Information Technology and Project Management
It was not that long ago that a printed out Project Charter would be the start of project approval. The key stakeholders would physically sign the document, which would be passed in the internal mail between parties, finally returning to the project manager to update the version control for the document to version 1.0. She would then file it away for safe-keeping and proof that the initiation phase was over and that the real work could begin.
Does that sound like your workplace now?
Most project sponsors would now expect the entire approvals process to be done by email. That is not to say that you can skip getting formal project approval. Instead, the way you go about securing sponsor sign off is different, due to the technology available to you – and them – in the workplace. No longer do project managers have a filing cabinet of original functional specs and documents signed off in ink. They are more likely to hot desk with limited storage space for project files. Documentation is stored electronically on a central shared server, with scanned copies of any documentation that has been signed. Copies of approval emails are stored with the rest of the project documents on the server. This is now the accepted ways of working, even in industries like financial services which typically take a while to catch up.
The Google Generation
This approach to handling documentation has evolved due to the availability of technology of work, and an evolution of the way in which we use it. This has given risen to the ‘Google generation’. You probably fall into this category. It is not to do with age. It is a distinction based on the adoption of new technology.
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