In Africa there are several construction projects that are currently ongoing. The emergence of technology has been a paradigm shift for the industry.
Here are seven general ways in which technology has changed project management:
1. Storing and sharing information
When carrying out a project as a project manager all you need is to ensure that you store what you have done, with technology all is possible.
Technological advances have made it possible to store and transmit information in a plethora of ways. Team members of a project can now access a report, for example, by pulling out a file saved in Dropbox or Google Drive. This was remotely possible during the time of our grandfathers and grandmothers who relied heavily on an efficient and organized secretary to file reports orderly in large filing cabinets.
Now, there are a myriad of apps that allow us to work on documents using our phones, phablets, laptop or desktop computers. We no longer have to be confined in a conference room to meet and sift through documents.
2. Reducing time and saving money
With the available of this various Apps work has been faster and easier hence saving time for project managers.
Technology has helped projects reduce the time they spend on working for the project. It has also significantly reduced the cost it would take to get the job done. With these devices and apps that make the job easier, businesses begin to realize savings that are in turn diverted to other areas of the business.
Time and funds are barely only a result of hardware technology advancements. Having access to information within seconds (via something called Google) and the world’s largest encyclopedia reduces research time by the hours every working day.
3. Improved Communication
The proliferation of various communication devices has allowed people to do business anywhere. Some companies have given their business executives more flexibility so they can work from home using their devices. And they don’t get to miss meetings because they can participate via teleconference either on the phone, via Skype or other platforms.
To be even more precise, around 40% of project-oriented companies use PM solutions from Microsoft or Oracle (Microsoft Project or Oracle Primavera), so these are becoming recognized as industry standards and employees are expected to be familiar with them.
Some businesses may use WhatsApp, Skype, or any other app that makes real-time messaging possible.
4. Paperless operation
Nowadays, cloud computing has made it possible for storage of large chunks of information which obviates the need for printouts. Rather than sending printed reports, now an organization can share digital files with the members of the organization.
With the emergence of PDF editors and digital signature software solutions, companies can conclude deals faster and shorten sales cycles.
5. Safety and Security is paramount
It can be said that with these latest gadgets, applications or software solutions, a workplace has never been safer and more secure. However, this is more a matter of perspective than a factual statement. Cyber threats and even the cyber-terrorism emergence have established themselves as real threats to businesses worldwide.
Large corporations are still hesitating towards moving their resources to the cloud solutions provided by major industry players such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, mainly due to security concerns. However, serious steps have been made in this direction, and even though 2015 did not live up to the expectations, there are serious indicators that the adoption of cloud storage services will continue.
The latest in technology have truly aided project managers in accomplishing their goals under budget and in less time. Soon, project management will come to mean that lean is mean – less people in the workforce performing a variety of functions at the same time.