In 2020, an increasing number of leaders have expressed this sentiment saying that they see blockchain as a top-five strategic priority, and are increasing their investments in staffing and blockchain technologies.”
With the blockchain industry gaining more traction every year, it is quickly infiltrating many other industries around the world. While the question used to be about how to enter into the world of blockchain, it is now becoming how to bring blockchain into your own career.
This project management guide to blockchain will break down how to apply blockchain to project management and what the future holds for the two together.
Live session with project managers in blockchain was held on . You can watch recording of it . Experts from Amercian Express, 3box and Finra shared their insights on how to enter blockchain space as a project manager.
A report by Allied Marketing Research predicts that blockchain usage in supply chain management will grow 10,000% by 2025. Commercial enterprises are adopting blockchain technology at an exponential rate across a myriad of industry sectors. With this “boom” expected to occur in the next five years, project managers will become crucial positions to lead these companies in their operations.
Project managers are responsible for leading a team to complete a given task from initiation all the way to completion. These responsibilities entail meeting the project’s goals within a certain timeframe and budget by overseeing the project as well as potential clients. Similarly, account executives are in charge of catalyzing the connection between multiple accounts and clients. Both project managers and account executives are tasked with the extremely important role of tightly controlling budgets and deadlines. Therefore, workflow optimization is a key factor in successful management, which blockchain can drastically improve.
Specifically, supply chain management refers to the process of overseeing the transfer of goods and services between the manufacturer and the client. This affects managers across almost every industry and is prioritized by project managers who need to control the flow of supplies needed to complete projects within a certain time and budget. Blockchain’s emphasis on speed, efficiency, and trustworthiness make it a great technology to optimize supply chain management across every sector.
According to by the Project Management Institute, for every $1 billion invested in the U.S., $122 million was wasted due to poor project performance. In this same study it was found that 71% of projects that met their objectives were done in an environment where project management culture was a high priority, while only 52% of projects met their objectives when project management was not prioritized.
Because of this high correlation between project success and effective management, it is clear that new methods must be implemented in order to optimize efficacy. This is where blockchain steps in as the solution to this problem.
Why Blockchain As A Solution?
To refute the blockchain skeptics who claim that the technology is merely a buzzword to attract initial investments, show that across the different sectors using blockchain in supply chain management, only 15% of projects were in the early production phase. The majority of the projects were already in the pilot phase, and a large number of these were even in the development phase.
With current projects seeing beneficial results from adopting blockchain technology, it is time to consider how every project manager could profit from these same methods. Because of the growing use of blockchain in project management, many more companies are looking to hire managers who want to get involved in this upcoming space.
Some of the top companies that have implemented blockchain into their supply chain management include LG, Target, Volkswagen, Pfizer, Walmart, UPS, and FedEx. In 2019, Tal Vinnik, content strategist at Indeed Prime, announced in regards to blockchain roles,
“For the first time, the number of jobs per million exceeded the number of searches per million. There also does appear to be a skills shortage as enterprise projects have matured over the past three years.”
-LinkedIn 2020 Job Report
Transforming the way we think about traditional project management today is crucial to a more successful future of merging it with blockchain implementations. Within supply chain management, blockchain has the power to revolutionize how business transactions are conducted.
How Can Blockchain Optimize Project Management?
Optimization of projects can be achieved through blockchain in various ways: transparency, reliability, security, and speed.
“The blockchain is all about bringing in transparency and efficiency into the existing systems which are running the upstream and downstream supply chains and making them more proactive and predictive.” - Rahul Guhathakurta, The Age of Blockchain: A Collection of Articles
Blockchain fundamentally stands as a single source of truth within projects. It creates a standard of trust and transparency within a team due to its tamper-proof record of data. For instance, in times of disputes about discrepancies either within a team or with clients, blockchain serves as the ultimate evidence of truth. Similarly, analyzing business operations becomes simpler with blockchain because you can see how much time is spent on tasks, how much of the budget has been used, and where there is room for better efficiency between the two.
In this sense, blockchain is more effective than cloud-based management because the risk of losing data is virtually nonexistent compared to the possibility of cloud hosts losing data or having it be tampered with. Additionally, the chain allows for public information that stakeholders can view to monitor a project’s progress, as well as private information for internal use by the project management team. This duality is both an efficient and secure way of optimizing workflow without compromising integrity.
In addition, project management is further enhanced by blockchain through its speed of transactions. From a financial perspective, this keeps the costs of projects lower which is beneficial to the account executives. Account executives can manage business transactions through a real-time, end-to-end view of the database.
Time is further saved because blockchain eliminates the need for third-parties to validate transactions as they are recorded simultaneously across all of the copies of the ledger.
Furthermore, account executives can implement blockchain in order to manage all of their transactions through a single tool, allowing them to keep track of the finances while keeping up with the digital economy. As a result, they are able to analyze the forces behind market trends and beat competition by staying ahead of the curve. The use of sophisticated analytics enables accounts to make mega-transactions, revealing the full potential of digital investments and transactions.
Unmatched Data Security From Blockchain Technology
Not only is blockchain efficient for both project managers and account executives, but recording all of a project’s data on the ledger provides unmatchable security through sophisticated cryptography, preventing potential cyber threats. With global cybercrime damage predicted to reach annually by next year, cybercrime is frequently cited as being the “greatest threat to every company in the world. Security is essential with supply chain management in order to keep projects on track and minimize the threat of failure due to cybersecurity issues.
However, the greatest benefit of workflow optimization for project management is the use of smart contracts. Smart contracts are a series of code within the blockchain that establish rules for both parties of the contract to adhere to. When the conditions of the contract are met, the contract will be automatically executed without human input.
When considering how project management can be improved through transparency, speed, etc., it is helpful to take a look at how specific industries are already benefiting from these adaptations.
According to a report by University College of London, Product tracing and logistics are the most common applications of blockchain technology within the supply chain management industry.
The study analyzed over 100 projects implementing blockchain, and found that nearly half of the projects were in the grocery sector, with the other two main sectors being healthcare and fashion. One of the leading applications was IBM’s Food Trust, whose members include Walmart, Unilever, and Nestle.
IBM has also launched a platform in the healthcare industry- an initiative to tackle COVID-19. The project aims to speed up the supply process, validation checks, and inventory information through real-time tracking in one location. With IBM beginning to establish themselves as leaders in the blockchain industry, both big companies and start-ups are looking to follow suit.
Job Outlook for 2020 and Beyond
of the Forbes’ Global 2,000 are exploring blockchain technology, with all of the top 10 companies partaking in this industry as well (7 of these being banking institutions such as JP Morgan and Bank of America). In a report by AngelList, it was found that cryptocurrency salaries can be 20% higher than the same role in other industries, including both technical and nontechnical positions.
Percent of Jobs Tagged Remote Friendly on AngelList
The rapid growth of blockchain implementation across all sectors has led to a significant shortage in qualified job applicants. There has never been a better time than now to join this booming movement and implement blockchain into project management.
How can I become a blockchain project manager, and what are the necessary skills to do so?
We will likely see project and hiring surges in the top sectors that are implementing blockchain technology, such as grocery, healthcare, and fashion. Additionally, a report by AngelList showed that you are significantly more likely to find a remote job in crypto, an industry that is more relevant today than ever before. Sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed have an abundance of blockchain project manager jobs being offered at both well-established companies as well as exciting start-ups.
Although a highly technical background in blockchain technology is not required, qualifications typically benefit from a general knowledge and interest in blockchain. During this rapid growth of the industry, keeping up with current news and developments is critical. An understanding of supply chain management is also beneficial considering the growth within this sector itself. However, other industries predicted to be affected by blockchain include banking, information security, the internet of things, or insurance.
Based on current blockchain project manager job listings, these are considered to be some of the top qualities that companies search for in this position:
Ability to think analytically and strategically in various situations
Business analyst skills
Strong leadership, communication, and motivational skills
General interest in blockchain technology
Why would It be exciting to work with blockchain in project management?
With a disruptive technology such as blockchain, it has the ability to completely alter the way we view traditional roles. For project management, optimization of processes is key. For instance, the implementation of smart contracts allow managers to spend more time on challenging, exciting tasks of the project rather than mundane logistics. This would increase creativity levels, and even possibly achieve even more than what was originally possible during a project timeframe.
Blockchain also has the power to bring teams together through its transparency and efficiency. Teams operate best through effective communication habits. With blockchain’s ability to store all of the information in one place at one time, it opens up more possibilities for collaboration.
Best of all, you are ahead of the curve by joining the blockchain world. Now is the time to join the space before the impending “boom” when blockchain hits the mainstream world. Developing a general knowledge of blockchain technology will place you beyond other applicants in the field, creating entirely new career possibilities. To be a part of such a new, revolutionized technology is to be a part of history as blockchain edges closer to becoming the Internet 3.0.
What's Next For Project Managment and Blockchain...
With blockchain technology beginning to implement itself into virtually every industry across the globe, there is a high likelihood that a job and project surge is here. Project management is just one career that will greatly benefit from the adoption of blockchain.
Factors such as speed, reliability, transparency, and security all contribute to effective project management. Without proper project management, projects are statistically more likely to fail or be less successful than their counterparts that prioritized project management.
The supply chain sector is just one of many sectors that is starting to implement blockchain into its services. Specifically, the grocery, healthcare, and fashion industries are taking the lead in blockchain development across many companies. With the exponential growth in jobs in blockchain, now is the best time to transition from traditional project management tactics to those involving blockchain technology.