Managing Director of our newly formed Scotland branch, Paul Marshall, recently attended the APM (Association of Project Management) Scotland Branch annual conference and discusses here his three takeouts on how Project Management is changing as we move towards a Net Zero and more sustainable future.
Change the project management mindset
It was a pleasure to meet Dr Karen Thompson, who is the Co-founder and director of Responsible Project Management, to discuss Net Zero as part of a focus group at the end of the conference, but her presentation earlier in the day really resonated with me. It reinforced (without knowing the term Responsible PM, until now) the values and beliefs that Prosperity 24/7 consultants have, in addition to their change project management delivery skillset.
We are engaged by our clients to deliver, yes, but we also gain permission from them to allow us to challenge them and drive effective change in a way that adds value and a learning environment for us all, making project management a fulfilling and enjoyable pursuit.
As Karen outlined; a ‘new’ project management mindset is imperative and explained what’s ‘out’ and what’s ‘in’:
|Time, cost, quality||Creating the future (exploring systems’ potential)|
|Delivering outputs||Curating change that delivers value|
|Managing risk||Uncovering uncertainty & new opportunities|
|Stakeholder management||Engaging people, communities & organisations|
Use technology to support the delivery of value in project management
We were challenged around our thinking about the use of Robotics and AI in Project Management – understanding what is available today and what is coming, as well as the impact on the role of the Project Manager.
Steve Maclaren, the COO at The National Robotarium, gave some exciting examples of how AI and robotics are impacting and revolutionising project management. By reducing the inevitable administration that comes with a project manager’s role, AI can allow us to focus even more on the people; to deliver even more value and better project outcomes. I’m very excited about exploring and supporting AI for Project Management with the use of Microsoft Co-Pilot and Smartsheet AI. These are tools that Prosperity 24/7 is starting to use to great effect.
Think beyond yourself or your organisation and look at your societal impact as a whole
Dr Melissa Marques-McEwan, Assistant Professor of Sustainable and Circular Businesses at Heriot-Watt University facilitated a discussion about how we embed a culture of recycle, reuse, reduce, without thinking about it, or labelling or ticking boxes for ESG – it just becomes part of our project management DNA. The circular economy must be compatible with project management. Your project doesn’t start and end with you, there are always wider implications.
Although this is easier to think about with something like a construction project, it is also relevant when looking at technology. Decommissioning hardware for example, or your suppliers decommissioning the hardware – do you know what is done with the old kit? Make it your business to make sure you do, so society benefits and not just your project.
What was clear to me that Prosperity 24/7 is well on the path to ensuring we are a more sustainable business going forward. Our philosophy of doing our best to help each other so we can all prosper, by looking after our clients, colleagues and the community equally, means that our impact on society is embedded in our company values. But of course there is always more we can do.
If you’d like to discuss how we can use AI or find ways to work together to embed sustainable practices into your next change project, we would love to talk to you.