This month’s PM Network takes a long look at a sector that is transforming fast—the grocery industry. Project teams are trying to deliver an experience craved by the public. Many of their initiatives are tied to predictions that online grocery shopping will grow dramatically. One report states 30 percent of shoppers are open in the immediate future to ordering groceries online, compared to 14 percent today.
There are other impressive numbers. In 2016, global online grocery sales added up to US$48 billion, 15 percent more than the previous year. By 2025, online grocery sales are projected to total US$150 billion, or 9 percent of the market.
One more appetizing figure: 65 tech startups raised US$1.5 billion in the last five years. Projects funded weren’t just for online shopping—they leveraged artificial intelligence, chatbots, virtual reality and interactive displays.
The next frontier for grocers is implementing delivery methods. Some day the makings for your weeks’ meals will arrive by drone and/or robot. Right now, some store chains offer refrigerated lockers where people shopping online can pick up their orders. Smart kitchens may soon do the ordering for you, and pilots are being launched for secure in-home delivery even when the customer is not home. Behind the scenes, tech initiatives monitor customer traffic, call up more cashiers and efficiently manage inventory.
Grocery projects offer a cornucopia of opportunities for innovative project professionals. If you have experience in this sector, please share in the comments.
…and we did so on the cover of February PM Network. Okay, it was in the form of a question, “Can Government Get Agile?”
The answer to that question, according to this PM Network article, is “yes.” Taking the lead from the private sector, governments worldwide are embracing change by adopting agile as a preferred delivery approach. Admittedly, the primary arena for agile in government is software projects, but the change is significant enough that governmental guidelines are endorsing iterative delivery. One result: government agencies are starting to shake their stereotype of being slow-moving monoliths that cannot adapt to change.
Statistics tell the story: In 2011, only 10 percent of U.S. major federal IT projects were agile or iterative; in 2017, that figure was 80 percent.
Regulatory challenges don’t make it easy for government project teams to follow agile approaches. A U.S. law requires a 90-day public comment period whenever an official form is updated. And since government projects often serve the entire general public, teams cannot chose a particular market segment.
The article details how several public-sector project teams (in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Australia’s National Blood Authority) used agile and overcame challenges.
Government project managers—if your team transitioned to agile, please share your story, either here in the blog or as an article proposal for the magazine’s “Getting It Done” column.
To follow up on my December post which talked about project management in unexpected sectors, the January PM Network has two such articles: One refers to the profession providing benefits to large law firms; the second talks about projects in the fitness industry.
Let’s first visit the gym. There are few aspects of life that are not being affected by digital disruption. The health club certainly is meeting high-tech head on, and that means projects! You don’t have to bench-press huge amounts of weight to be involved. Gyms are employing project teams to revamp their equipment offerings for a digital age.
For example, fitness clubs are starting to offer class streaming as a way to provide fitness to those not at the gym. Virtual reality is being employed to give a more involved experience to exercisers. Club executives are using devices to monitor their machine usage and thus tailor the machines to customers’ expectations.
So there are lots of projects in this sector. And the growth numbers are rather, shall we say, muscular: The connected gym equipment market is expected to grow from US$121 million in 2016 to US$762 million in 2021. Global health club market value is predicted to grow 4.3 percent annually to US$90 billion by 2021, with India, Brazil and China being hot spots.
From the gym we go to the law office. Big law firms have employed project managers for a long time in operations and IT. Now they are hiring practitioners to focus on legal matters. This is shifting case management to project managers, freeing lawyers to address substantive legal questions. Adoption is slow among law firms but project management’s rise in this field is likely to continue. This is because of the need to control costs, bring in efficient processes and undertake tasks like evaluating software.
And sometimes clients demand that project managers be placed on their cases.
Do you work in an industry that one would not expect project management to be a factor? Please use the comments to share your story.
The 2018 Jobs Report tells you the project outlook in seven different industry sectors: telecom, finance, construction, IT, healthcare, aerospace and defense, and energy. While the project delivery approach (agile vs. hybrid vs. waterfall) may be different in each sector, and some industries have hotter talent markets in certain countries (think construction in China), all are affected by digital disruption. And the world’s job outlook, in general, is very bright for project managers: 22 million new project-oriented jobs will be created in the next 10 years.
Besides the industry-by-industry breakdown, the 2018 Jobs Report includes an informative infographic spelling out where the growth will be; a profile of five country hot spots (did you know India’s economy is predicted to grow by seven percent this year?); an article explaining opportunities in the gig economy for freelance project talent; and a roundup of practitioner views on how to stand out in the job market. There’s also a preview of some eye-opening figures from PMI’s soon-to-be-released salary survey, Earning Power.
This valuable 20-page report can help you get your New Year off to a roaring start…and help you meet that career-advancement resolution.
One of the most enjoyable and interesting benefits of reading PM Network is learning about industries that weren’t even imaginable just a short time ago. One such project sector is grid-scale electric battery storage plants.
As part of efforts to make renewable energy sources more reliable, companies are building battery capacity to store electricity to use when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. The market for power storage is predicted to grow at a 60 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020. In the U.S., this market is estimated to increase tenfold between 2016 and 2022, reaching US$3.2 billion.
Because this type of project is so new, project managers face risks connected with lack of regulation and codes. Teams must have expert knowledge of battery storage systems so plans can be approved through existing power-sector regulations. A related challenge is transitioning the building project to operations staff, who may have never before managed such facilities.
Teams are overcoming these challenges and getting the battery plants online quickly, providing benefits to sponsoring companies and dependable renewable power. One of the more dramatic moves was made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who promised the government of South Australia, home to the world’s largest lithium-ion battery facility, an operational plant in 100 days after an agreement was signed—or else it was free.
Read all about this and other new and exciting project sectors each month in PM Network—this month more than usual, “the power of project management. Exclusively for PMI members. Every month.”