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I am writing this with cake and champagne on my desk, instead of the usual Monday coffee and rich tea biscuit.
The reason for such opulence at the start of the week is that, at Stoneseed, we are celebrating our tenth anniversary.
The tech world was a very different place 10 years ago!
A decade ago, there was no 4G! There was no Slack!! No Pinterest!!! No Instagram!!!! How we survived is beyond me!
The IT Project Management world has changed beyond recognition too.
Ten years ago, a handful of firms had started to promote IT from business technology support to a strategic business partner but, for most, IT was still a back office function. That's not to say that the projects weren't complex and essential, they totally were. The thinking though, for many, was "this is what we want the business to do, how can IT help achieve this?" whereas the thinking now is more "what can IT achieve for the business?"
On paper, there's a hair's breadth between these concepts, but in reality, they are miles apart. Over the last decade, IT Projects have evolved from supporting business change to facilitating it - and now IT Projects are driving business change.
As IT Projects have become more complex and more business case led, in turn, the teams managing them have had to up their game too. I'd like to think that all of us would be amazed at how much more sophisticated and professional we are compared to our 'decade ago' selves. The quantity and quality of our work have grown to match demand and although we're largely all still using the same methodologies our understanding of what they can do for us has developed. Hybrid methodologies are increasingly the norm, where IT Project teams have the confidence and creativity to use different methodologies to deliver individual parts of a project, resulting in faster and more efficient delivery.
As business has asked more complex questions of IT, we have found a seemingly never-ending stream of great answers. IT Project in-house teams have matured and evolved and the Project Management as a Service universe is expanding exponentially like any universe should! In fact, I believe that the PMaaS market has a solution for every business challenge your IT Project team will ever be tasked with solving - and this isn't the Champagne talking - it's a hypothesis that I and my colleagues have tested time and again.
Our mindsets have changed too. Ten years ago, IT Project Managers were still fairly reactive to business need. These days, most PMs that I work with are proactive, they anticipate business need and prepare their teams to deliver change, and it is change that they themselves have often identified is needed. As a result, many IT Project teams have been elevated in terms of perception from cost centre to revenue generator - now that is REALLY exciting.
So what about the next ten years? How different will the tech and IT Project Management world look by 2029? How much of an impact will AI and machine learning have had? How different will the workplace look? Will BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) be a quaint memory as everyone works remotely and hence has nowhere to bring their device to? Probably, like you, I have my own theories on how things will unfold but, as I hear another bottle of fizz being opened, it would be terribly rude of me not to join my wonderful colleagues.
Suffice it to say ... however the next decade unfolds, whatever challenges your business goals will throw our way, we will be there to meet them. Your IT Project team, the Project Management as a Service universe and Stoneseed, your partner in IT-driven growth are ready, so bring it on!!!
Before I sign off, you can't have a party without party games so here's a quick birthday treat in the shape of a quiz! It illustrates how the tech landscape has changed over the last decade!
QUIZ| Five Tech Giants That Weren't Even A Thing When Stoneseed Was Born
1) Created in October 2010 what app was Apple's iPhone app of the year in 2011 and bought by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for $1 billion in April 2012?
2) What first launched on the App Store in the summer of 2011 as Pictaboo, but still with Ghostface Chillah as it's logo?
3) What did Steve Jobs describe as "the best browsing experience you'll ever have" when he launched it in 2010?
4) What workplace app did Stewart Butterfield first start working on in 2012, originally as a web-based multiplayer game?
5) What IT Project Management and Services company was founded in 2009 on the belief that conventional IT Services organisations had become too vendor focused and what clients really needed were strategies built on objective technology decisions delivered by talented people at a fair price?
The answers are at the bottom. As I write this I am raising a glass to the last ten years and another to the next decade. One thing I do know, new business IT Project challenges will continue to evolve and I for one cannot wait to meet them all head on!
1) Instagram 2) Snapchat 3) iPad 4) Slack 5) Stoneseed