If your industry deals with data or transactions of any kind, blockchain will probably disrupt it. If you've heard the term before, that's because it's the technology that underlies crypto-currencies like bitcoin or ethereum. But what does this term actually mean and how will it affect the future of project management? Let me break it down for you.
According to Bettina Warburg, a well-known expert on this technology and a TED speaker, "blockchain is a way to lower uncertainty about one another so that we can exchange value". Furthermore, the experts at the Future Thinking organization refer to it as a distributed ledger technology that provides a way to record and transfer data that is "transparent, safe, auditable and resistant to outages".
So a simple way to see it is: when you use a project management platform, such as Workep, you start to exchange not only task and projects, but data among your employees. Right now, the cloud technology provides a high degree of security. Even though, it hasn't proven to be flawless.
One of the possibilities that blockchain gives to developers is to create a cloud storage system that will be immutable, untouchable, way more robust, secure and less prone to human errors, hacking attacks and data loss.
The big picture is that blockchain will change the way we manage supply chain because it will result in an increase in safety and security in every record, regarding the different exchanges of value between the individuals involved in the project. The transactions will be documented in a permanent decentralized record and the system will allow the different participants to monitor all the factors securely and transparently.
Data related to how much time your employees are taking to complete their tasks will be part of this immutable record. And data such as document sharing will be safer.
According to José María De Los Santos, writer at Project-Management.com, blockchain will also be more "effective because it enables superior operational workflow. Implementing a blockchain-based project will create business value. It will result in time-saving, cost removal, and risk reduction. When time, cost, and risk are the concerns, who else but the project manager is the ideal person to manage these".
"In setting up the private blockchain network, the project manager is the expert in communicating with all participants in order to define requirements, scope, budget, deadlines, and deliverables that the blockchain will identify, verify, and validate as transactions", adds the expert.
And you could use Smart Contracts inside your PM platform too...
Smart Contracts are very popular nowadays. The term was first used by the computer scientist and cryptographer Nick Szabo in 1997. These types of contracts are just like the ones we see in the real world, except they are completely digital because it's a computer program stored inside the blockchain.
A Smart Contract can be programmed to keep all the funds 'locked' until a certain goal is reached. So, for example, you can set up a task in your PM platform that can be immediately paid to the worker, or contractor, if the goals -lets say, some certain sub-tasks to be completed in a certain time- are achieved. It could allow the company to create a very dynamic and fair system of payment according to the labors accomplished.
Giga Chkhikvadze, VP of engineering of Workep, imagines, for instance, an internal reward system for good workers: "You can make your own currency system -let's say Workepcoin-. If one of your employees completes his task in less time than expected the platform could transfer coins to him/her as a result of their effectivity. And all in an automatic and safe way".
"Imagine a platform that mixes up the virtues of Upwork and Project management systems together", he concludes.
How do you think project management can take advantage of blockchain?
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