Are You an “Intelligent” Project Manager? (Part II)

In Part I of Are You an “Intelligent” Project Manager? we wrote about new levels of Business Intelligence surrounding data processing projects that are driving efficiency, competition and revenue. Today, we want to apply that Business Intelligence to the art of continual improvement— or, design thinking

Tom Kelley, General Manager at IDEO, describes five core practices for design thinking in his talk, “Young at Heart: How to be an Innovator for Life.”  Those five core practices are:

  • Think like a traveler 
  • Treat Life as An Experiment 
  • Nurture an Attitude of Wisdom 
  • Use Your Whole Brain 
  • Do What you Love 

For those who don’t have an hour to listen to a podcast (although we recommend taking some time to listen), it boils down to observe and adapt with a goal in mind.  

Traditionally, data processing is a very event-driven activity, without a lot of time for planning and even less for learning lessons or experimentation.  

Automation changes that. It allows teams to think through the implications of every decision, because even small improvements can drive real value at scale. It becomes worthwhile for experts to put real effort into planning and anticipating—the playbook isn’t gathering dust on a shelf. It’s standardized and enforced through automation and reporting. 

Business Intelligence also changes this, by centralizing observations across hundreds of projects. The ability to observe the impact of changes made upstream (with complete confidence that everything else was done exactly the same way—or, the direct comparison between two or more different approaches entirely) empowers deliberate incremental testing and discovery. 

But, the most important thing is to have a goal in mind.  That comes from our clients, and having long-term relationships built on trust and feedback. 

So are you the “Intelligent” Project Manager analyzing the new data available, implementing design thinking, and utilizing Business Intelligence to bridge the relationship with clients?

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