7 Project Management Trends to Look Out for


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Understanding the current project management trends and where things are heading is key to staying on top of the profession. The best way for project management professionals to stay ahead of the game is to keep up-to-date on new technologies and invest in their professional development. As a project manager, you must keep up with what’s trending. If you don’t, then how can you expect your team to be prepared for the future? In this article, we’ll cover the key topics that are expected to be trending. Use this as an opportunity to think about how each trend affects your organization and industry, and how you can prepare for these changes.

Trends in Project Management to Look Out for

The following are the seven project management trends we’ve identified will be prevalent.

Continued Focus on Agile Methodologies

illustration of agile With the rise of digital transformation, it’s no wonder project managers are placing greater focus on agile methodologies. The basic tenet of agile is to be flexible and adaptable, which enables you to quickly respond to changes in the market and shifting customer needs. With more organizations adopting DevOps practices, we’ll see a big shift toward scaling agile development across an entire organization, rather than just within smaller teams or departments. By 2022 we can expect that at least one out of every three companies will have adopted a DevOps approach. Even now, most major retailers have adopted lean business practices, including building cross-functional teams, developing minimal viable products (MVPs), focusing on rapid prototyping, and embracing continuous innovation. Staying on top of current topics such as SAFe agile is key to success and beyond. Read more: Agile Project Management Methodology & Principles

Increasingly Complex Technology Integration

In today’s world, businesses require several different technologies to survive. Whether it comes to implementing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), leveraging the cloud for storage and computing power to tap into big data analytics, or making use of advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, technology is everywhere.
Projects are becoming increasingly dependent on third-party services from cloud vendors and systems integrators.
As more organizations bridge the gaps between their existing toolsets and infrastructure with new technologies, project managers will need to stay on top of best practices when it comes to integrating complex systems. Using KPI software for better collaboration across teams will only become more important as well. Projects are becoming increasingly dependent on third-party services from cloud vendors and systems integrators; you’ll need strong partnerships to ensure that all your bases are covered.

Enhanced Collaboration and Remote Working

woman meeting with remote team Thanks to technology, we’re now able to collaborate and work together across greater distances than ever before. Understanding the rise of remote work and distributed workforces is important for project managers to be able to measure outcomes and goals, as this now has a big impact on how they plan projects and maintain communication with their team members. The good news for project managers is that the tools required for effective collaboration are more affordable than ever. Apps like Slack and Asana make it easy to communicate with your team; even instant messaging apps like WhatsApp have added voice calling and video chat features. With newer technologies like 5G on the horizon, we’ll be able to stream video content without taking up too much bandwidth or slowing down the network. This all makes it easier for project management and greater team collaboration. Read more: Best Collaboration Software & Tools in 2021

Greater Emphasis on Soft Skills

Project management and soft skills go hand-in-hand. Managing stakeholders, branding yourself as a leader, and building fruitful relationships with your team is all part of the job for project managers.
As AI continues to develop, softer skills will assume an increasingly important role in many industries.
Some organizations are already investing in developing their employees’ soft skills. For example, IBM has implemented a program to broaden global leadership capabilities, which includes topics like empathy and creativity training. As AI continues to develop — and some even predict that it could replace up to 85 million jobs by 2025 — softer skills will assume an increasingly important role in many industries.

Increase in Demand for Project Management Tools and Professionals

business people brainstorming putting sticky notes on glass wallSome 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. As companies become increasingly reliant on technology, it makes sense that their tools would also need regular updates. Moreover, with technology becoming more complex, project managers are turning to more advanced applications to help them remain on top of their workflow. Oftentimes, some of these tools are built specifically for project managers who want the ability to collaborate with other team members through an online interface. Read more: Best Project Management Software for 2021

Increased Demand for Cloud-Based Solutions

The adoption of cloud computing solutions is growing rapidly. Over 40% of organizations now rely on SaaS solutions, accounting software, and similar offerings from cloud vendors. As businesses look to ramp up operations in a cost-effective manner without sacrificing performance or functionality, it’s no surprise that they’re turning toward the cloud.
With greater demand for cloud-based services comes an increased need for professionals who can manage these systems effectively.
With greater demand for cloud-based services comes an increased need for professionals who can manage these systems effectively. For example, SMBs are increasingly turning to cloud-based project management tools because they offer greater flexibility and accessibility. This represents a new opportunity for individuals who want to develop their careers as PMs, program managers, or even product leads.

The Importance of Automation

Project team working in a software development officeWe can’t speak about future trends in project management without mentioning the importance of automation. With bots and AI playing more of a role in our society, it’s clear that they’ll be making their way into project management as well. For example, it’s possible to configure a bot to send you daily reports about your projects or flag potential risks. At the moment, the downside is that these tools lack the context required for making truly informed decisions. As AI becomes smarter and more adept at storing data, we’ll be able to feed these tools information about specific projects (e.g., client-company X sends us Y amount of revenue each year) and receive insights on how to improve productivity, rather than simply performing repetitive tasks through automation. Using the right CRM software with automation is crucial to ensuring that the right things are tracked. This is the only way that ensures that results are measurable and customer feedback can be implemented to move things in the right direction. Read more: Zapier Alternatives for Workflow Automation

Staying Ahead of Project Management Trends Is Essential

Being aware of what lies ahead is essential if you want to remain competitive. Whether you’re brand new to project management or an experienced professional ready for career advancement, it’s essential to stay abreast of industry trends. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available if you’re trying to build your personal brand as a project manager. By investing time in learning about where project management is headed, you’ll be better equipped to take advantage of new opportunities and develop your skillset accordingly.

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