What You Will Learn
- 1 A Project Needs to Assimilate IoT Effectively
- 2 Make Sure the Project Triangle Stays Relevant from Beginning to End
- 3 Inject On-Demand Reviews into Project Management Process
- 4 Ensure Project Manager and Stakeholders Effective IoT Leverage
- 5 Get Stakeholders to Commit Setting Off Alarms When Changes Happen
- 6 Establish Automatic Triggers in Operational Processes
- 7 Send Feedbacks to Governing Program or PMO
- 8 Coda
A Project Needs to Assimilate IoT Effectively
The Internet of Things (IoT) has become so ubiquitous that a project is very likely already interweaving with it even without its project manager’s knowledge or pursuit. Naturally, projects weave with the IoT by default of the company environment, but that is not enough to reap the most benefit out of the IoT. A project has to administer concerted effort to optimize the entwinement to gain from it. An architected endeavor to encompass a project within the IoT fabric will allow a project to amalgamate closely and timely with all pertinent data and continually synchronize with its governing program or PMO to avoid surprises to its own project triangle – scope, budget, and deadline. In today’s fast paced society, a project harmoniously and steadily bonded into the IoT offers a project manager and stakeholders timely awareness of deviations to enable them to act swiftly and aptly to avoid or minimize harmful jolts. Taking less than a symphonized and uninterrupted integration with the IoT is potentially depriving a project’s attunement to deviations after the project is in flight and losing its agility to adjust in time to stay on or chart a new course. The following abstractions describe six actionable ideas for project managers to accomplish this feat.
Make Sure the Project Triangle Stays Relevant from Beginning to End
Project managers need to reaffirm their project Triangles at every milestone review. Requirements, resources, deadlines and their relevant data are critical for project planning at the initiation phase and also for milestone reviews during the project execution phase when they are used to form and later redress the project triangle respectively. It is particularly important to be able to detect disparity between the established project triangle and its engulfing project environment to allow for adjustments to realign with the evolving climate. Traditionally a project triangle is set at the beginning and its validity does not get challenged unless some stakeholder calls for its recertification. This convention demands a revamp. Today, frequent changes are normal, and some of them may reshape a project’s engulfing terrain and business encompassment. There is no reason not to revalidate the project triangle at every milestone review because the data are available in the IoT in today’s business environment. Running reviews without scrutinizing for derangements will potentially overlook changed conditions that warrant a project triangle adjustment. This could be detrimental.
Inject On-Demand Reviews into Project Management Process
On-Demand reviews need to take place when divergence happens. Milestone reviews are scheduled at the onset of a project. Revisions in market requirements, resource availability and other projects happened between milestone checkpoints do not get assessed until the next review. Although not all mutations related to the project environment (requirements, resource, deadlines) necessarily need immediate mediation, delaying the review of a change that may need rapid attention could be pernicious to the project. To ensure that no disturbance misses its opportune handling time, a demand-driven mechanism should be constructed such that divergence happened in between project checkpoints will trigger the project manager to inspect and to call for an off-cycle review to address the deviation if necessary.
Ensure Project Manager and Stakeholders Effective IoT Leverage
Leveraging the IoT effectively is key to invoking dynamic triggers to timely alert the project leader of permutations. Among the IoT, emails and text messages serve as both data and tools to trigger the project manager to review and grapple with changes. Apart from the project manager, all project stakeholders should actively engage the email, the instant messaging, and other apparatuses of the IoT to communicate status and aberrations to prompt the project manager to act. Additionally, a prudent project manager can set up a reminding mechanism to probe key stakeholders on regular intervals between milestone reviews to decide if an off-cycle review is justified to take place.
Get Stakeholders to Commit Setting Off Alarms When Changes Happen
Chances are that stakeholders do not have the responsibility nor the habit to inform project managers of shifts in their shares of the project. They assume that project managers can and will detect the changes themselves. This is highly unlikely. When the project manager does not take initiative to investigate excursions due to missed communications, valuable time would be lost to tackle critical deviations until the next review cycle. The lost opportune time maybe irrecoverable, and at worst the project objectives may even become irrelevant. It is imperative to get the key stakeholders to commit to arouse the project manager of changes which can then be examined and determined if a dynamic review ahead of schedule is warranted. This non-traditional deviation-driven project reassessment capacity is essential to making projects agile and market driven.
Establish Automatic Triggers in Operational Processes
Functional team members leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in their everyday operations. Project managers should consider if AI and automation can be applied to operation touch points and to enhance communications among functional players. Before projects start, project managers should brainstorm with functional teams to identify ways – where, what, when, and how – to embed automated triggers in their operational processes to awake the project manager as well as other relevant players as soon as a divergence develops during their operations. This would be the most timely and dynamic instrument that a project manager should explore and to establish at the beginning of a project.
Send Feedbacks to Governing Program or PMO
Besides permeating their projects with the IoT to optimize agility and adaptation to changes in the project environment, project managers should channel updates to their governing bodies, the PMO or their upper level program, whenever their project triangles have been tailored so that the latter can rebalance and trigger all their underneath projects to verify and reshape accordingly. To pull off this feat, project managers have to accept the tenet that the IoT environment in the company is not merely a one-way feeder to support each project organism inside, it is also an ecosystem that needs to be nurtured and reconditioned by its entitys’ feedbacks to keep all its projects synchronous.
A project could lose relevancy to the company’s business objectives or to the market if the project’s governing body is not an integral part of the IoT ecosystem. A project that does not provide timely data feedback to the governing body will cause the latter to lose harmony with all its underling projects and eventually incongruous projects will not fulfil the business’s goals. This disparity between the governing body and its underlings can cause a lot of perils, among them, project objectives and schedules may become out of sync, and allocated resource may no longer be available. The governing body must be synchronous with all its projects in order to keep them in concert with each other and with the company’s goals. The governing body must leverage the IoT mesh effectively to stay in tune not only internally with all projects and the project teams, but also externally with the market conditions so that business and project objectives are continually synchronized with the market and among all projects, functional teams and all stakeholders.
Chi-Pong Wong is a seasoned thought leader in program management, customer experience, and supply chain strategy. He is an influencer on several LinkedIn groups and has published on leading online magazines including Project Times, PM Hut, Project Management, Customer Think, ServiceDirectors.org Business Review, UX Matters, Supply Chain Brain, and other popular journals. He earned a MA in Economics at SUNY @ Stony Brook, and a MS in Computer Science at Duke University. He has worked previously at Arrow Electronics, IBM, STMicroelectronics, NEC Electronics, and is currently with Hewlett-Packard. He can be reached at Linkedin