The use of technology in project management is nothing new, but it has changed. It started with the wall calendar, now we have Google calendar. Deadlines for projects were all hard copy, and group meetings and collaborations occurred in person. All business was done in person or over the phone. Then came the internet, email and social media technologies. Now some have the option of working remotely, from home or from vacation spots.
I use technology from home for our family business, although I feel the need to make personal visits to find out first-hand what is happening in real time and to be able to take pictures. Sometimes, I do not get the information I need unless I make a personal visit. We seem to get the most attention and hits from this photographic eye candy. It is easier for me to take photos and post them than to have someone else do it. I know what I want and what need and am fairly good with the aesthetics of taking photos. Asking someone else do it when they do not have time to do it puts extra stress on them during a usually busy day.
I really like technology and enjoy working from home. I do not like tech tracking, GPS, or location services. I feel that sometimes these tools can be misused and for personal safety reasons, I sometimes prefer to turn off location services on my tech devices. I really do not want technology to become a substitute for personal contact. It is already annoying to go out to dinner or socialize with family and find that everyone is on their devices and people have forgotten the art of conversation. Oh the price of progress. At least we have not resorted to contact-free sex as depicted in the 1993 movie, Demolition man…yet.
Padmasree Warrior, who works for Cisco as their chief technology officer points out that, “A fundamental requirement for collaboration is communication. Technology can aid this by providing platforms to disclose what people are working on and thinking about (Schaffner, 2010, January 20). Lack of communication is what causes misunderstandings, disagreements, and final projects that do not fulfill the needs of the client. The use of technology has changed and facilitated an increase in communications in and between organizations as well as subcontracted individuals and companies.
“Google docs” has been widely used by students collaborating on reports and presentations for college classes. This makes it easier for everyone in the group to contribute without having to meet. For many college students with busy schedules, getting the whole group together for group projects can sometimes be impossible.
Mike Isaac, of the New York Times, wrote an article discussing “Facebook@Work” purported to be the next collaboration tool for business, which “will allow users to collaborate on projects through group chats and document collaboration with co-workers…”(2014, November 17). In 2014, the 7th International Conference on Collaboration and Technology took place in Santiago, Chile. The Conference served as a “showcase” for new and emerging tech and its uses for improving collaboration (http://www.collabtech.org/).
Collaboration is something college students do. The new small business and social media enterprise has led to the increase in working, blogging and advertising from home. Personally, this saves me a lot of time. I look forward to the day we do not actually have to go to class to listen to the lecture or to learn. That would be great for me, a very busy person, but it requires one to keep on top of the schedule and be a self-starter.
What does this mean for the future? It could lead to project collaboration occurring from points across the globe, from home, from vacation and getting experts in different aspects of a project together can sometimes be problematic. Working on things remotely could solve a lot of logistical problems. Realistically a project could be worked on around the clock in different stages. This would save travel time and costs. Realistically it could save organizations money on the purchase of real estate. The office building as we know it could become obsolete. Now that would be interesting.
Isaac, M. (2014, November 17). Facebook testing collaboration tools for businesses. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/facebook-prepares-a-business-product/
Schaffner, M. (2010, Jan, 20). How technology enhances collaboration. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/19/collaboration-cisco-software-technology-cio-network-schaffner.html