Why PMs Must Localize Disruption Management

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Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy’s new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

If you ask Google a generic question like “What are the biggest disruptive technologies in 2018?” you’ll get no shortage of “top X” lists that proudly announce the definitive disruptors for your consumption. The problem is, they don’t consider who those technologies are disruptors for.

Sure, autonomous vehicles may be a disruptive technology, but if you are working for a medical software developer, you can probably ignore it. On the other hand, if you work for a car or car parts manufacturer, or if you develop software for vehicle control systems, then autonomous vehicles may well be the focus of everything you do at work this year. And that’s the problem with disruptive technologies—there are so many of them, and they each have so many variables, that you have to look at the issue through a very personal lens.

It’s completely understandable that project managers should seek to understand disruptive technologies. PMs know from recent experience that technological innovation can have a big impact on not just the types of project they manage, but also on how they manage those projects. There isn’t a single project manager in any company, in any industry, in any geographical region who can ignore disruptive technologies because he or she will be impacted by them this year, next year and for many years to come.

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