PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® 2019 report recommends that project leaders build their Project Management Technology Quotient (PMTQ) to boost their organization’s project performance
Organizations are investing in new technologies to digitize their business offerings and internal and external processes to meet the changing expectations of customers, suppliers and employees. By deploying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain or autonomous vehicles, businesses expect to align themselves to a digital future. However, technology alone will not prepare an organization for these disruptive times; they also need to improve the readiness of their people.
Project managers must be prepared for the fundamental shift in the way work will be done in the future. One of those changes pertains to the level of technology adoption in projects. The recently released PMI Pulse of the Profession® 2019 report recommends that project leaders worldwide evaluate and bolster their Project Management Technology Quotient (PMTQ).
The report, titled Future of Work: Leading the Way with PMTQ, indicates that organizations have not improved on project performance over the past five years. They have wasted almost 12 percent of their investment in project spend last year due to poor performance. Linking project performance to an organization’s ability to adapt to new ways of working, the report cautions that few jobs of the future will revolve around a bulleted list of static responsibilities. And that more and more people across roles will be hired to manage a portfolio of projects, and increasingly, those projects will be tied to technology.
Project Management Technology Quotient (PMTQ) is a person’s ability to adapt, manage, and integrate technology based on the needs of the organization or the project at hand. It is the capacity to adapt to the constant whirl of change brought on by advances in technology. Coupled with the changing nature of work from “job for life” to “portfolio of projects,” PMI expects a greater demand for technology quotient combined with project management. PMTQ will be the must-have, make-or-break skill set.
The Pulse defines a high PMTQ as having these three characteristics:
1. Always-on curiosity: You’re always looking for what’s next—trying out new project delivery approaches, ideas, perspectives, technologies. Keeping an open mind, tempered with a realistic point of view, means you know when to integrate emerging project delivery practices without chasing after every new digital trend.
2. All-inclusive leadership: You’re getting the best out of your team, no matter their age, level on the organization chart, digital knowledge, skillset, or location. You’re not “just” managing people but also managing tech—and managing people who know how to manage tech. There might also be some robots on your team. You not only advocate for technology but you’re also encouraging your team to do the same.
3. A future-proof talent pool: You’re recruiting and retaining project professionals with the skills most needed for this digital era. They have the will, the disposition, and the ability to keep up with trends and adapt their skills accordingly. And they help their teammates do the same.
TECH-LED CHANGES IN INDIA
To understand how digital technologies are impacting projects in India and what organizations can do to improve their PMTQ, Manage India spoke to senior practitioners in industries that have seen major technology-led changes.
Mangesh Khunte, PMP, business partner, Cognizant Talent Supply Chain, is responsible for managing the IT services company’s talent flow for two of its largest horizontals.
He said that for a service provider the biggest shift has been the move to incorporate digital technologies. Almost all technologies— including testing, software products, data warehousing and security—are being aligned to digital.
“For an IT service provider, generic project management skills are fast losing relevance. We need ‘techno project management’, in which the project manager can understand the technical details of a project in order to deliver it. For example, for a data center migration project, the project manager must be familiar with the migration strategy and the hardware needed for it,” said Mr. Khunte.
He believes PMTQ is highly relevant as organizations profile their resources on the basis of their ability to adapt to project technologies in addition to classical project management skills. This concept can be used to design training programs to address the gaps.
Vivek Sonar, PMP, PMI-RMP, who heads the program management office and an integrated material cost reduction initiative at Mahindra Rise, has led multi-locational, cross-functional teams in the automotive industry.
On technology advancement in the automotive industry, he said that changes are taking place in not just product design but also product development, manufacturing, sales and customer service.
“In the truck and bus segment, government-enforced technologies have had significant impact on projects in India, such as the regulation to migrate to Bharat Stage VI emission norms by 1 April 2020. Besides this, the mega tech trends that have impacted the auto industry are energy-efficiency, hybridization and electrification of vehicles, alternate fuels, vehicle autonomy, autonomous braking, advanced driver assistance systems, and connected vehicles,” explains Mr. Sonar.
He added that together, these technologies have changed the way companies manage the product development cycle, supplier interfaces, the sales and servicing of products, and training and awareness of customers.
PREPPING FOR THE FUTURE
To prepare an organization for a future where projects will be techdriven, it must work towards a talent pool with a high PMTQ. In the IT services sector, where most organizations are now running reskilling programs, Mr. Khunte points to the willingness to learn as a key attribute.
“I recommend project managers to identify their primary technical skills and work towards developing related secondary skills. Get yourself familiar with PMTQ and benchmark yourself against the requirements. Then create a roadmap to improve your PMTQ either through training or hands-on experience,” says Mr Khunte.
Mr. Sonar advises program managers to move away from charts and Management Information System (MIS) dashboards, and instead get hands-on experience with new technologies.