Featured

Culture as a Game-Changer for Strategy Execution

 

Tshwanz.jpg
Tshwanelo Nkwe,Consultant,InnoLead Consulting

African Governments and organisations have developed and embraced brilliant corporate strategies to optimise on the continent’s immense growth opportunities, accelerate growth and transform us into a globally competitive continent. To this day, we as a continent still struggle to translate these plans into sustained competitive advantage and performance though successful implementation. Jorge Camarate, from Strategy & Partner, expressed that organisations in the African continent battle to develop strategies that are linked to execution, in most cases, these organisations disintegrate thoughts on strategy and execution. This is the very struggle that bemoans Africa and its strategies today, and if not addressed, will continue to be the future struggle.

It is often said that, Great Strategy Definition + Poor Strategy Execution = USELESS; Poor Strategy Definition + Great Strategy Execution = AIMLESS; Great Strategy Definition + Great Strategy Execution = SUCCESS.

The above suggests that a beautifully crafted corporate strategy is worthless if unable to get executed. A clear strategy is just a ticket to the game. It simply keeps an organisation’s eye on the ball in terms of strategic intent, its distinctive capabilities, and competitive advantage required to achieve the strategic intent. It allows leadership to harness the organisational ambitions; however something makes them successful… Strong Execution Capability.

By definition, Henry Mintzberg describes Strategy as “a pattern in a stream of decisions”. Following on this definition, it goes without saying that strategy execution involves enabling people to make choices in line with the decision pattern. This requires a big shift in the way we think. Based on this, it is quite evident that our mindsets and the way we think play a critical role in strategy execution… “Are our mindsets geared for execution!”

Execution is of paramount importance when addressing corporate strategies in Africa. Research conducted by Kaplan and Norton, revelead that 80% of corporate strategies fail to get executed. Strategy execution failure either implies that a properly crafted strategy was not implemented; alternatively, it could simply mean that strategy implementation yielded very poor results. Most organisations are struggling to close the gap between corporate strategy and its execution. Botswana is a case in point, where most of the corporate strategies are well-thought-out and articulated, sensible, futuristic, inspiring; however, fail dismally at the execution phase. The implementation of the previous country vision, Vision 2016, yielded low implementation results. The biggest challenge is weak implementation, and each executive attributes this to a different factor, ranging from unavailability of resources to implement, inadequate monitoring and reporting of the strategy; lack of commitment, accountability and ownership by senior management; low understanding of the strategy by lower level employees, resulting in organisational misalignment. This challenge is no unique to Botswana, but rather prevalent across the continent, if not the globe.

There are three critical success factors that have been identified for successful strategy execution, being Strategic alignment, Mindset and Capability. I am of the perspective that a shift in our mindsets will position us for success. To accelerate execution, employees need to be engaged and passionate about the strategy. This is greatly attributed to the prevailing culture within the organisation. Culture could be viewed as the organisation’s DNA—invisible to the naked eye, yet a powerful template that shapes what happens in the workplace. According to Hrebiniak (2005): “Culture elicits and reinforces certain behaviours within organisations. These behaviours, in turn, affect organisational performance in vital ways”. This positions culture as a focal point for strategy execution. The phrase “Organisational culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner”, by Peter Drucker, is an absolute reality. There is a direct correlation between culture and strategy success, and any organisation disconnecting the two puts the strategy success at risk. Crafting a corporate strategy without first ensuring that the cultural imperatives required to enable execution are present may possibly be a recipe for strategy execution failure. Building and sustaining an organizational culture that fosters a sense of personal accountability for strategy execution is key.

 

Defining and embedding a powerful and empowering culture is critical for success… a culture of energy, commitment and accountability, results-orientation, follow-though. In the absence of a culture that supports change and execution, realising the strategy becomes challenging.

For Africa to still be able to talk “strategy” in the coming future, organisations (both public & private) need to strengthen their strategy execution efforts. Successful organisations do not owe their successes to having strategies in place. In the absence of the right attitude, courage, urgency and energy for execution, we might as well forget about the future of corporate strategy in African Landscape.

In conclusion, culture is a game-changer for strategy execution. The solution to Africa’s execution woes will be driven by actively and deliberately inculcating the desired culture of being strategy focused. Leadership needs to be at the front of designing and shifting the desired culture that drives execution, and therefore the achievement of performance commitments.

Tshwanelo Nkwe is a Consultant at InnoLead Consulting offering Management Consultancy and Corporate Training Solutions. she can be contacted on +267 3909102 and innolead@innolead.co.bw

 

Projectising The Elections

IMG_4911
Onthusitse Reikeletseng, Consultant, InnoLead Consulting

Every five years the constitution calls upon Batswana to shape their future by electing into power politicians they believe will deliver on their national aspirations. It is a call for all of us to make our voices heard through ballot boxes.

What I wonder as a project management professional is “can elections or campaigns be projectised?” Would project management be of value add? Let us explore this projectization phenomenon.

PMI defines a project as a temporary endeavour undertaken to produce or create a unique product or service. What this means is that a project is any initiative or collection of actions undertaken to deliver a product (tangible) or intangible product (service) within the constraints of time and cost. To projectise elections, it would mean the sponsor, political candidates or IEC would be required to define an objective that they seek to work towards and agree on acceptance criterion which simply means what would success look like for them. These are normally detailed in a document termed Project Mandate or Project Charter. This document would be the North Star. Remember in the Bible the three wise men also had a Project Charter. God gave them a Mandate and set the direction for them within set timeliness (25th December). There would then be a need to assign a responsible individual to deliver our campaigns (Three wise men). The biggest fault made in most projects is the myth that subject matter experts make the best project managers, such as assign a former politician or any other with political expertise as the Project Manager. This is a discussion for another day but to understand my viewpoint I refer you to an article by my colleague Victor Marathe titled “Does a Project Manager need to be a subject matter expert?”

Now that we have an end goal, project manager, indicative budget and timeliness, what is next? It is at this point that the Project Manager would begin project management of the campaign – what needs to be done by whom and are we on track with regards to scope, budget and within time. Project Management simply means the coordination of activities and resources to enhance the success of agreed-upon goals or objectives by adopting best practices.

We need to plan for implementation by understanding our stakeholders and their needs, governance, are the given timeliness attainable, how best to manage the campaign team, and reduce uncertain events that would impact our set objectives. All these would be clarified in a Project Management Plan or Project Initiation Document. It is at this point that the Project Manager should convene the project team, team leads (these might be those with political expertise) to iron out minuscule details such as how do we engage the stakeholders (voters, media houses, IEC, opposition etc.), sequencing activities such as rallies/interviews, and mobilization of other critical events. These would require funds and it is the project managers responsibility to ensure that the allocated funds are adequate for all identified and unforeseen events.

It is the responsibility of the project manager to deliver on the project whilst understanding that delivery is made possible by the people, more importantly, project team. The project manager would coordinate team efforts to deliver a successful campaign within the given budget and quality desired. I would like to pose a question to you readers, what would be the end date for the Botswana 2019 political elections project and why? As a guide, a project is required to move through the life cycle of Initiation, planning, implementation and closeout.

Win or lose I would like to wish this year’s political hopefulness the best wishes in the elections.

Onthusitse Reikeletseng is a Consultant at InnoLead Consulting offering Management Consultancy and Corporate Training Solutions. He can be contacted on +267 3909102 and innolead@innolead.co.bw

The potential for PM innovation in Africa

Maemo1
Maemo Makgana, Consultant, InnoLead Consulting

Every disruption brings about creative and innovative solutions, sometimes the society will be waiting eagerly for an improved solution, sometimes not. According to the Business Dictionary, the term “innovation” refers to the process of translating an idea or invention into a product that creates economic value.  Often, we perceive of innovations as tangible products, but you can innovate with a new process, method, business model, or marketing method. Almost every aspect of a business offering is a prospect for innovation, therefore, an organisation should not restrict their vision of innovation to products. Great innovations that completely changed the game by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos are not basically products, they are new models and processes of aiding societies to achieve more results with little effort. That brings about two terminologies: Incremental vs Radical Innovations. Most organisations are good with incremental innovations, they tackle problems and devise solutions appropriate for that problem. Radical innovations, the likes of Facebook, Amazon find entirely new ways of doing something and those ways are often difficult and riskier to implement.

Shifting to Innovation in Project Management: the traditional Project management Approaches, e.g. Waterfall focused exclusively on delivering products and services following a detailed plan with clear and measurable deliverables and had no/ little room for Radical innovations. Most innovations are centred around Incremental innovations to solve problems at hand. For example, when implementing a risky project activity, project managers generated ideas to deliver that activity within constraints set with the customer, without necessarily exploring radically.

With the current era (Fourth Industrial Revolution), the world is linked, and the playground is level with equal access to adequate information through the Internet (IoT). Africa is well-connected to the rest of the world as such we have huge potential for Project Management innovations. Emerging trends in Project management permeate Africa at the same time as the rest of the world.

Because of the great risk and uncertainty in today’s project landscape, Project Management approaches are evolving to allow for flexibility in terms of scope definition, schedule and cost estimation. New approaches such as Agile formerly used in Software Development are being adopted in implementing projects across different spectrums, i.e. Construction, Education, Finance, Architecture. As depicted in figure 1 below, nearly half of non-software projects use Agile approaches due to the benefits they provide. Agile advocates for adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change which were not catered for in the Traditional project management models (“Agile software development”, 2019). These new project management approaches bolster creativity and innovation across teams, and Africa has equal opportunity to innovate as the rest of the world.

Maemo Diagram

Figure 1: Top Project Types Managed with Agile (John Leslie, 2015)

 

Innovation coupled with technology in this era is the holy grail and catalyst to enormous organisational growth. Organisations are therefore recruiting Project Managers to be involved beyond project decision-making level, they are now partaking in strategic decision-making to formulate innovative solutions that sustain organisations beyond project life cycles.

In summary, Africa should embrace emerging trends in Project management such as Agile as they bolster innovative mindset across teams, and this could accelerate developments across African Nations. If Africa can innovate faster, it will be able to gain the lion’s share of the globally connected market and add value to customers worldwide.

Maemo Makgana is a Consultant at InnoLead Consulting offering Management Consultancy and Corporate Training Solutions. He can be contacted on +267 3909102 and innolead@innolead.co.bw

Surviving Disruptive Innovation: A Strategic Approach

Jacob
Thabiso Jacob, Consultant, InnoLead Consulting

The digital age truly is a challenging time for companies as the speed, complexity and volume of change continues to increase exponentially. As industries and market places continue to evolve, there is an increased need for the incumbents to establish their relevance in the new age of the customer. The new business age has no fit with the conventional modes, which have transcended ages. Clayton Christensen in his influential book titled ‘The Innovators Dilemma’ defined disruptive Innovation as:

“A process in which an underrated product or service starts to become popular enough to replace/displace a conventional product or service”

The underrated product or service stated above can come from either a new player in the industry or an already existing firm. Cognisance about disruptors in your industry is critical and will be central to building a robust strategy to counter disruption. Since the failure to respond to disruption is seldom based on external capacity but rather largely due to internal organisational inefficiencies, elimination of these fosters agility to counter the disruption. The traditional corporate cycles that typically span over years are extensive for the disruptive world and will continue to lag the accelerated technological progression as such, the strategy quickly becomes outdated if it is not reinforced. This subsequently creates a challenge as the key resources are misaligned to the opportunities that arise with continued technological advancements. In crafting alignment of strategy to opportunities, it is important to look beyond the conventionally used lagging and current indicators, the revenue and inventory levels. Perhaps more attention should be given to the leading indicators, such as market adoption of a new product, although they provide a bias opinion, due to the forecasting and forward-looking nature. The biggest challenge befalling incumbents is complacency or what may also be referred to as ‘nostalgia as a business strategy’, with companies in denial of how their once-great business model has suddenly become outdated. Business models, like financial auditing statements, need to be regularly reviewed, to re-evaluate relevance to both the current and future market environment.

In the digital age, also referred to as the age of the customer, the customer should be centrally positioned, with the business model and the decision making biased towards customer convenience. Research has shown that most disruptors target their customer pain points to develop a unique value proposition that was not initially offered. In surviving disruption, the response, both in speed and context, is equally as critical. To add context, Intel was not the first micro-processing producer, the same way that Apple was not the first producer of the mobile phone nor the laptop, but they have both over time toppled their disruptors, to become market leaders in their industries. A rapid response enough to keep pace with disruptors is only attainable through a dynamic organisational hierarchy, where there is more autonomy for the lower-level managers. There must be an objective and open forum that allows for and encourages the disruptive ideas, concepts and challenges with a better and quicker process for driving insights up the hierarchy. Embedding the balanced scorecard and the strategy map to the strategy process can drive the required organisation-wide alignment and improve the lack in communication, responsibility and accountability which impedes execution. The agile strategy should be buttressed by the existence of an established and robust execution system in place, which is equally as adaptive to the disruptive environment.

A strategy must be continually challenged by scanning the critical external drivers of value for the customer. The key questions top executives should continue to ask are: ‘Is what I am making still relevant, and for how long will it remain relevant?’, ‘what experience is the customer buying and how can I improve it?’ and ‘what products and services am I selling, to whom and where, and are they likely to remain in need?’. In countering organisational disruption, there is a need to remain highly vigilant and attuned to threats and changes that are happening in the operating environment especially when it’s going well, to guard against complacency. The productive paranoia should be buttressed by reliance on practical experimentation, observation and engagement with the tangible evidence to make business decisions on a sound empirical base. The aforementioned affords a sound base for developing contingency plans, buffers and maintaining sufficient margins of safety to foster creative action, through which the incumbent can remain ahead of or challenge the disruptors.

Thabiso Jacob is a Consultant at InnoLead Consulting offering Management Consultancy and Corporate Training Solutions. He can be contacted on +267 3909102 and innolead@innolead.co.bw

Preparing for Disruption

Gamodimo
Gamodimo Buka, Consultant, InnoLead Consulting

Disruption occurs when an organization; be it a new entrant or an existing one, introduces a new way of doing business/a new product/ a new service offering that positions them as a market leader in their space. A disrupted business environment speaks to the tumultuous period that results where the market leaders lose market share and have to react to the change in the industry. If an organisation is not able to monitor their environment in a way that can predict industry changes then they are in danger of being disrupted instead of being the disrupter.

It is important for businesses/organizations to thoroughly scan their environment not only to be well versed in the current reality of the industry but with a predictive goal of anticipating change. The ability to anticipate future change can allow a business to develop a reaction plan to the change or to instigate the change and steal or maintain market share. Observing both the customers and non-customers facilitates understanding of shifts in the user’s attitudes and requirements. iPhone, Uber, Airbnb disrupted their respective markets by catering to the needs of customers who didn’t even know they had those needs at that time.

It is easy to become comfortable in success. As a result, successful organisations may become slow to respond to changes in the external business environment. Some organizations create rigid structures that while necessary to some degree, often prevent them from adapting rapidly. Worse still, they add complexities to existing structures, processes, values and norms, without ever rethinking and possibly eliminating obsolete ideas and procedures. All of this can cause entropy and eventually lead to their demise.

For a business to grow and prosper it must be able to anticipate, take account of and deal with changes in both its internal and external environment. Strategic planning helps the organisation to monitor these changes in the environment and to adjust its activities accordingly.

Diagram
creighton.edu

Organizations as part of the strategic planning process should be able to listen (conducting surveys, research, forums, etc) to their environment. Also, be able to define and clarify all the changes that might impact them as an organisation, either positive or negative. In clarifying the changes, the organizations need to be able to act and implement all the necessary actions to be able to combat or accept those changes hence avoiding the negative effects of disruption.

Gamodimo Buka is a Consultant at InnoLead Consulting offering Management Consultancy and Corporate Training Solutions. He can be contacted on +267 3909102 and innolead@innolead.co.bw

 

Digitization and the Human Resource

Ishmael 2
                                   Ishmael Thaga, Country Manager, InnoLead Consulting Zambia

The growing economies of the world offer an ever-expanding choice of great deals. These shifting growth patterns and digitisation are reshaping the way of doing work across all industries. The turbulence that this brings to the job of HR is much more exciting than ever before. If an HR strategy fails to embed digitisation in today’s workplace, then the company is on its way towards its demise.

It is unfortunate that every time one mentions going digital, the immediate thought that locks a lot of heads is “job loss loading…” The reality is actually “better and exciting jobs loading…” in fact, this technological change is bringing opportunities to create more rewarding jobs and better career pathways and HR is going to play a very big role in seeing this through.

Every boardroom around the world has been on a ubiquitous move to go digital and it is the people function represented by HR partners’ responsibility to realign or redesign their human capital strategies to capitalise on the modern way of work and making sure that the people appreciate the importance of digital technologies as an enhancer of human capital outputs.

Billions of dollars have been invested in digitisation projects but have failed as a result of resistance by the human capital who were under fear of job loss. It must be made clear that, without the human input, the digitisation strategies will never be successful. This, therefore, means humans should be adequately prepared to drive this move with great comfort of knowing that they are the fundamental determining factors on whether this will succeed or not.

HR can, therefore, make sure that they are at the forefront of running this wave of change within the organisation by adopting the following;

  1. Develop HR strategies that align with the overall corporate strategy to go digital

As executives determine or scope out the digital direction of the organisation, HR has to then define how they are going to drive the digital objective through people. It is important to define specifically what the digital objective means to the overall HR function and how the plan will impact the bottom line of the organisation in the long term. The deliberate long-term plans for the HR function have to align with what the organisation endeavours to achieve and should be SMART in nature.

  1. Attract market-relevant talent to drive the organization’s digitised future

It is without a doubt that organisations will need to be deliberate with their recruitment of new talent. The Digitisation strategies put in place will require a totally new skill set which may not be available within the current pool of talent. As the way of work evolves, HR will need to recruit talent which will also add flavour to the existing regime by being the change agents towards the digitisation objective. Some of the skills which are not readily available in a lot of organisations but are key in driving the digitisation agenda are Big Data Analytics, Project Management, Programming, Understanding of Scrum and other agile methods.

  1.  Upgrading the current employees to match the new demand

The lifelong learning culture will need to be embedded in the existing staff. “Learn, unlearn, learn” should be the new order of things within the organisations. Skills upgrading to match the skills demand for the digitised organisation will have to be implemented by the HR function in order to keep up and reduce redundancy. It is clear that with the digitisation objective set by executives, a heavy training budget needs to be put in place to support the endeavours. The Internet has made life easy for a lot of organizations as free online courses and some at a minimal fee are widely available. However, specialized courses will have to be acquired at a good fee that’s worth the return.

  1. Providing platforms that encourage innovative thinking such as agile teams and cross-functional teams

Collaborations geared towards breaking silos will have to be structured in the new way of work in order to diffuse the new digitisation culture. This will also help with skills transfer amongst cross-functional teams. It has been proven that cross-functional teams are one of the catalysts to innovation thinking within organisations.  This, therefore, requires HR to push for the agenda in all possible areas within the organisation. Imagine what a seamless mobile platform that breaks the topographical barrier can do for expanding enterprises, this can open doors to the global workspace and talent which may not be readily available within the base of operation. Agile delivery also goes a long way in driving digital agendas. For those organisations that are already in the forefront with the adoption of these new ways of work, a significant return has already been pronounced as a result.

  1. Empower employees to use digital platforms to improve customer experience and make sure the impact is measured and rewarded appropriately as a motivator for employees to do it more

Everybody wants to know what is in it for them, that goes from the investors through to the employees themselves. While the digitisation agenda is meant to enhance productivity, which has a trickle-down effect on the bottom line, the people should also feel the need to be part of the processes by being rewarded appropriately. HR needs to make sure that there are enhanced rewarding systems in place as motivators for the employees to jump onto the digitisation bandwagon quicker than they normally would. This digitisation wave needs to give employees an overwhelming experience of excitement to want to pursue it more. Once that is achieved, there should be a notable positive shift in customer experience as more and more customers are resorting to digital services to break the geographical placement barrier.

Given the discussion above, should HR still be on the planning phase for the coming digital revolution? I think it’s time for execution as we are already in the middle of what used to be termed as the future world of work. Those in the forefront have already recognised digitisation as an opportunity to drive competitiveness and therefore HR should also be ahead as a critical stakeholder to embrace this transformation.

Ishmael Thaga is the Country Manager at InnoLead Consulting Zambia offering Management Consultancy and Corporate Training Solutions. He can be contacted on +260 211 251 034 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it Means for Project Management

20190605_193709 (2)
Mark Muzinda, Consultant, InnoLead Consulting

Drones, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data amongst other technology trends constitute what has come to be known as the fourth industrial revolution.  This revolution is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres, collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems (Schwab, 2016).

There is no doubt that the fourth industrial revolution is underway, either you’re in or you’re left behind.  It is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields including robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning,  big data being processed in real time using cloud computing,  the Internet of Things, decentralized consensus, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), additive manufacturing/3D printing and fully autonomous vehicles  amongst others (Schwab, 2016).

The fourth industrial revolution is predicted to have massive impacts on sectors and professionals of the economy as we know them now.  A net job loss of 5 million is predicted but in the same vein a new set of jobs shall be created and productivity/efficiencies are predicted to be improved by over 30% (Schwab, 2018).

This article will seek to discuss the impact the fourth industrial revolution is having and will have on the traditional project management practices as we know them now.  What does this mean to the project management profession in its current form? What does it mean to the project managers and the wider fraternity including key stakeholders to the project management including senior executives that sponsor projects?

The project management profession will need to adopt the fourth industrial revolution technologies to leverage envisaged efficiencies and productivity benefits. The technologies if well harnessed should enhance the chances of project success; delivering projects faster and within budget. The technologies/revolution can be beneficial in the following ways;

  • Risk or uncertainty is one of the inherent aspects of projects. The proactive management of risk is one of the most important roles of project management. With the proliferation of huge data streams with associated data analytics, project management professionals will have at their disposal deep levels of diagnostic and predictive insight, increasing efficiency, decreasing uncertainty and improving the likelihood of successful project delivery. New technologies promise to make the theory of risk intelligent strategies a possibility for projects both large and small.
  • Drones will be used to map construction or project sites, overflying them while capturing information on site activities. This information will provide the documented status of each job/task on site, determining actual progress in real-time of project activities. Imagine a drone overlooking the North-South Carrier water project and taking pictures in real time. The photographic imagery captured by the drone can then be directly downloaded into a building information management system (BIM) to be used to manage the entire project with scheduling software. This information will feed into quantity surveying/costs software to generate payment certificates due to contractors. This will provide the project planner/controller/project manager with real-time progress both schedule and cost updates on their projects. This has the potential of fully automating the project monitoring function with resultant redundancies of project planners/cost analyst roles or re-invention of their roles.
  • With a multitude of project data generated in real time, there is an opportunity for big data analytics to conduct prescriptive and predictive analytics that will indicate to the project manager the probability or the options available to steer the project back on track if forecasted to be out of baseline i.e. forecast project outcomes.
  • Machine learning using deep-learning techniques can be leveraged to enhance quality control on constructions. Neural networks can, for example, assess drone-collected images to compare real-time construction against planned design drawings for any deviation from design for corrective action. These neural networks can also be deployed to determine the probability that a contractor will file a claim, enabling project owners to proactively allocate contingencies and deploy targeted mitigation plans.
  • For materials handling on project site, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be leveraged on to optimize the project supply chain by interfacing with suppliers to have materials delivered just in time, and in right quantities. With more adoption of prefabrication and modular construction, 3 D printing technology can be adopted, that will significantly reduce fabrication costs and timelines thereby contracting construction timelines. 

What does this mean for Project Management Professionals?

Project Management will move away from the traditional way of doing things towards much more of a facilitation role. Social skills and cross-cultural communication capabilities will gain in importance. Projects will be executed by agile teams that come together for a particular project. Projects will increasingly involve highly specialized skills sets.

Project planning and monitoring tools will become more intelligent and sophisticated.  Huge amounts of data will be available for analysis and sharing. Many of the routine tasks project managers and project teams perform will be automated. Such tasks include; analysis of complex sets of data being generated in real time, work/task scheduling and resource allocation, cost management, schedule management, requirements gathering and progress reporting amongst others. This will make performing the role more efficient, enabling project managers to dedicate more of their time on doing the things that matter such as managing stakeholders, motivating teams to achieve project objectives, making decisions to enhance project performance, solving conflicts within the project team etc.

Project information, particularly project progress status shall be readily available to all eligible stakeholders including senior executives, fully decentralizing information. With drones taking real-time photography that feeds into BIM models which then feed into project scheduling and cost management software, progress status shall be available to all stakeholders in real time.  Previously progress updates were only provided biweekly or monthly and project teams would be tempted to filter information that gets to senior executives.  Stakeholders including the top executives only got to know that the Morupule Power station project was challenged very late, with this new technology instances like this will be mitigated.

Despite the automation of a number of project management functions; project management professionals will need to harness different skills to be able to leverage the complexity that all the technology will bring about. These will include;

  • Creativity i.e. ability to generate new and innovative ideas, to solve complex problems.
  • The ability to interpret huge data sets. This is because projects will become more data-reliant. Project teams will need to be able to analyze and interpret more complex data sets to facilitate decision making.
  • Project management professionals will need great facilitation skills to manage multitudes of stakeholders, have decisions made, having risks understood and managed by all stakeholders, managing conflict on the project team, managing change brought about by projects in organizations etc. These tasks can never be automated.
  • Project managers will need deep communication and leadership skills. This is based on the fact that on the adoption of newer technologies and moving away from traditional project management ways of work to the newer ways of work, there will be a need to provide leadership in the adoption of these new ways of working.

It is very clear that the fourth industrial revolution will change the way things are done. It is imperative that project management practitioners adopt these technologies to enhance efficiencies of the projects they manage.