As we near the end of the year and begin winding down for the festive season, I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on the year that was for IPM Global.
With 2011 drawing to a close and 2012 on our doorstep, many predictions and trends for the new year are beginning to emerge in the media and on the Internet. From consumer trends, to economic trends, everyone has something to contribute about what they think 2012 will bring. IT is no different of course, with Gartner releasing its Top 10 IT trends for 2012 last month.
I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately and a few things have caught my attention as I’ve been getting on and off planes, buses and trains. The first one happened when we were due to take off and the air hostess came over the loud speaker asking everyone to make sure all electronic equipment, “such as iPods, iPhones and iPads” was switched off. I remember when I used to fly as a child and the safety card in the seat pocket depicted electronic equipment as a Furby, the Ewok-like children’s toy with eyes that blinked. My, haven’t we come a long way?
One of the qualities you will undoubtedly find in every good project manager is an ability to stay organised. With a constant stream of communication about RFIs, contracts and budget and schedule changes, it takes a very organised project manager to stay on top of everything.
There’s no denying the economy is struggling. The ripple effects of the 2008 ‘Global Financial Crisis’ are still being felt across the world, worse in some places, but still being felt all the same. Australia hasn’t been quite as hard hit as our European and North American counterparts, but there is still a noticeably sluggish feel to the economy compared to the boom years of 5 – 10 years ago.
One thing that software providers have often been guilty of is making the claim that their particular software can solve any problem encountered on a project. Yes, technology has come a long way and has revolutionised the way our world works, but how far can technology really go to solve our project management problems?
One of the things that can really unravel a project is a lack of communication between the people working on a particular job. Jobs can have literally hundreds of people working on them from project managers, the project team, architects, right down to all the various subcontractors and their own employees. Ensuring smooth communication between all these people can seem like a massive task, but it doesn’t have to be.
In the information age, nothing is more valuable than data. Data is one of those tricky, intangible assets that we can’t really put a monetary value on, but we know it’s precious. We have pins and code tokens to access our money, and it’s no different with data – passwords and logins protect virtually every company’s data set in the world today.
Software has long since been an important tool in project management, but for many years has not really been very project management friendly. For decades, project management software has been limited to highly specialised solutions with very little room for manoeuvre, or solutions developed on accounting frameworks that look, feel and ‘think’ like accounting systems.