The Internet of Things (IoT) has already begun to alter the business landscape. And, as 2017 gets further underway, it doesn’t look like this trend is changing anytime soon. However, many aren’t prepared how IoT is going to change project management.
Previously, project management in IT focused on the development of new solutions, operating outside of the end user’s experience. But IoT isn’t going to work within the preconceived structures with which project managers are most familiar.
To help demonstrate how IoT is changing the day-to-day tasks of project managers, here are some key points to consider.
IoT Requires Integration
New IoT solutions are designed to integrate with critical business systems, and that means they can’t be developed or implemented in a bubble. Instead of avoiding direct interactions with end users until the project is near completion, project managers will need to welcome these individuals much earlier in the process.
For example, a device designed to provide real-time metrics within a manufacturing facility can’t be properly tested and adjusted without actually adding it to the production line. That means professionals working on the floor and those in IT will need to join forces quickly, and be prepared to work together to get the best results.
Timelines Will Change
IoT projects require a different approach beyond implementation that many traditional project management approaches. While support and failover are concerns in many IT-oriented projects, this tail end will take longer for IoT than previous projects. Again, these are issues that can’t be tested without affecting the production environment, and that means having to adjust timelines to complete project objectives with minimal impact to business operations.
And the testing itself will require greater involvement from employees outside of the traditional IT department. Coordinating these efforts can also add time to your project, as not every person you will need is as focused on the project as you will be.
Issues with Skill Gaps
Many companies find themselves shorthanded when it comes to IoT experience amongst its ranks. That leads some to bring in outside consultants to help develop or implement the tech, and that can leave current employees feeling slighted.
While using an outside expert makes sense in the short-term, project managers will need to manage the fallout as current employees attempt to get up to speed. And, if management doesn’t provide enough support for internal training or additional hiring, this creates a morale issue that will fester directly in the face of the project manager.
If the outside IoT specialists are involved in internal team training, make sure you adjust the project timeline accordingly. It is better to give internal employees an opportunity to meet the challenge than to leave them in the dust.
By ensuring the right IoT expert provides training, or through the addition of a new IT team member with IoT experience, skill gaps can be addressed more quickly. If you need an IoT specialist to help keep your project timeline on target, ITStaff has the hiring experience you need to find a candidate quickly. Contact us to speak with our recruitment specialists today, and see how our expertise can help you land the expertise you need.