Report by Blockchain Research Institute – May 20, 2019

Blockchain and The Project Management Office

A Distributed Platform for Strategy Delivery and Organizational Transformation

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Project Management is seemingly well-suited for blockchain given that the technology’s core characteristics such as transparency and auditability support speed, accuracy, and confidence. However, research shows that while most executives understand the potential of blockchain to inform strategy and minimize decision-making biases of the boardroom and C-suite, not many have made significant progress.

This research delves into the current state of project management and how blockchain technology is beginning to transform it. Blockchain Research Institute in collaboration with Brightline Initiative identified five key areas where blockchain-based platforms and applications can support the efforts of the project management office, including creating and managing digital records, exchanging digital assets, verifying and reinforcing acceptable performance, building reputation systems, and executing smart contracts. It presents case studies of enterprises that are currently deploying blockchain to manage clinical trials, construction projects, and the provenance and custody of assets in collaborations with customers and suppliers.

Idea in brief

  • Project management offices (PMOs) are always looking for better ways to achieve strategic objectives and support organizational change through project work. Regardless of the industry sector, however, projects and programs regularly falter or fail outright, and about ten cents of every dollar are wasted because of poor project performance.

  • The rise of disruptive technologies and the shift to highly networked models of value creation are among the forces driving a growing proportion of PMOs to invest in the skills and capabilities required to help their organizations bridge the costly gap between strategy and value delivery.

  • Blockchain technology holds promise for improving many functions of the PMO. Blockchain’s core characteristics, including transparency and auditability, create an environment of trust for project teams, senior management, and stakeholders, where people and institutions can act with speed and confidence.

  • Blockchain can help PMOs and their stakeholders by automating record-keeping, reconciliation, and basic coordination tasks, thereby freeing managers for more challenging and value-adding activities. Blockchain-enabled PMOs can take advantage of automation to hasten their transition from passive entities that manage scope, costs, and schedules to active, adaptive partners who lead and execute strategic initiatives.

  • These are the early days of blockchain applications in project management, which currently center on payments, provenance, and data management, but could apply throughout the project management process. Pointing the way are use cases in pharmaceuticals, construction, and the closely related domain of supply chain management.

  • Early experiments reveal how blockchain could streamline the management of such complex projects as clinical trials, how smart contracts could revolutionize the management of complex development projects, and how PMOs have new tools for managing transparency and instilling trust.

  • The circumstances where PMOs will most benefit from blockchain include those with complex and distributed activities, and those under regulatory compliance or quality certification requirements for rigorous verification and auditing.

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Blockchain and The Project Management Office

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