Olby Shaju , PMP, PfMP, SAFe SPC, MCP – MSP and Project Server 2013

Keep an Eye Out for Project management Trends

Posted on December 12, 2021 by Olby | Agile, PPM, Project Management

by Ms. Subha Sadagopan, PPM IT Consultant in CAPPM (Centre for Advanced Practical Project Management)

Previously project management deals with fewer methodologies, lesser tools, smaller teams, and simpler projects. Things have changed tremendously as the projects are complex and the teams are more virtual. Due to the pandemic, there are more challenges confronted by the organizations and finding ways to not only survive but thrive with new processes, attitudes, and tools.  

Change is the only constant.” It seems so true for the project management industry. The project management landscape is changing rapidly with evolving technologies, tools, and the latest trends which affect the organization’s culture, policies, and processes, trusted relationships between the team, sponsor, and the project manager. 

The following are the trends in project management that ensure the organization and industries run the business efficiently.  

1. The expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Automation

AI makes global society a fourth industrial revolution. Internally, companies are using AI to automate tasks ranging from scheduling to data visualization. 

The Impact: 

  • Selection of best projects, efficient scheduling, and assigning resources in real-time can be done by AI.  
  • AI will assist in prioritizing projects and allocating resources for production.  
  • Machine intelligence can also contribute to improved decision-makingon multiple levels within a company.  
  • Consistency in decision-making is much more easily achieved by machines than people.  

How to Adapt: 

Using automation, the project managers can focus their efforts and energy on completing tasks that most greatly benefit their organization. This allows them to affect greater change and increase the likelihood of achieving the strategic goals of each project. Project managers should embrace AI in project management and then learn how to leverage it for successful project completion. They should understand their organization’s plans for AI in order to anticipate changes in their roles and daily work. 

2. Methodology Approach: 

The methodology is used for a collaborative, flexible, and simple project management tool to support every step of the way. Project management is an ever-evolving field that requires several approaches to be successful. There are still high project failure rates for the projects which use project methodologies. This suggests issues in the selection of project methodology tools and techniques. The right project management methodology can elevate the project and help the project manager to get the best out of each team. With the right project management methodology in place, the projects reach their levels of efficiency and implement the right processes for the team and organization. 

The Impact: 

Organizations have become increasingly adaptable in their approaches. Some organizations merged different methodologies into hybrid approaches that are unique to the needs of their specific project or industry or customers.  

How to Adapt: 

The increased adoption of alternative project management methodologies such as Kanban, Agile, and Scrum have contributed to this shift, along with changing corporate values that allow for increased flexibility. When using the hybrid model, project managers design the right framework for implementing the projects. Project managers use the traditional approach for simple projects and the agile approach for complex projects. 

3. Business value

Benefits Management is therefore a key aspect in the delivery of the value created in the early phase of the project.​ Value Management (VM) is a technique that, if used correctly and at the right time in the life of a project, can greatly enhance the value for money that a project can deliver.​ It works through a facilitated process that initially concentrates on the problem to be solved or the opportunity to be gained to ensure the project has a solid business case that will create value.​ Once the business case is established, then potential solutions can be considered through a creative process, and the best value option for project delivery can be selected, considering factors such as risk, technical capability, and political acceptability. 

The Impact: 

Previously project’s success was measured based on its ability to deliver quality, scope on time, and within budget. Indeed, complying with the constraints alone is insufficient for judging a project’s success. A project can only be considered successful if it delivers the predetermined business value to the customer. When businesses look at project success in this light, they will make better decisions about which projects to execute, and project managers will focus on what is important as their teams deliver value.  

How to Adapt: 

Traditional project management uses NPV, IRR, cash flow methods while agile uses NPS, A/B testing, incremental delivery, and demonstration methods to measure and track the benefits of the project. The project managers focus on delivering business value and the discipline will become valuable to the organizations. Those organizations will stay vibrant because they are delivering increased value to their customers, and they will continue to look to project management as a critical aspect of growing their bottom line. 

4. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence comprises of:​ 

  • Demonstrating excellent social skills and behaviour. 
  • Ability to motivate oneself and others to manage self-improvement​ 
  • Capabilities to show empathy, observe perception and foresee the obstacles of others. 
  • Experience in rightly controlling one’s emotions and responding accordingly while keeping in mind other’s situations, concerns, and experience​ 
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and proactiveness​ 

The Impact: 

Emotional intelligence is of utmost importance for a project manager because managing a project is a team effort. It can become the single most significant differentiator of success between the communication flow of managers and employees. If the team’s morale is low, the efficiency will definitely hinder the overall progress of the team’s effort. If the project manager lacks people skills and team management skills, which are the essential components of emotional intelligence, the entire project can suffer.  

How to Adapt: 

Project managers must manage people as well and that means more complications. To deal with a proper understanding of emotions (both yours and others) is required – making it a necessary leadership skill for project managers all over the globe. The project managers will analyse and assess the personality indicators and adjust to the emotional needs of key project stakeholders​. 

5. Greater emphasis on soft skills 

Soft skills are required in project management because of the forced relationships needed to complete projects. The understanding of people and how to manage them without any conflicts yield the best results. Effective project managers must be able to anticipate the needs of their team, understand their hopes and motivations, and identify and remove roadblocks before they impact the progress of a project.  

The Impact: 

Project managers need a certain level of analytical and organizational skills to be effective in their roles and for the project’s success.  The project manager must have clear communication lines for mitigation plans, problem-solving, and even conflict resolution. Essentially, most all the hard skills in project management, cannot be implemented without applying a soft skill as well. 

How to Adapt: 

As far as competitive job markets are concerned, to become efficient leaders the leadership quality depends on soft skills. A servant leader values diversity and recognizes the intrinsic value of each member of the community.​ It is an approach where the servant-leader focuses mostly on the development and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.​  

The servant-leader distributes power amongst others first and supports people to grow and operate as optimally as possible.​Servant leaders need to protect the team from interruptions and distractions and keep the project on track. These skills help people to work and perform well in an adaptable environment. 

6. Advanced project management tools

Project management tools have become an indispensable part of project management. With appropriate use of Project management tools that are suited to the situational factors, the project managers should be able to deliver better project results. The use of PPM tools can lead to some potential benefits such as increased efficiency, reduced training, improved project predictability, increased stakeholder confidence, increased probability of project success, and improved communication. that are suited to the situational factors, the project managers should be able to deliver better project results. The appropriate use of Project management tools can lead to some potential benefits such as increased efficiency, reduced training, improved project predictability, increased stakeholder confidence, increased probability of project success, and improved communication. 

The Impact: 

Project planning, scheduling, budget tracking, and for meeting schedule deadlines these tools are making positive impacts in project management. The project management tools are of much help to project managers to plan and deliver projects on time. They also give team members a platform to communicate and collaborate in a single place. 

How to Adapt: 

Some existing applications like Atlassian JIRA and Trello are already seeing strong growth in terms of user numbers, which is a good indicator that there’s increased interest in improving internal project communications for businesses around the world. Intelligent project management software can provide a treasure-trove of big data to project managers that involves analysing an individual’s habits, the preferred mode of communication, areas of interest, time spent on a task, and other attributes that can make their work powerful and productive. With predictive and data analytics capabilities, project teams can make full use of KPIs and benchmarks, implement them proactively by establishing data-backed best practices, and deliver better projects faster. 

8. Remote working

Remote working has been causing ripple effects everywhere. Remote work is increasingly becoming the new norm rather than an exception. The COVID pandemic has mandated social distancing, compelling professionals to collaborate virtually. This globalization has encouraged more cross-team collaboration than ever before. 

The Impact: 

The generational change of new workers is entering the workforce, but older workers who can adapt are staying in with the help of remote teams. Creating a productive team, one that is energized by youthful enthusiasm and new ideas, but anchored by the experience and skills of older team members is essential and changes the dynamics in the workplace through remote work. 

How to Adapt: 

The best practices in a remote team,  

  1. Examine the Remote team’s needs and demands 
  2. The project managers must use their best leadership skills for remote team-building practices. 
  3. Proper project management tools for remote teams should be selected for communication and collaboration. 
  4. Weekly or biweekly check-in meetings and frequent demos should be conducted. 
  5. Make team members accountable by asking for status updates 

The latest trends of project management software make it apparent that the future of business operations includes the use of technology and other factors. To stay ahead in the competitive practices, we need to be aware of the trends ahead and be updated and equipped to take advantage of new opportunities. Thus, to succeed the companies should consider implementing project management solutions to make the lives of their team, and that of the stakeholders easier. 

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