharing

Gives a good context about risks and challenges and how to tackle them !

Being previously involved in dozens of innovative projects, I completely agree with the importance of asking these questions. Regarding innovative projects, project managers might feel lost about which sources to trust, fearing, as was noted, that information sources might be biased, have conflict of interests, etc. Sometimes, when considering alternatives, the available options may be quite new, not having wide distribution or implementation sufficient for an objective assessment.

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