Another speaker from the coming Passion of the Profession conference, Alexander Pinker, also answered questions put to him by PMI Denmark Chapter. He was asked about project management in the future, trends in disruption and passion of the profession.
Pinker himself is an innovation consultant, digitalization expert and new media specialist.
PMI Denmark Chapter: What is your biggest passion of the profession?
Alexander Pinker: You just have to praise the project managers. Their ability to combine the different departments, service providers and customer requirements and efficiently move towards an objective is a great challenge and effort. The ability to work in a team, to be spontaneous and creative is required and these are not only good qualities for project managers, but also for innovators and digital leaders!
PMI Denmark Chapter: Artificial intelligence is a hot topic now and is a cause of disruption in project management. How do you think, are there any more causes that are less visible but that might have a similar (or even stronger) impact on disruption?
Alexander Pinker: Artificial intelligence is definitely a trend that will bring fundamental change to project management. Here, the old motto also applies: What can be automated will be automated. But even beyond this, project managers will have to adapt to fundamental changes in the coming years. These changes are not only technological, but also socioeconomic.
The focus of digital disruption will lie on the competent handling of data and technologies. Not every technological trend, not even artificial intelligence, fits in with every business model. It may also be immersive media, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, that will make projects more tangible and experienceable by merging the virtual and the real world. The blockchain, despite its many facets and uncertainties, will soon be of significance in some industries.
PMI Denmark Chapter: How would you describe the tendencies in disruption in project management that are happening already now?
Alexander Pinker: The digital transformation has struck many companies quite hard. With changes in customer behavior, employee self-awareness, and many incredible technological changes, companies have instantly begun to reinvent themselves. Innovation hubs have been built and projects have been enriched with many tools and technologies. These are valuable experiences that will bring a lot to the project management of the future, but now a period of clarity begins.
It is not enough to follow one disruptive development after another. Businesses need to find their own company profile. They have to work out the added value of change, involving employees, customers and partners. It can be said that we are currently in a metamorphosis, but what is emerging makes me, as a future strategist and innovation profiler, confident.
PMI Denmark Chapter: From what is happening in PM already now, what will cause the greatest impact in the future? What are the trends or issues that need closer attention today?
Alexander Pinker: I firmly believe that the biggest disruption will not even result from the technologies, but from a new mindset of employees and organizational changes. These changes are already happening today, but they are still in their beginnings. The role of the project manager in the future will go far beyond the current role and become even more important within their companies.
PMI Denmark Chapter: With the world becoming more diverse in general and fast-changing, what is the most challenging about tracking the trends and making a prognosis?
Alexander Pinker: Probably the most difficult thing about keeping up with the future is that you have to get prepared to be flexible and also to follow unknown paths. Forecasting trends and the future requires the ability to think in scenarios, to accept various possibilities and to recognize even small traces of change at an early stage and to interpret them according to their relevance. The world of tomorrow is not yet established and we rewrite it every day with our actions.
As entrepreneurs and managers, we must therefore get involved in actively craft the future. We must understand that every action will cause a counter-reaction, but that there are many opportunities and potentials in these. Whether the best case, worst case or normal case scenario, there are new possibilities in all of them.
The project manager of the future must therefore think further than the next three years or five years, look beyond his own horizons and take the future into your own hands. Only then can we make the most of tomorrow's world for ourselves, our projects and our company.