Faster is the New Fast: The Demand Grows for Project Workforce Management

Our friend, futurist Jim Carroll, has published a new book: Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast. This book is chock-full of insights and observations, and skillfully organized into four sections: Velocity, Agility, Innovation, and Activity.

The section on Agility is particularly of interest to me, because it discusses skills: both the skills companies need to deploy to make work happen, and the skills people need to cultivate so that they can get their job done effectively.

A fascinating fact that Jim shared in his talk at our User Conference: 65% of today’s pre-school children will work in jobs and careers that do not yet exist. That means that the types of work we do in the next 20 years (which isn’t that long!) will change dramatically, and rapidly. Consider, already that for myself and my colleagues (all software guys) in my age bracket (early forties), the word "software" was unknown to us, up to early days of high school.

For individuals, they have to be open both to amazing specialization (I recommend the book’s chapter about "Manure Management" for an example), and constant change.

For companies, the pressure to be agile will be felt in the greater competition and faster times to market for each new innovation. And, the skills needed to develop more sophisticated products and services, and deliver them faster, will become more specialized. As we have discussed here before, companies have to be ready to outsource, attract the right skills, and practice project workforce management: the management of skilled project teams.

In the not-so-distant future that Jim Carroll describes, project workforce management is imperative. He writes:

In an era such as this, firms are faced with a future that requires a new form of human capital agility: the ability to deploy the right skills at the right time for the right purpose, regardless of where the skill might be required, or where the skill is sourced. At the same time, organizations are faced with an increasingly global talent base, a reality that demands new forms of collaboration, insightful project management, and deep insight into the effective utilization of those skills. The way to the future is clear: it’s no longer about managing time: it’s about successful skills deployment.

This book will inspire you to transform your company–and yourself–to be ready for the ever-accelerating rate of change in the flat world.

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