With the changing work culture across industries and technology growing by leaps and bounds, project management software has come a long way from pen and paper methodologies to the use of sophisticated software. This evolution was only a smart move given that business practices and people’s expectations are too have undergone a paradigm shift. The limited and outdated tools are best left behind. Every year businesses witness the emergence of new trends and 2017 is no exception. Here is what can be expected from the project management domain this year:
- Widespread adoption of Collaboration tools: There is no argument about the fact that collaboration yields better results. Conventional project management systems will be widely replaced by Collaboration Software like Slack, Jive, and Yammer. Project managers will need to use their expertise in change management to adopt these collaboration platforms. Several organizations are already focussing on multi-user collaboration for handling projects. If anything, this trend will only get more popular this year.
- Implementing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) for New Product Development (NPD): With the trend for Internet of Things and adoption of agile NPD has merged with PPM giving rise to the development of new brands like UMT360, GenSight, and Decision Lens in the field of Enterprise Product Creation. Product developers are now focussing on delivering improvised products which can meet the market demands of being ‘agile’, to their customers. This level of innovation can only be achieved using NPD PPM, as the traditional PPM software fail to accomplish this task. NPD PPM is spreading fast and is likely to be applied to offline solutions as well.
- Emotional Intelligence is now sought after in Project Managers: To succeed as a project manager in 2017, having soft skills and emotional intelligence (EQ) has become imperative. The project manager must have the ability to manage his emotions and those of others. He must have emotional awareness, must be able to use emotions for solving problems and for thinking, and must also be able to manage and regulate his own emotions, be able to calm down and cheer up his peers. The reason why EQ as an attribute is gaining emphasis is that these capabilities drive better engagement, reduce turnover, and improve productivity and loyalty which directly translates into better profitability for the business.
- PMP certifications will lose value: For a long time, there has been a demand for PMP and PRINCE2 certified professionals in the project management domain. These certifications are an expensive affair, however, the question that is now being asked is whether they have an equivalent value, because it seems like the questions asked in the assessment for certification haven’t been updated for a long time and it is quite likely that these aren’t in sync with the current day’s business needs. Organizations now prefer professionals who actually display efficient project management skills rather than certified professionals.
- Agile Management: Agile project management which till date, was only applied to the software field, is now being adopted by other fields like finance, construction management, graphic design, and marketing as well.
- Blended Methodology: Organizations are making a shift towards using blended methodology derived from various aspects of Agile, Scrum or Waterfall or any other method for that matter. All they want is that required results be delivered. They do not want to waste time in debating around the methodology that should be used. Moreover, the blended approach has resulted in improved project success ratios adding value to business.
- Remote Workstations gain ground: The culture of operating from a remote location is becoming increasingly popular. Organizations too are allowing this because it has proved to increase engagement, the end result of which is better productivity. Employees want to work without being watched over all the time. It allows them more freedom and sparks creativity. Although this method only works if the employee is proactive and driven, the trend is catching on fast.
- Automation: Tasks like filling up timesheets and daily updates are simple yet recurring and not on the top of the list of interesting things. Automation tools are now being integrated into these systems to generate reminders and status alerts so that project management can be simplified. Companies are even going to the extent of adding bots for some of these tasks.
- Big Data: This is the most important technology trend impacting project management. The need of the hour is a project management software system that can process big data effectively and efficiently and provide insights that can lead to smarter decisions. It will also enable the identification of the weak links in the team so that corrective action can be taken at the right time to improve productivity.
- Integrating learning from legacy projects: There are important project management lessons in the successful legacy projects of the company. Project managers can include the success factors from these projects into the current ones by training team members on the effective approaches previously utilized. There won’t be a necessity to reinvent the wheel as several of these methods can be learned and applied for success in similar projects of the present day.
There are more trends like the ‘Mobile only’ approach, but it is too soon to talk about it. With the changing trends in business environment and teams working remotely and across locations collaboration is of paramount importance for project managers. Stakeholders are demanding more attention and all of these trends are mandatory for any project manager to succeed.