to now, the term ‘Project Management’ has generally placed the emphasis on
the Project Managers ability to execute a given project in terms of
budgets, timelines and specifications but that is changing to also
incorporate interdisciplinary and integrative aspects. The future of Project
Management looks set to be driven by the objective to achieve higher
sustainability and environmental standards, and technological advances will
play an important part in achieving these goals.
Construction is often
described as a fragmented industry, that is slow adopt new innovations and
technologies, but the early signs of a transformation are imminent.
Engineering companies will be at the forefront of the transformation.
Various innovations (e.g. 3D scanning, drones, and particularly BIM) have
emerged rapidly, and companies can streamline their Project Management by
adopting these technologies.
BIM is a
technology that I think will be of crucial importance for project managers
in the future, and is an area that I will be targeting with regards my CPD.
BIM systems use 3D building modelling software to achieve greater
efficiencies during the design and construction phases. The output of the
modelling process is the BIM itself, which combines the building physical
dimensions with quantities and properties of all the components of the
building itself. Using BIM can increase project transparency and
productivity, which helps decrease construction errors and rework, thus
saving time and money.
The usage of
BIM is growing in Ireland – In November 2017, the Minister for Public
Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohue announced plans to make its usage
mandatory for all publicly funded construction projects in Ireland by 2021,
for the design, construction and operation of public buildings. A direct
outcome of this measure is that it should act as a catalyst for widespread
adoption of BIM across the construction sector generally.
Transfer of information is another area that will be at
the forefront of the future of Project Management. Mobile phones and
tablets will become even more vital to in-field personnel, as mobile
functionality is gradually being developed for Project Management
software (e.g. WorkflowMax/Trello). The advantage of this type of CDE functionality
is that it will provide all employees with a single method of
communication, and should help eliminate any project delays previously
caused by slow data transfer.
inevitable that further technological advances will be to the forefront of
the future of Project Management. It is impossible to predict the nature
these will take, and so opportunities will be presented to the Project Managers
that keep aware of the latest innovations and are willing to adopt
practical solutions early.
Advances in Project Management
will provide great benefits for society at large, by reducing construction
costs, improving the efficient usage of raw materials and thus helping
narrow the global infrastructure gap – thereby boosting economic growth.
The future of Project Management requires the participation and commitment
of all stakeholders, so as to help deliver a modern, innovative,
engineering industry that will be to the benefit of all.