Monday, October 10, 2011

The changing Role of Technology in Project Communication

The first global delivery model (GDM 1.0) was created a few decades ago to reflect the outsourcing and offshoring of IT services, mostly in India. A global delivery model is typically a method of executing a technology project using a team that is distributed globally.

Now, there are many choices in terms of outsourcing, and technology plays more of a role in project communication. As such, GDM 2.0 is on the horizon. And project managers must reorient themselves to the changed environment of cloud, social and mobile computing.

I would describe GDM 2.0 as "intelligently distributing the project's work, team, leadership and governance across multiple locations and leveraging technology to provide high-speed, high-quality and low-cost solutions to global customers."

A few of the tenets that contribute to providing customer value using a GDM 2.0 are:

  • Reduced cost: Executing projects at low-cost locations spanning multiple countries, cultures and languages
  • Abundant talent: Accessing talent across different locations
  • Follow the sun: Leveraging time-zone differences to maintain continuity in managing projects
  • Quality of service: Using best practices, lessons learned and standards to provide faster, better, cheaper and steadier services
  • Knowledge and collaboration: Implementing robust knowledge-management systems to help build a seamless flow of information across multiple teams, projects and locations
  • Continuous learning: Using ongoing training to prepare project professionals for the market, customers and projects

Here are a few of my thoughts on the future of GDM 2.0:

1. Almost all IT service providers are now building their own private clouds, making the provisioning of IT resources faster and cheaper. In the past, project managers had to wait for weeks or months to get certain IT resources.

2. IT service providers that develop applications using platform as a service (PaaS) and that implement package applications using software as a service (SaaS) now involve cloud providers. Project managers must be aware of the various risks, contractual obligations, security issues and potential legal issues of working in this multi-party environment.

3. IT service providers are building process platforms that leverage cloud infrastructure. That means project managers must learn to work with competitors, as customers might select process platforms from multiple IT service providers.

4. Mobility in project management will be a norm in the GDM 2.0. IT service providers have to mobilize their project management, software engineering and other critical governance processes to improve project performance. These service providers will need to make investments to rebuild their project management tools and applications to work on mobiles or to procure mobile project management applications.

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