Authored by: Thomas Chimutunga
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has initiated a digital transformation across industries, including the project management profession and other critical skills in the industry. To achieve competitive advantages, organizations must now utilize technology and data for strategy development, project execution, and delivery.
Recently, humans and technology have connected in ways that were once perceived as science fiction. The advent of artificial intelligence has only accelerated that connection, offering new opportunities like never before. (Aoun, 2017), notes that this rapid increase in data accessibility, human-robotic interaction, and advanced technological development has ushered in a new era – one that is disrupting business, creating new and innovative industries, and altering the labour market.
How CTU is aligning itself with the 4IR – Project Management
CTU has introduced a key module in Project Management which talks to and aligns the qualification to the 4IR. This module, “Introduction to Project Methodologies and Software”, is offered in the first year of the Project Management qualification. With the introduction of the QCTO new qualification, Project Manager, the qualification presents a competency framework appropriate for South African contexts and was developed and closely benchmarked against international standards. It establishes a national standard for the training of fully qualified Project Managers and is closely aligned with international best practice.
How CTU is aligning itself with the 4IR – Generic Management
Leaders that can apply a range of necessary professional proficiencies such as emotional intelligence and cultural awareness while demonstrating key technical skills such as critical thinking and analysis, will be at the forefront of digital transformation and 4IR. The future of business as we know it will be affected, to a large degree, by innovation, vast technological advancement and flexibility. The future snapshot of business landscapes is increasingly influenced by artificial intelligence, automation, digitalization, and virtual spaces. The reconfiguration of workspaces, businesses and entrepreneurial activity requires present and future leaders to maintain, apply and execute a balance of both traditional knowledge, best practice and human resource development, as well as swiftness, spontaneity, calculated risk-taking and decision making, intellectual and digital mastery.
In the 4IR, the Generic Management programme will present its relevance and versatility in a world of digital literacy through its focus on theoretical and practical modules, leadership competencies and innovative assessment techniques which form the foundation for business management across any platform.
Equally, the business landscape of tomorrow, defined by digital literacy and automation requires candidates to be creative and critical thinkers. Both technological and leadership-savviness demand that incumbents can execute strategic decisions, implement visions and tactical insights which are all generated through the completion of an effective Generic Management course which speaks and listens to the technical business environment.
These skills are currently nurtured through the activities which our students embark on including their compulsory research activities that form part of their formatives which demands that our students use innovation systems in their activities, such as class discussions on Teams platforms and virtual classes among other forms of digital transformations. Online submission of assignments is part of this innovation.
Both programmes discussed above can be offered online through blended learning, virtual and hybrid classes.
The things which brought us to where we are today are seldom the things which will keep us there. The 4IR has been embraced at CTU and all our programmes will be aligned to its dictates.
Aoun, Joseph E., 2017. Robot-Proof. In: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. North-eastern: MIT Press.