Using Internet of Things in Project Management

27 October 2017

As a concept, IoT, or Internet of Things, is still far away from wide-scale consumer use yet it presents some amazing opportunities for consumers and businesses. For consumers, it means that just about everything in their home is connected to their phone, which acts as the remote control to all the house’s amenities and appliances.

Wake up, the kettle switches on for you, central heating will turn on for you, the TV or radio starts up without having to interact with any of them. Your car figures out a route to your workplace by interpreting weather and traffic data for you. When it comes, IoT will make our lives a lot more convenient. But what about its potential application to businesses?

Again, IoT is still far off: the required change to the IPv6 Protocol has been slow and security issues have always been a concern, as one hacker could potentially wreak havoc by breaking into a single smartphone. But for businesses, it’s only a matter of time. Project management in particular is an area of business that can benefit greatly from IoT. In this case, IoT is less about convenience for the consumer and more about streamlining the management process.

Consumers are always demanding more from the products we build, and this means churning out quality products faster. In our current method of human-operated systems, mistakes are all too common. Inventory management, as an example, can be bungled by a worker who isn’t paying attention to all the details, or a simple typo resulting in a much higher or lower amount of inventory than needed. An IoT system would avoid this by simply taking the data it has, spread out throughout the company in databases that it can access and ordering exactly what’s needed. Automation is the biggest drive for IoT, especially in manufacturing.

As for project management, IoT, when used correctly, can make the process of starting and completing a project much easier by reducing the mistakes that humans commonly make. Lack of communication between departments and workers can slow down development considerably, like two workers handling an error when one would suffice, or a large change by one department completely breaks the product, requiring changes to be reverted.

If IoT is implemented, everyone knows what everyone else is doing by checking whatever software they use to coordinate tasks. As a result, a too-many-cooks situation is avoided and no big changes go unannounced, allowing for more development time. IoT can be used to maintain your project by sending reminders to workers, who may forget or defer the task to someone else otherwise.

When you use IoT correctly, you will end up with a streamlined and automated project management system that can pump out a prototype product to the shelves in record time. At the Change Consultancy, we’re excited about taking disruptive technology and new methods to reinvigorate companies and get them running at maximum efficiency in an age where change is fast and confusing.