For years, businesses have operated with a strict organizational flow or a hierarchy. It dictated who made the decisions for the company. As a new generation of employees enters the workforce, companies are realizing that this status quo needs to change. We’ll help you identify and understand some of the newest trends in project management; that way you can more efficiently get the results you’re looking for.
1. Rethinking the Management Structure
This doesn’t mean doing away with management altogether; it just means that managers throughout the hierarchy need to get used to engaging with employees on various levels, and for various reasons. Gone are the days when you spoke with those directly above or below you in the structure. Younger employees are used to a more democratic method of engagement, and wise leaders will be quick to adopt this. This way any type of tension or conflict will also find a swift release as the employees won’t be afraid to voice their concerns.
2. Focusing on Results
Creativity and “out of the box” thinking are key skills that employers are looking for. More companies are abandoning strict methodology in favor of goal setting. How your employees decide to achieve those goals is less important than making sure the end result is met. Make sure that your employees understand any ethical concerns (don’t do anything immoral or illegal) and turn them loose. It’s okay to check in periodically to make sure that everyone is on the same page, but don’t question a method or style that doesn’t fit with your expectations. As long as the end result is good, let the employees decide how to get it done.
3. Recognizing Employee Strengths and Weaknesses
In a path to more efficient workplaces, it’s becoming more and more apparent that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to managing employees is a good way to waste time and get poor results. Trying to ensure that 10 employees have mastered 10 skills each is difficult and can lead to frustration, anger, and resentment within a team. Why not make sure everyone has a basic understanding of the responsibilities? This would then allow them to focus their energies in the direction that they are most suited for. Find out your team’s strongest points and make the most of their individual assets.
4. Opening Up the Communication Flow
Making sure that the decision makers are in touch with the people actively pursuing the goals of the company is essential. Make it your objective for the leadership to be approachable, and be willing to listen. Often the people with the best ideas are those that are working in the trenches. For years, brilliant ideas were overlooked and ignored due to the inability to break that “chain of command” mentality. A mentality that dictated that the front line workers never engaged with the top tier. Great ideas were often left untapped, or worse, lost when those employees left for competitors.
5. Increasing Transparency
Having an open door policy, and an open organizational plan is key to moving forward with this type of project management trend. When the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, both hands can work together to complete a task much more efficiently. Everyone ends up in working in the dark when your organization is split into different groups. That is because these groups don’t interact or engage with one another. It’s critical that decision makers have all of the information that they need to make informed decisions about the direction to take in order to meet the end goals. Finding out critical information too late can derail a project with disastrous results.
It’s also important that everyone in the organization understands the basics of the budget; it will help people understand why they can’t have the newest bit of technology, or why another department was able to order supplies but yours can’t right now.
The thing that all of these trends have in common is greater flexibility. With the new technological advances and remote capabilities, shifting practices and mobile abilities are adding flexibility to every aspect of an organization. Keeping up with these changes can mean the difference between success and failure.