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Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions Is Missing a Crucial Link in Its Blockchain Prediction

It’s not often that revolutionary solutions come up in the world of project management, so Peter Giffen’s recent blog on blockchain grabbed my attention. Giffen (of claims that blockchain will change project management. This is a bold statement considering that the piece fails to explain how exactly this change will happen. Giffen references a report from the PMI’s Brightline Initiative, consisting of several recognizable names, that also leaves much to be desired.

Giffen quotes Brightline’s, “five key areas where blockchain-based platforms and applications can support the efforts of the PMO.” The areas include:

  • Creating and managing digital records
  • Exchanging digital assets
  • Verifying and reinforcing acceptable performance
  • Building reputation systems
  • Executing smart contacts

With the exception of smart contracts, all of these things are currently being done through email and various collaboration and project management tools. It is unclear how using blockchain would drastically change things. It seems that Giffen’s main argument for Blockchain is its “ability to maintain an immutable record of events…maintaining an unalterable source of truth.” He quoted a digital PR specialist at the MOSIMTEC to explain that a single point of reference could help in construction when scheduling contractors so everyone on the ledger can see if they send their workers too late or too early. This may be the only use case in his post that has some merit, and it does link to the central theme of trust in the Brightline report.

Will blockchain allow project teams to foster trust? Probably not.

Source: at SoftwareReviews, Accessed Nov. 20, 2019

Our Take

While Giffen’s piece makes some interesting points about smart contracts and automatic record keeping, that alone will not change project management. There is also the more important concern of adoption: many PMOs and project teams struggle with getting people to adopt the processes they put in place. People are already apprehensive about providing estimates around resources and project time. An “immutable record of truth” is not going to make it any better. From what our practice sees on a daily basis, blockchain would be a barrier to project management adoption and that’s not really changing much of anything.

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