How Blockchain Technology Can Change Project Management by Aimee LawrenceJoin 5K Subscribers T T T T August 12, 2019April 7, 2020 Currently, project management software drives most of projects. This has been the most useful method for many years, though recently, blockchain technology has developed to the point of revolutionizing the efficiency of this process. Promising research highly suggests that blockchain technology has a lot of potential in project management. Characteristics of Blockchain Technology Amazingly, the blockchain market is predicted to value 2.3 billion dollars by 2021 (according to ProProfs Project). This is because its use has grown beyond cryptocurrency trading (such as bitcoin and ethereum) into other areas such as project management. However it is being used, its character remains the same: transparent, decentralized, affordable and safe. In the same way that blockchain is used to register currency transactions, it can be implemented in registering other things. These include information sharing, task completion and sending reports. These are just some examples of how blockchain is becoming more important in project management. Since blockchain is decentralized, teams that use it to register activities related to projects will be working on a platform that is transparent to everyone, allowing easier collaboration and monitoring. Team members gain a higher sense of accountability and projects are completed more efficiently. The idea behind blockchain is that the transaction type doesn’t matter, allowing its use in wider task allotment and fund organization, as well as cryptocurrency trading. Implementation within sales and marketing teams will mean less managerial intervention within project management and more innovative team leadership, since all team members will have enhanced collaboration. Experts at the Future Thinking collaboration recognize blockchain technology as providing a method of recording and moving data that is “transparent, safe, auditable and resistant to outages.” Cloud Storage The type of cloud storage that can be gained through blockchain technology minimizes the possibilities of human errors, hacking and data loss. All data transfer is documented and digitized in such a way that allows all team members of projects to see and monitor. Blockchain technology allows more information to be stored as well as just data transfer, such as time taken to complete tasks. Private and Public Keys Two key terms within blockchain technology are private key and public key. Private keys are for creating the digital signature for transactions, which then leads on to public keys which are mathematical representations of the private key. This public key is visible to everyone on the blockchain. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize managerial roles, as tasks can now be allotted through the use of private keys, while public keys can be used to track where data is sent to and from. The major benefit of blockchain technology here is that it works in real-time, producing fast turn-around and more efficient projects. HBR reported that one in every six projects that were not using blockchain technology overran their intended schedules by 70%. Due to its ability to increase accountability, efficiency and innovation within teams, blockchain is able to incur very significant cost reductions in projects. On the other hand, projects that invest more energy into effective monitoring via blockchain technology are able to have higher rates of success in terms of costs, scheduling, and quality of outcomes and so on. Without a centralized governing agency, blockchain remains very much a public tool for the use of any project. This does not mean security is compromised, as all data is verified by thousands of devices before they are added to the technology. This ensures the safety of sensitive information. Measuring Project Status Public information can be used to measure the status of projects at a specific point in their schedule. Public project status records are very easy to generalize after correcting for factors such as baseline performance. This takes away the hassle of generating confidential project status records. Smart Contracts “Smart contract” is a term that was first coined in 1997 by computer scientist and cryptographer Nick Szabo. He used it to distinguish two different types of contract. The one people are generally used to be one that requires human intervention. Smart contracts are digitized and automatic renditions of the traditional ones. They allow a fairer distribution of labour and payment. Smart contracts function without the need for human intervention. They use programmed logic to process and store data, reducing the possibility of human errors with data input. Smart contracts are different to regular ones because they are digitally signed. When the terms in the contract are fulfilled, it executes itself. Useful ways to implement smart contracts in your project management include: Registering and approving status reports: when all the agreed objectives are ticked off, the report will automatically submit itself. Checking project milestones: you can measure team members work with performance indicators, or milestones. This will allow a better way to monitor who should be given bonuses and/or promotions. Automatic payments to subcontractors on basis of terms and conditions: once agreed work is completed and submitted, a smart contract can be set up in a way that releases payment automatically. Internal reward systems: because information about how long team members take to complete tasks is documented with blockchain technology, smart contracts can be set up in such a way that dispenses a form of currency to members who work faster, or turn in project milestones on time, for example. These uses lead innovators in blockchain research to wonder if the technology will see its first uses in project management to concern paying sub-contractors with digital forms of money. On the other hand, there is a vast array of possible uses, so the future of project management appears very bright. Project Management Information System (PMIS) PMIS allows blockchain technology to be used with complete ease. Users within project teams do not actually have to understand the technology to use it. All members within teams find themselves in the same boat. This takes away the problem with hierarchical and bureaucratic systems in data assessment and managerial meetings. 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