The Wow Project (Pm)

In: Business and Management

Submitted By knguyen2004
Words 5815
Pages 24
The Wow Project
In the new economy, all work is project work. And you are your projects! Here’s how to make them all go Wow!
First appeared: FC24, p.116

BY TOM PETERS

I learned about the future of work by living in the projects — the kind of projects you routinely do at a professional-services firm. More years ago than I care to remember, I reported to the offices of McKinsey & Co. in San Francisco for my first day as a professional management consultant. At 9 a.m., I started to work. At 3 p.m. that afternoon, I was on an airplane to Clinton, Iowa to work on a project that involved an investment in a $150 million petrochemical plant, and even if you’d spotted me four letters, I couldn’t have spelled “petrochemical.” But that was life — in the projects. Fast-forward 25 years. All white-collar work is project work. The single salient fact that touches all of our lives is that work is being reinvented. The workplace revolution that transformed the lives of blue-collar workers in the 1970s and 1980s is finally reaching the offices and cubicles of the white-collar workers. For the blue-collar worker, the driving force behind change was factory automation using programmable machine tools. For the office worker, it’s office automation using computer technology: enterprise-resource-planning systems, groupware, intranets, extranets, expert systems, the Web, and e-commerce. After decades of wholesale neglect, companies are finally facing the fact of pathetic white-collar productivity and realizing that they need to organize work in a fundamentally new way. The old ways of working are too slow, too convoluted, too hard to grab hold of — and the value is too hard to capture. At the same time, white-collar workers themselves are catching on: They need to rethink the very nature of work. If they’re going to have work in the future, they must be able to demonstrate clearly,…...

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