Project managers warn organisations are not prepared for Brexit

29 Nov 2018

Image: © tanaonte/

Adoption of new technologies will be vital ahead of Brexit.

Almost two-thirds (61pc) of project and change managers in Ireland warn their organisations are not fully prepared for Brexit, new research from PwC reveals.

It is also understood that fewer than one in four organisations have had project management/change management functions involved in developing their organisational Brexit strategy.

‘The study highlights some room for improvement in the deployment of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence/robotics in the planning and delivery of projects’

Actions by those taking concrete steps to get prepared for Brexit include strategic impact assessments, increased engagement with customers and setting up a Brexit taskforce.

The research further reveals that the majority believe Brexit will present opportunities for new relationships and client opportunities, with financial services setting to benefit the most.

“The research highlights a strong sense of optimism and confidence in the future for Irish project managers,” said Feilim Harvey, PwC Ireland leader for portfolio and programme management. “However, there is an appreciation of future challenges in resourcing, the application of disruptive technologies and reporting, as well as a cautious sentiment regarding preparedness for Brexit.

“The study confirms that there is an opportunity for project management professionals to help steer their organisations and bring their particular expertise to the planning and execution phase of Brexit strategies and programmes.”

New technologies are key to navigating Brexit

The research confirms that the majority (79pc) of change leaders feel that digital advancements allow their ways of working to be more efficient, with a third actively looking to invest in new project management software. However, one in five reported that they are less than successful at adopting new technologies.

The digital advancements that have had the most impact on the day-to-day delivery of projects are mature technologies such as video conferencing and cloud services. Digital project management office and artificial intelligence/robotics scored poorly in terms of the impact on their day-to-day delivery of projects.

Customer service, lower cost and greater quality were identified as major advantages presented by artificial intelligence/robotics. However, only a quarter (26pc) of change leaders identified their businesses as either ‘innovators’ or ‘early adopters’.

More than a third (36pc) confirmed that they intended to invest in new project management software in the next 12 months. PwC director Darren D’Arcy said that this is not surprising as most respondents were either not satisfied or only somewhat satisfied with their current project management dashboard tools.

“The study highlights some room for improvement in the deployment of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence/robotics in the planning and delivery of projects,” he said. “Greater investment in these digital solutions will have a positive impact on ongoing monitoring and day-to-day delivery of projects.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years