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Project Management 4.0: Innovation on the fly

Lars-Thorsten Sudmann
Feb 12, 2020 6:15:00 PM

Project Management 4.0: Innovation on the fly

Project work plays an increasingly important role in the capacity for innovation of companies. As the number of tasks, collaborators and overlapping responsibilities grow, companies feel increasingly constrained. Software solutions are designed to curb the increasing complexity of project work.

  • Project work is increasing in importance in companies. According to the latest study on project management, it comprises a third of the German economy.
  • Project management is faced with several challenges. With the growing number of project collaborators, areas of responsibility and interfaces the control of projects is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • Therefore, project management tools are becoming increasingly important.  In future, they will not only facilitate interface management but also allow for collaborative work and team communication.

"If you do not know how to continue, then create a workshop!" – This is an old and derisive joke about public servants. Yet, every generation in the workforce can smirk about it. This joke represents the accusation that bureaucracies are overwhelmed when faced with difficult decisions or when they need to adjust to complex processes. The joke assumes that by creating committees, officials procrastinate and making difficult choices without arriving at meaningful solutions. Often, the joke is also told about large companies. Interestingly, the definition of a committee closely resembles that of modern project management.

Different subject experts come together to achieve a common goal, requiring the development of a unique approach. The key challenge here is "complexity". Modern project management is even more evident in this definition. DIN 69901, a German industrial standard, defines a project as an ambition that "is essentially characterised by the uniqueness of the conditions in their entirety, including target, temporal, financial, human and other limitations". Therefore, measurable goals and results are crucial for the project’s activities.

What was once a joke about bureaucrats, is now a serious business form which helps to secure competitiveness and to promote innovation. In a 2015 study, the German Association for Project Management (GPM) determined that project work makes up a third of the German economy. In 2013, it accounted for 34.7 per cent of total work hours. Hence, GMP are optimistic about the prospects of project work in companies.

Which challenges does project management face? The more project work spreads within a business, the more the cost of project management grows. According to a study conducted by Techconsult, a market research company, the number of project collaborators, tasks and interfaces increases within project work. In the study, subjects said that the management of these interfaces and work areas is both a social and a technical problem. Regarding prospects, the authors wrote that "in the course of future challenges, the demands on project management tools will change. Integrated collaborative and flexible solutions focusing on team communication, task management and shared document management to support those in charge will gain importance.”


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