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!

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Recent Posts

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

Hello Future.. We are ready!

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 (10)

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)

Hello Future.. We are ready!

It is a rainy July morning in Mumbai, like the heavy rains that lashes the city outside, I am experiencing a heavy downpour of thought-provoking ideas inside. I am in a panel discussion on the Future of Project Management.  As the discussion moves forward, the following points stood out to be restructuring not only who does the work, but also how work gets done and what value is delivered.

  1. Pace of technological change: Over the last decade technology, Automation, AI, big data is radically transforming the way we live and work. 
  2. New business models: The “App” based economy have changed and will keep revolutionizing how business is done.
  3. Future team demographics: The talent mobility, the death of distance will be led to the rise of multigenerational work force, robots and gigers.

Later as I retired that night, I was both excited and nervous about what the future #futureofWork would be like for us – project managers.

Peter Drucker once said ‘‘If you want to predict the future, create it “. Can we predict the future of PM work? How do we proactively prepare ourselves to transition to the future?  

  • Predict and initiate: It would no longer be enough to “respond to change”, but introspect, retrospect to predict or even initiate the change. Big data, analytics, VR, AI and ML could be the levers to predict the next.
  • Invoke the intrapreneur: Intrapreneurship is crucial for businesses to remain competitive well into the future. Encouraging intrapreneurship can help to identify new business opportunities and ventures, new products or services, or new strategic directions. Deep understanding of the business, passion, empathy, critical thinking and collaboration could help to Project managers compete and evolve
  • Embrace Diversity: This includes, demographics (multi- generations), bots, ethnicity and geographies. Project managers could explore crowdsourcing, open innovations to encourage diversity.
  • Engage the “Gigers”: As our team members will move more towards being “gigers”, team engagement will need to go beyond monetary rewards and recognition to focus on intrinsic motivation like challenging and meaningful work opportunities.
  • Build Relationships:  To manage virtual, diverse teams, deal with human – bot conflicts, stakeholder (internal and external) engagement. Last but not the least the relationships with ecosystem partners as we move towards a more connected world. Adaptability, social intelligence and emotional intelligence skills can be keys to build these relationships.

Here we are “Hello #futureOfPMWork we are ready !”

What are your thoughts to manage the #futureOfPMWork?  

For more on what, the future has in store for project professionals –in 2033, do read my article on PM network magazine

Image courtsey: Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Posted on: August 25, 2019 01:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."

- Yogi Berra



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