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Back to the basics to build the future

Priya Patra

Last May 2018, I attended the Project Management Institute’s (PMI®) EMEA conference in Berlin. I attended not just as a speaker but also as a social media champion, invited by PMI to cover the event and spread the conference insights through blogs and posts on social media.

I was, as usual, excited about the future of agile and project management. The overarching theme of this year’s conference was It is time for #DifferenceMakers. The theme revolved aroundhow project managers can create a difference in the digital future, where projects are likely to be complex combinations of sensors, hardware, software, data storage, and multiple protocols of connectivity.

At the conference, I spoke on the topic — Back to basics to build the future. I shared my experience as a project manager, and the techniques I used to build the digital futuristic space for one of my projects. I took the audience through the journey of building the experience of the future while playing to the basics of project management:

  • Focus on business problem
  • Align to a common vision
  • Be agile
  • Communicate and collaborate.

I defined the steps involved in managing and executing IoT projects and analyzed why it is important to stick to the basics while being agile and innovative. I emphasized on applying the principles of innovation and agility to bring together all components of the IoT projects – networking, hardware, and software programming. Providing tips on managing multi-modal programs (constituting agile, waterfall, and hybrid projects), I touched upon the ways to apply user-centered design techniques and collaborative problem solving to create a futuristic experience.

So, what should project managers do differently in the era of digital disruption? 

I think the first step toward innovation is building a great team; bringing the right person into the right role at the right time.

Next, you have to align the team to a common goal through effective communication and collaboration.

Third, it is important to embrace change, adapt and evolve to manage the shift in customer expectations, technology, financial conditions, and regulations, among others.

Last but not the least, projects are all about people and teams and, in this era of digital disruption, machines can do the heavy lifting – crunching the data – and project managers can do what they do best – setting the essential criteria, integrating projects and project components, and winning over and engaging stakeholders!

You can learn more about the conference here:

  • It is time for DifferenceMakers at #PMIEMEA18
  • Day 1: How #GameChangers are turning every project to a success story?
  • Day 2: #BoundaryPushers: Learn to push boundaries, embrace change, and think in an innovative way
  • Day 3: #FutureDefiners: Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human
  • #DifferenceMakers: We are making dreams a reality!

Connect with me via my profile or on social media (on LinkedIn and on Twitter) and to learn more about the conference or to read about my projects on IoT.

About the PMI EMEA Congress

The PMI EMEA Congress is the second-largest project management conference in the world, providing attendees an opportunity to gather the know-how required for project management success. Over 700 people from 20 countries attended the conference this year.