Katerina Treppeschova’s favorite one-liner about being a project manager: “It’s like riding a bike—except the bike is on fire.” Not to worry, she seriously knows how to extinguish any troublesome flames and roll with the changes.
“The way companies are working is transforming rapidly, and project management is changing as well,” Treppeschova says. “There is no longer one process or approach that guarantees success.”
Project leaders need to know agile and waterfall—and understand how to combine them. It’s just part of what should be a commitment to lifelong learning.
“In the future, repeated procedures will be automated, and there will be less value in the ‘old knowledge,’” Treppeschova says. “Being able to continually and quickly learn is a must-have skill to succeed in an ambiguous environment.”
The nonstop challenge for today’s social media project teams is taking a future-focused approach to privacy and risk, whether it comes in the form of deep fakes or phishing. From the very start, Treppeschova says, “project managers need to ensure that both business and technology stakeholders are incorporating privacy measures in their processes and technical solutions.”
No project ever happens in isolation, she says. Project leaders should “always be up to date and aware of what’s happening around them.”
Project leaders can also use their skills to make a difference outside the business world. Treppeschova saw it in action when she volunteered as a PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) liaison.
“PMIEF was a big inspiration for me to see how children can benefit from having basic project management skills and how it can transform the way they behave and think of their lives and futures,” she says.
“There is no longer one process or approach that guarantees success.”
Q&A: Katerina Treppeschova on beekeeping, AI and Isaac Newton
What project has most influenced you personally?
The World Wide Web, a project that revolutionized and transformed the world. I cannot even imagine how my life would look like without that.
What’s the most influential project you’ve worked on?
Projekt BeeTech. It was a unique innovation project that was bringing together AI and the internet of things to showcase the use of technologies for agriculture—in this case, beekeeping. The project was a joint venture between T-Mobile CZ, IBM CZ and the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague with the goal of showing how these technologies can help in everyday life.
What’s one-way managing projects will have changed by 2030?
Robotics and AI will be very involved in most of the workplaces and will take on many repetitive tasks. They also will be involved in project management, so project managers will need to understand how they work and be able to intervene if in case of problems and unforeseen events. Project managers will need to demonstrate that they are bringing strategic added value alongside their risk management, stakeholder management, change management and agile skills.
What famous or historic person would you want on your project team?
Isaac Newton. He was one of the most forward-thinking innovative and creative people of all times.