Five of the Greatest Achievements in the Past 5 Decades
Dynamic achievements within the past five decades have created a catalyst for change in the way individuals, businesses, and large corporation succeed through project management on a daily basis. These achievements include inventions such as the internet, personal computers, social media and the cell phone. Each invention allows companies to expand, develop and collaborate projects with others in ways as never seen before by past generations.
The invention of the internet allows people from diverse cultures to share knowledge about culture, business, or governmental entities around the world. Alrawi (2007) supports that the internet is valued by a significant minority of the population as an information source. Project managers use the internet as an information tool, and as an idea sharing tool. Therefore, project managers may utilize the internet when researching company information or for further study surrounding the general logistics surrounding the project initiative.
Personal computers, especially laptops have created a high level of independence and mobility for the project manager. Forsyth (1992) argues that the introduction of the personal computer in the mid-1980's has added a new dimension to the project manager's ability to manage project data efficiently. The project team can pass information simultaneously while discussing important project matters. The personal computer allows the project manager to take vital information, reports and resources with him everywhere he goes. The project team can also share live presentations and give updates by bringing their personal laptops to all meetings. Therefore, project managers are no longer limited to exchange information after meetings and away from other team members, the collaboration process, and information sharing now initiates in the live meeting.
Social media supports the sociocultural dimension of project management. Social media is a dynamic platform for project managers in the marketing field because they now have direct access to their target market. Larson & Gray (2014, p.18) argues that the socio-cultural dimension of project management aims "to build cooperative social networks among a divergent set of allies with different standards, commitments, and perspectives." Social media creates a dynamic platform which allows people to seamlessly share parts of their life activities and personal likes with friends and contacts. Through social media, marketing project managers can leverage vital information about the customer directly, create specific ads to target the client, and build relationships with their clients and stakeholders. Marketing project managers can also use social media to share practical information about projects and products, and also communicate dates when new products are released. Therefore, project managers can leverage social media to develop a relationship with the team, vendors, companies, and customers, and stakeholders for all stages of the project lifecycle.
With the invention of the email, project managers can now communicate with team members directly and in writing. Ziek & Anderson (2015) argue that the more project managers use integrated information tools such as the email, the more successful the project will be. Email has set a new precedent for legalities of transmitting messages over the internet. Once deemed as a tool for the internal use of the company only, email is now used globally to communicate with businesses and customers to provide timely communication and resolve conflict through information transmission. Emails allow project managers to communicate with other stakeholders regardless of time and location. Therefore, the project manager or project team can use emails from stakeholders, team members, and vendors as legally binding communications for official, timely updates about the status of projects.
Cell phones are undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in the past five decades. Cell phones today have smartphone capabilities and serve as a holding medium for all of the other inventions listed above. Smartphones come with internet capability allowing the project manager to access information anywhere and at any time. Smartphones enable users to download email accounts so project managers can communicate feedback and ask questions with the project team as they are on the go. Some smartphones act as personal computers, having presentation capabilities directly from the phone using PowerPoint and other presentation platforms. Also, the smartphone seamlessly incorporates social media so that project managers can receive information from direct stakeholders regarding specific opinions about project and product development while creating a relationship with the customer. Therefore, the smartphone is now a vital asset to any project manager.
As societies continue to expand and promote global programs, achievements such as the internet, personal computers, email, social media, and cell phone will continue to play impactful roles in the way communication and advancement unfolds. These innovations collectively allow different parties to collaborate, advise, inform, and instruct through knowledge sharing. These inventions also allow project managers to have more control when disseminating policies, procedures, and resolutions for implementation to ensure organizational success. The Bible supports the idea of knowledge sharing as Proverbs 15: 22 (NLT) states "Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. Therefore, inventions such as the internet, the personal computer, social media, email, and the cell phone advance the timely distribution of knowledge sharing globally to prevent, promote, and collaborate people and processes without the constraint of location and time.