My last few posts have been about technology and value, technology and burnout and even a technology vortex. What I would like to discuss now is how, or even if, all this great technology affects project management.

The primary question is, how do we make money? Is it with the technology or is it by properly managing our project budgets? I hope your answer is managing budgets. Project management is the quintessential key to the financial success of a project. You can use all the latest technology on the market, but if you don’t manage that technology properly, your project will probably fail. So what are some ways we can make the new technology successful through project management?

  • Have a well-written scope. Make sure you and your client are clear about the expectations of the project. A well-written scope could mean anything from accuracies to the type of deliverables to even the technology you are going to use.
  • Know your productivity. If you don’t know how long something will take you, how can you put a fee upon it? If you have just acquired newer technology that you want to use on a project, you better test it to understand how long it will take you to use. Price out the project appropriately.
  • Have a solid contract. Whether a letter or a more formal document stating terms and conditions, a contract is the foundation to any project and your relationship with the client. If possible, always have the client/owner sign YOUR terms and conditions; try to avoid signing his. If you don’t have your own terms and conditions, it will be worth developing your own.
  • Have a solid quality assurance/quality control process. Without evaluation, how do you know what you are providing is correct? Spend the time to review everything. A lack of quality assurance could jeopardize future business.

Where then does technology fit in project management? Technology is merely a tool to get you to the end of the project. Project management is how you make money with the tool. Many firms are trying to make money with technology and not with project management. This mismanagement will result in failure!

As the vice president of the United States Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD), we are striving to help members address each issue I discussed in this article. We are developing scope of work, standards of practice and contract documents as well as peer review and peer discussion areas. If you’re new (or old) to the industry and are looking for guidance in any of these areas, the USIBD may be able to help.