Earlier this year a report called “Megatrends 2015: Making Sense of a World in Motion” was released by Ernst and Young. The report defined megatrends as “Large, transformative global forces that impact everyone on the planet” (Ernst & Young, 2015, page 2). This report identified the top six trends, observations, current and future state predictions, which are:
- Digital Future
- Entrepreneurship Rising
- Global Marketplace
- Urban World
- Resourceful Planet
- Health Reimagined
Each megatrends stands on its own but is fully interactive with the other trends. The most impactful megatrend is Digital Future. The future is bright, challenging and will disrupt all industries. Digital Future is defined in the executive summary of the report below:
Fueled by the convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data and growing demand for anytime anywhere access to information, technology. Enormous opportunities exist for enterprises to take advantage of connected devices enabled by the “Internet of Things” (IOT) to capture vast amounts of information, enter new markets, transform existing products and introduce new business and delivery models. However, the evolution of the digital enterprise also presents significant challenges, including new competition, changing customer engagement and business models, unpresented transparency, privacy concerns and cybersecurity threats.
In 1988, a very popular book called “Megatrends Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives” was written by John Naisbitt. The basic premise of the book is that one must understand the present in order to predict the future, with a principal focus on how an information society will be different from the prior industrial one.
Some of Naisbitt’s Megatrends include:
- Becoming an information society after having been an industrial one
- From technology being forced into use, to technology being pulled into use where it is appealing to people
- From a predominantly national economy to one in the global marketplace
- From short term to long term perspectives
- From centralization to decentralization
- From getting help through institutions like government to self-help
- From representative to participative democracy
- From hierarchies to networking
- From a northeastern bias to a southwestern one
- From seeing things as “either/or” to having more choices.
Today, leadership and organizational growth into new markets are united; reflecting back to understand where you have been, where you are and where you want to go.
Fast forward to the year 2015 and over the years some organizational leaders have written their own predictions and believe that John Naisbitt was right on few of his own predictions. It’s always fun, if not always fruitful, to predict the future.
Trends and Predictions 2016
With the end of the year came plenty of trend reports and predictions published about the future of our global economy.
LinkedIn has been a hotbed of predictions daily, including the Big Ideas 2016 article by Amy Chen and Diversity article by Josh Bersin. Gig economy, female entrepreneurship, diversity and virtual reality are a few global predictions; expect more Influencer updates as each and every industry is disrupted with not just trends or predictions but economic drivers for our digital future.
Social media influencers have also gathered the top marketing influencers, in a #69Predictions’ article by Bryan Kramer. My favorite prediction on #69Predictions social media and content marketing article is from @MarkSBabbitt whose prediction states:
In 2016, we’ll finally accept that social media is a digital introduction from one human to another. It won’t be a brand talking at us. There will be a brand champion – a person – working with us to solve problems and meet challenges. “More Social. Less Media.” My prediction: “collaboration” will overtake “authentic” and “transparent” as the top buzzword of 2016 – and deservedly so.
Digital Future and Project Management
So what do these digital future trends and predictions mean for project managers, the practice of project management and our community? Earlier this year, Kirsten E. Lora gave a presentation at the PMI 2015 Global Congress called “Trend Watch – How MegaTrends and Changing Business Models Are Transforming Project Management.”
Kirsten E. Lora, PMP, shared her insights on the six megatrends, digital future disruptors, new roles for project managers, changing business models and digital future impacts. She related to the audience that “technology had gone through the biggest transformation in the last decade.”
As an information technology project manager, I related to disruption as the new normal. My role in cloud, social media, mobile and big data was to be a change agent and collaborative partner with our project sponsors, stakeholders, project teams and clients to help our customers move their organizations into the 21st century.
Let’s look at the digital future highlights from Kirsten E. Lora’s abstract and presentation:
Megatrends are helping to propel our global economy forward and creating new ways in which businesses and their products engage with consumers. Project Managers need to lean in, embrace these trends and choose the right approach for project success.
Whenever a new technology is introduced into society, there must be a counterbalancing human response – that is, high touch – or the technology is rejected… We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human nature. —John Naisbitt
What Our Community Has to Say About Digital Project Management (DPM)
The Digital Community is alive and well, with twitter chats, blogs and the third year of the Digital PM Summit. We have a global project management community on twitter (#PMOT) that has embraced conversations on Digital Project Management this past year.
Over the last year, two twitter chats were held on #PMChat and were storified by Robert Kelly of Kelly Project Solutions. These chats have been curated as stories using as applications called Storify. The first chat introduced the digital industry and the second chat discussed detailed what is digital project management (PM) and how it differs from traditional PM. Digital is the future;are you ready to embrace it?
The digital future is here today with ProjectManager.com, robust software that can help project leaders plan, monitor and report on their work anywhere there’s an internet connection. It also allows for easy collaboration and offers graphic dashboards to see at-a-glance where you are in your project. Try it out free with this 30-day trial.