Advanced technologies in robotic process automation (RPA) such as AI, machine learning, cognitive computing and pattern matching have been transforming how we manage projects.
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Whether you are a program manager responsible for the portfolio of initiatives in healthcare or a technical project manager overseeing the redeployment of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you need to understand key elements of advanced technologies such as machine learning and AI so you can spend less time on planning and more time on execution.
As a project manager who has led project management offices for Fortune 500 organizations for over 12 years, I’ve experienced firsthand the various iterations of this trade transformation. Having credentials such as PMP, ACP and Six Sigma is a proven way to demonstrate your commitment to project management as a profession, but I am also a strong believer that adapting and staying ahead of the latest trends in technology will help you continue to deliver value as a project manager.
Here, I’ll provide a series of recommendations on best practices and skills required to effectively apply and use advanced technologies for better project delivery. Automation or other advanced technologies such as AI will not replace project management as a practice, but project managers need to evolve and continuously develop their technical skills in order to use these technologies in conjunction with the interpersonal elements of managing projects.
Indeed, there are plenty of areas of the project management or software development life cycle (SDLC) that could be automated, but as we revisit the first proponent of the Agile Manifesto, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”
Critical skills for project managers in advanced technologies
Project managers should continuously enhance their technical expertise and skill set. Even if you’re a nontechnical PM who is working with the business side of the project, you would still benefit greatly from being able to have a meaningful conversation with the development team. RPA technologies such as Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and UiPath can provide solid frameworks to get introduced to key principles.
Understanding the key principles in the application or system design methodologies can help you manage your projects more efficiently. For instance, when analyzing the proposed solutions for a given design architecture, you can evaluate the overall durations and resources required for a given set of tasks and provide recommendations on estimated timelines and resource capacity.
Some high-level examples of system design methodologies that can provide a framework for further research include object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD) — a method or a framework for designing a business process or a system through visual modeling and one of the popular techniques that the project managers should be familiar with when advancing their skills in RPA — domain-driven design (DDD) and layered application development with layers such as application/presentation, data, services and business.
There are various courses and certifications that may provide for additional knowledge as well as credibility in RPA. […]