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Protect Your Project Management Career in the Digital Age

written by: John P. Reiling • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 6/25/2016

The pace of technology change is not only fast, but it has profound impacts on industry structure, company strategy and projects. However, there is one thing that you, as a project management pro, can do to ensure you are not caught unaware and unprepared over time.

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    The Importance of Perspective

    Protect Your Project Management Career in the Digital Age In this series, I talked about what digital is and how, even in the face of change, the core of project management has remained quite consistent. I also wrote about how you need to be a master of what is at the core of project management and how you need to be expert and judicious, not dogmatic, about how you apply it.

    There is one more thing you need and that is perspective. It is sometimes known as context. Some may even call it wisdom.

    It is the ability to see the forest and not just the trees. It is the ability to see what’s going on when most others cannot. Moreover, it’s one of the keys to leadership. It gives you a calm demeanor when all around you are panicking. It gives you the ability to see beyond present circumstances and have a vision for how to shape what can be.

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    Bolster Your Perspective with Strategic Thinking

    The ability to think strategically puts you well ahead of the game. It enables you to anticipate problems, see opportunities and set a logical way ahead. It also enables you to monitor things in a whole new way from just monitoring a plan.

    I will not go into depth on strategy, but will provide just a little bit of framework for strategic thinking. I don’t know of a better primer on strategy than Michael Porter’s Five Forces of Strategy, summarized as follows:

    • Industry Rivalry - How do the various industry competitors look, and what is the nature of their competition with each other?
    • How much bargaining power do suppliers have in the industry?
    • How much bargaining power do buyers have in the industry?
    • How much threat is there from new competitive entrants to the industry?
    • Is there much threat of substitute products or services in this industry?

    Strategic thinking gets you beyond strictly “project thinking," and yet it is closely related. See Is Strategic Value the Fourth Leg on the Project Stool? in the References section for some additional ideas relating strategy and project management.

    Try to think beyond your project and add a strategic perspective to your project, and I assure you that it will be enlightening.

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    The Key Thinking You Need to Stay Ahead of the Curve

    There is no doubt; the pace of technology change in a digital age is fast. You certainly need to keep up. However, while the basics core skills of project management remain unchanged, developing a strategic perspective by mastering some basic strategic thinking skills is the one thing that can help to keep you ahead of the curve and in a position to lead the way.

Digital Project Management Comprehensive Overview

This is a four-part series addressing digital project management. Learn what digital is, how it pertains to PM, how to go beyond digital and how to protect your career in the digital age.
  1. Digital Project Management: What Is Digital?
  2. Digital Project Management Defined
  3. Getting Beyond Digital in Project Management
  4. Protect Your Project Management Career in the Digital Age

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