The new way of working in projects
A contribution to our current theme ‘Future Project Environments‘ by Ronald Hanisch.
Why do corporations like Microsoft, Google, Credit Suisse, etc. invest so much money in new ‘coming from another planet or the distant future’ offices, compared to conventional offices?
There can be more than one answer:
- Raising attractiveness for high potentials
- Design and offer different types of work environment to suit knowledge workers
- Provide an environment that supports life cycles that are ever shortening
Ad 1.: At times when fewer young people will come on to the labour market, the number of young high potentials is dropping. Young potentials need to be attracted and wooed. Great companies need great people.
Ad 2.: Different project phases need a different environment. The variety of needs for different kinds of space is high between collaboration, close networking and tremendous concentration.
Ad 3.: The different areas of life, first place (home), second place (office) and third place (bar, coffee shop, beach etc.) intertwine with each other. New technology enables us to work in any place at any time.
Projects today face new challenges. The new working environment will not enable people closing projects faster, but help with a more pleasant working atmosphere.
How can the human factor stay as a key to success, when current trends continue with all kinds of new technology and advanced technical tools?
Well, we still need someone who operates all these appliances and tools. All developments were started by humans and are terminated by them. Project success is dependent from the various types of project teams.
The last decades have been marked by individualism. Collaboration is the preferred way of working today. Temporary teams work more effective and provide more safety within the team. However, when difficulties with the client arise the teams stay together and leave as a team, without any griping.
This means for companies that they need to
a.) offer attractive projects to their teams and
b.) adapt a proper working environment (see above).
In the future companies will have to cope with a lot of new challenges. In a couple of years companies will need to fulfill expectations and requirements from up to five generations. These generations will be different regarding to communication, leadership, attitude, technical know-how and many more aspects.
The different approaches and perspectives can be brought together in appropriate meeting and work space. They can be virtual, or much better at the coffee machine.
About the author:
Ronald Hanisch, MBA, MAS, zSPM is lecturer, project management expert and author of best selling “Das Ende des Projektmanagements”