The Future of PM Work

What will the future be like for project managers? How will our teams change? Will robots displace human beings? Will we be able to have an edge in the age of AI? This blog will focus on our future of work—including current trends and future trends that we will experience in our workplace. Learn how project managers can leverage these trends to amplify value for customers, stakeholders, teams, the organization as a whole—and themselves. It’s all about proactively managing the transition to the future!

About this Blog


Recent Posts

Social network, the Future and the Future of PM Work

Gamification – The game changer of the future

The Future and the Collaborative Intelligence- Human-Human to Human-Machine

The Connected Project Manager and the Connected Future

Think independently together, be Future Wise

Social network, the Future and the Future of PM Work

6:30 am : My alarm wakes me up, I reach out to my smart phone, checking my project whats app group. I catch up on the project status, progress that happened overnight  IST but US day time

8:00 am: I book my ride on SRIDE ( a ride sharing app) to office

8:30 am: I am at my desk, browsing through the yammer groups catching up on the feedback from our beta users on our last week’s software product release

9:00 am: Time for my online zoom meeting with my team across 5 locations in India ( Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad)

10:am: I log into linkedin checking on social media marketing group for social media marketing techniques and industry news for brands, products and services

12:00: While at lunch, I send birthday wishes to my cousin through Facebook messenger. I also plan my weekend, responding to facebook events happening in my locality

4:00 pm: I join a yammer chat on new HR policies that are been launched in the organization

5:00 pm: I log into twiiter for updates on the ideathon organized by our organization for solving social challenges with technology

7:00 pm : I retire for the day posting project status on the project whatsapp group for my US team to catch up when they come to work

Evident from the above I heavily leverage social media or social networking tools ( though mostly internal) for communication , collaboration soliciting customer feedback and learning in my projects today.

According to the Global State of Digital Report the number of social media users worldwide in 2019 is 3.484 billion, up 9% year-on-year. So is it slated to grow even more? Will social media increase prominence in the #futureofWork? Three reasons which strongly suggest that this may be the case

  1. Social workforce: Millennials the early adopters of social media becomes the workforce of the present. According to Pew research center, while the share of Millennials who say they use social media has remained largely unchanged since 2012, the shares of Gen Xers, Boomers and Silents who use social media all have increased by at least 10 percentage points during this period 2012 to 2019.
  2. Dispersed workforce: The future of work is anywhere. 83% of workers now work remotely , 70% think going to office is not necessary, 23% of remote workers now say their organization is fully distributed and this trend is slated to dominate in 2019 and beyond.
  3. Connected Future: The connected product, the connected asset life cycle management, the connected ecosystem implies that the future would be connected. We need platforms to support this connectiveness, social media with it’s wide usage and reach could be one of these platforms.

How can project managers leverage social media in #futureofPMWork?

  1. Building relationships: The #futureofPMWork will be revolve around workforce and customers with short attention span. Building relationships can enable the project managers to engage teams to their work and the products that they build,  for customers to the products that they use. When used rightly virtual social networks can help us to build these relationships.
  1. Encouraging diversity of thoughts: Stemming from point 1, relationships opens channels for individuals to generate ideas, collaborate, share, solicitate feedback. This results in diversity of thoughts which helps organizations to stay ahead of the curve. How? Refer to my article on how diversity can help to proactively transition to the future.
  1. Effective communication and knowledge sharing: To take advantage of a large dispersed, diverse workforce, effective and on- time communication and learning from each other is critical.  Instant messaging applications microblogging sites could be leveraged in these areas of course with compliance limits.

How else can we leverage social media in #futureofPMwork? Love to know your inputs on this.

Some interesting thoughts shared by the community here. Please feel free to add your thoughts. Photo by William Iven on Unsplash


Posted on: October 20, 2019 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Gamification – The game changer of the future

“Tell me I will forget, teach me I will remember, involve me I will learn forever!”

Date : 21 Sept 2019, 8:30 am  Delhi DLF city:  History in making, I am a Gametender at India’s first Fun uncoference. I am facilitating a game at this gamification unconference. 

I am about to experience a day which is promised to be full of fun – with games designed to increase engagement / involvement of our teams, customers and partners. The energy is un-dismissible!

 As we cruise through the day – playing games, having fun, I wonder why we need to introduce more fun elements at our workplace now and in the future #futureofWork ?

  1. The Rise of the Gigs: It is projected that ‘Gig economy’ will grow to 50% by  2020, and will see an increasing trend to as much as 80% by 2030. Due to the nature of the employment,  gig workers are typically viewed as less engaged and more likely to embrace new opportunities that come their way.
  1. The Shorter attention span: Humanity’s collective attention span is getting shorter — a remarkable side effect likely attributable to technology according to a study in Nature Communications.  With increasingly fragmented customer focus, overwhelmed by choice customers are more likely to abandon a product easily unless we have them engaged actively.
  1. Millennials at work : According to a study by Gallup the engagement levels of millennials are much lower than the other generations, to be precise only 29% of them are actively engaged in work. With more and more millennials entering the workforce the number is set to shoot up to 58%, making the youthful generations the most dominant in the workplace.

In the #futureofPMWork how can we engage our teams and customers?

Can #gamification be that strategy to engage the workforce of the future?

Can #gamification create that customer stickiness?

Let us see what the emotions elicited by games

  1. Achievement, recognition which leads to a motivated team
  2. Altruism, cooperation leads to improved collaboration
  3. Self-expression allows to build an environment which is safe to fail and trust

Neuroscientists have speculated that by engaging in this cycle of challenge and achievement, our brain releases dopamine, which is connected to the sensation of pleasure, making us want to do it repeatedly.  

Here is what I have learned while leveraging gamification in team and customer engagement

  1. Intrinsic Vs Extrinsic motivation: Gamification strategies should be designed for intrinsic rewards e.g loyalty programs are mostly extrinsic, but however an option to choose an upgrade – sign of status could be an intrinsic motivator.
  2. Player Psychology: According to Bartle there are 4 types of players Achiever, the Explorer, the Socializer, and the Killer. These personas determine how a player will behave in a gaming environment. This can help to understand the outcome of the gamed system.
  3. Personalization: Gamification strategies can succeed only when they are deeply connected with the player. Leveraging personalization and behavioural insights can create that connection.

As I wind up my day at the Fun uncoference, I can’t help but wonder what gamification can do to our teams, workplace and the organization as a whole. It triggers real, powerful human emotions with a lot of fun!

To learn more how I leveraged #gamification to drive digital transformation, read on:

Posted on: September 28, 2019 06:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Future and the Collaborative Intelligence- Human-Human to Human-Machine

Digital transformation encompasses cloud adoption, rapid change, and the implementation of new technologies.  To keep pace with this rate of change, enterprises, must move fast, break things into smaller chunks and embrace “fail fast “approach – Agile, DevOps enables just that.

A couple of years ago, I authored an article on Agile and outsourcing , how our team embraced a software development approach under which requirements and solutions evolved through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer/end users. Agile aimed at building a “potentially shippable product” which is releasable anytime.

Over the time we evolved from Agile to DevOps ( Development + Operations ) is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development and software operations takes Agile a step forward to ensure that the team can build, test, and release software faster and more reliably to production.

What happens when we deploy our software to production? To ensure availability we typically own about 10 -15 monitoring tools, which means millions of alerts and events are generated for IT operations to analyze, correlate, prioritize and act on.

AIOps - Artificial intelligence for IT Operations.  It is about algorithms augmenting and assisting humans with IT operations, a step beyond DevOps. According to Gartner by the year 2030, upto 80% of the routine work performed by IT Operations can be eliminated because of collaboration between humans and smart machines. AIOps uses smart algorithms (powered by AI and ML) in which machines solve known IT issues and intelligently automate repetitive jobs. The output is a virtuous circle of continuous, insights, innovation and improvement.

So how will the #futureofPMWork look like in the era of AIOps to drive this virtuous circle of improvement?

So what are the changes that we need to make to embrace AIOps ?

Correlate IT Performance with business value: IT OPs have traditionally been technical, not speaking the language the business understands. With most of the noise out of the way, ITOPs now can be more business aligned. In the #futureofPMWork, Project managers will plan and build IT KPIs which can be correlated to business objectives, which could be cost reduction or risk mitigation during the planning phase of the AIOPs implementation.

AIOps extends human ITOps: IT OPs professionals suspect that AIOPs would mean massive change to their career. Intelligent, self-healing IT can reduce the IT administrators traditional TODO list, but it also ensures a more high-end activity like IT operations model and strategy, building scalable systems, rather than chasing down noisy alerts and doing redundant tasks. In the #futureofPMWork, project managers would need to coach, mentor and manage ITOPs team to drive the point that with AIOPs implemented, humans are at the strategic decision-making role rather than being caught up with day to day maintenance.

Changing IT culture for better-the AIOps mindset: Traditional IT OPs are mostly in the reactive state, monitoring services NOCs are siloed, passing on issues over the wall. This is where AIOPs takes DevOps a step further. Instead of blindly passing the issues to the L2 support team, the ITOPs now knows where the problem is and who the owner is.  Since AIOPs brings together the ITOPs, development team together, it is critical to plan who has the overall ownership. For #futureofPMWork this starts at the discovery and defined in the planning phase of an AIOPs strategy.

Manage talent and skill upskilling:  ITOps will need to develop skills like auditing, detecting security failure rather than operational failure, application technologies to measure impact on IT ecosystem. Project managers would therefore have to lay down a talent and skill management strategy to upskill the ITOps personnels.

AI Ops will transform the way IT Ops operates, from keeping “the lights on” to delivering business value. How ?? Extending the human-human collaboration  to human-machine collaboration: A transformation from Agile, DevOps to AIOps to ???

What are your thoughts on where the IT Operations would be moving towards in #futureofWork ?

How will #futureofPMWork shape up in the future with AI and automation ?

Would love to hear the view from the community, do share them in the comment box below.

Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

Posted on: September 12, 2019 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Connected Project Manager and the Connected Future

According to Gartner mankind will witness 20 billion internet-connected things by 2020. Whether it is

  1. My apple watch scheduling an appointment with my health care provider based on my health statistics
  2. My connected car calling the service centre for a proactive servicing
  3. Me tracking my 11-year-old daughter’s brushing regime through the smart toothbrush, while I am away from home

this connectedness is increasing. The future is no doubt connected and it is here. This connectedness could be in the following forms:

Digital Twin – The connected product: A digital twin, according to Gartner, is a digital representation of a physical object. It includes the model of the physical object, live data from the object, a unique one-to-one correspondence to the object, and the ability to monitor the object.

Digital Thread – The connected asset life cycle management: The digital thread consists of a communication framework that helps in facilitating an integrated view and connected data flow of the asset’s data throughout its lifecycle

Social Internet of things – The connected ecosystem: The Social Internet of Things (SIoT) is defined where things can establish social relationships with other objects autonomously. This will lead to a network of things and humans talking to each other or exchanging data.

Does this connectedness affect the #futureofPMWork ?

How will the Project manager need to evolve to manage connected projects?

Enter the connected Project Manager with:

  1. A connected mindset: In #futureofWork the project managers are drivers of innovation, change and culture. Since no project will ever exist in isolation, they are responsible for bringing in the connected mindset and systems thinking.
  2. Focus on interoperability: The Project Manager will need to drive solutions that understand how the the things are to behave. This will help design engineers anticipate potential failure modes much more effectively, which in turn effects how they spec the instrumentation into the design. This means collaboration between end users, hardware, software, third party partners, service providers and the ecosystem.
  3. Experimental, adaptable and innovative approach:  The build approach would be experimental, create prototypes, deploy the minimal viable product to production, monitor and collect performance and usage data. The usage data may be end user usage data or data emitted through interactions with other things in the connected ecosystem. Learn from the data gathered, generate insights, adapt, innovate not only to improve the current solution, but also existing solutions in the ecosystem to meet and exceed customer expectations, add value, and scale up to an entire ecosystem.

The value of connected projects lies beyond the connectivity – The Business Value! The Mantra for generating this value is “Start Small - Show, don’t tell -Learn and Adapt and Grow Big!”

Sounds like Agile ?

To learn more on why Agile is most suited for IoT projects read on


Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash

Posted on: September 03, 2019 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

Think independently together, be Future Wise

GEN (Z + X + Y+ BB + T) = ???

Can you solve this equation? This is the question that we asked our participants of Linkedinlocal Navi Mumbai meetup. The theme was “Universal Oneness”. Basically we are exploring how different generations have different outlook and how we can leverage the diversity of thoughts to build a product of the future.

The product that we were building was anything that stems from the word “glass”. The product to be built by representatives from different generations, Traditional, Baby boomers, Gen X, GenY and Gen Z.

The outcome “creativity” to the power of infinity.

 GEN(X+Y+Z +T+BB) = Creativity(∞)

We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges. - Tim Berners-Lee

The future of work #futureofWork provides mankind with unprecedented opportunities along with complex challenges. Globalisation, talent mobility, the death of distance and demographic changes have and will continue to have a profound impact on our team demographics. Our teams will become increasingly diverse. This diversity can be in forms of gender, inclusiveness, generations, ethnicity, race, ethnicity, religious- spiritual beliefs, education and more.

We would need collective intelligence, diversity of thoughts to proactively transition to the future. Why ? What are the benefits of having a diverse team?

  • Identify new trends: Diverse workforce have a good representation of its customers. Such a workforce will be a better position to predict what kind of products or strategies will work, hence staying a step ahead of the curve.
  • Build innovative Products: Diverse and inclusive teams can apply a broader range of knowledge and skills. They are more likely to understand the real, often unarticulated needs of the people they design products and services for.
  • Improve Agility:  Diverse talent with cognitive dominance, intellectual influence, innovative thinking can improve organizational agility, the ability to renew, adapt quickly to the future.

Some strategies that I have leveraged in my projects to encourage collective intelligence and diversity are

  • Crowdsourcing:  This is a sourcing model of getting work done from the crowd, usually via the internet.
  • Open innovation: This is a collaborative innovation process where teams internal and external to the organization, customers, suppliers contributes to developing newer products or services.
  • Open Source intelligence: This includes leveraging information gathered from public or open sources like internet, media, print or professional and academic literature. This could be leveraged for market research

     Do you think diversity can influence the outcome of our projects?

How will the #futureofPMWork will need to transform to encourage diversity of thoughts in our projects?

If you want to know how I leveraged crowdsourcing to enhance diversity for agility and innovation. Read on

Scribe: Nitasha Nambiar



Posted on: August 29, 2019 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

"Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair."

- George Burns