Looking at needs from my work and consulting perspective, there are always some “nice to haves” out there think I think should eventually be in place to make our lives, careers, and project successes better and more frequent. What's on your list? Please read mine – these seven for now... and probably later – and share your thoughts and lists...
I call this one the Tupac.
Holographic imaging should be huge over the next 5-10 years. If it isn't, then someone is doing something wrong. I cover this in my 3D Project Management topics, but at its basic level we should be able to conduct interactive meetings and conferences without flying across the country to meet face to face. And I'm not just talking about a head image in a box. I'm talking about project meetings where everyone is sitting at the same table and also using whiteboards or whatever in full body presence. If Tupac can perform posthumously at the huge Coachella music festival as a holograph and dance and sing then I would like to think we can figure out a way to put 10 bodies in one room from 7 different locations and save all the airline, hotel, cab and meal costs. Millions in savings every year and possibly a few lives not having your CEO on a plane when it falls from the sky.
Using AI to deliver projects.
In a recent article I wrote for Project Times entitled “AI is Saving Lives – Surely it Can Save a Project” I explained that AI was being used on 911 caller to detect of the callers were experiencing cardiac arrest. AI was detecting cardiac arrest with a 22% greater accuracy than human dispatchers so yes, I figured that sooner or later it would be cost affective and very possible to use AI on projects. How? I'm not sure. I think AI will be a huge factor in project decision making and project progress and status reporting in the future. I'd love to be part of any analysis, research, planning, and testing for this if at all possible so if anyone out there has the time, interest and money to take this on, please include me!
Automated status reports.
Doing things manually in the future will be far less common, and I believe that our project tracking tools will continue to move toward overall automated project status and progress reporting. Generating sophisticated project status reports from all-inclusive tools that do a great job of resource, budget, task, issue and change order tracking should be easy – even providing nice green, yellow and red light high level dashboard summary level reporting for the busy on the go executives you want to keep informed but who aren't usually going to read all the details.
Something better than waterfall and agile.
In a perfect world, in my opinion, waterfall project management and software development are still the best. If things go off without a hitch, then waterfall should be the best. But we all know project issues arise, change orders happen, requirements change, and technology is harder to implement than we are led to believe... so agile often ends up being the better course of action. I believe that in the future, another option will come about making requirements more solid and some aspects of the PM and development more automated, thus essentially superceeding either of these methods of project and solution deliver.
Walk in walk out.
This is happening with Amazon and a few other places. You have a store, you walk in, take what you want and walk out and you are charged automatically. Great idea to make the shopping experience easier and faster. I'm sure there are glitches to be worked out still, but I could also see some project management applications and tech project development applications. For example, meetings could benefit from some of this technology. The attendance, statuses, decision outcomes, and followup notes could be automated and go out to the proper stakeholders and back to the project manager through automated methods.
I've already worked closely with a tech conference software provider that captures badge information, qualifies leads and connects them with the right conference and product materials and the right sales person / account manager in a particular organization (like a conference vendor's booth) just from the badge scan that happens to all of us when we go to any tech conference like CES, Interop, Black Hat, etc. This technology is cool and ahead of its time right now, but things like this will be – or at least should be – common place in the future.
I've always said that hackers are one step ahead of us. If you haven't been hit, it's only because you aren't on their radar yet or you don't have what they want. Because if they want to hack you, they could right now. At some point, I think we can not only say we are mitigating the effects of hacking or planning for the risk of hacking but that we also have fool proof ways of avoiding the hacking. We aren't there yet – Tesla proved that for all of us. If Elon Musk – founder of Tesla and SpaceX among other things – hasn't managed to assemble a team to void hacking, then we aren't there yet. He professed to have developed unhackable automobile computers only to be proven wrong at the next Black Hat conference within the year. But I believe we will get there... eventually.
Automated test reporting and results.
What about automated test reporting? Is it important? Automated test reporting is becoming more and more important to project managers and certain project stakeholders. It is important for project managers to ensure this sort of reporting is available for their projects and it can help project managers manage tasks better and deliver a project on time with costs under control. There are software applications out there right now and PM service providers along side and behind that software offering this kind of service. I think in the future it will be considered an essential and readily available piece of the project management puzzle.
Summary / call for input
I realize this is just seven. I'll probably think of four more before I go to bed at night. It's fun to predict and report on developing trends. My thought is – if you can dream it and if it seems useful – then someone will eventually create something like it to make information better, life easier projects more successful. What are your thoughts on this list? Do you have some of your own to add? Please share and discuss.