The field of project management, like many other fields, is undergoing significant change with the rise of new paradigms and technology. The pandemic has ushered in a rapid shift to remote work which has also had an impact on how project managers go about their work. Here are some of the broader project management trends that are emerging in the profession and are likely to continue in the future.
More remote teams and project managers
Project management has been evolving to accommodate remote teams for a while now. This has been due to multiple factors including improved net connectivity across the world, the rise of the gig economy, and so on. Project managers have now been working with digital and remote teams and the pandemic has only pushed this trend further. More people are working from home now due to social distancing measures and are likely to continue to do so in the near future. As virtual teams continue to expand, project managers will need to ensure that collaboration, ideation, and team building are not affected by the lack of proximity. To get everyone on the same page, project managers can lead by providing team members with the right tools and context to help them collaborate more easily and effectively.
Increase in hybrid project management practices
As a norm, earlier project managers within an organization would use a single methodology or framework for all projects. But now increasingly, project managers are open to using hybrid approaches that are better suited to the complexities of the project. For example, many have shifted to Agile, Waterfall-Agile, Lean, Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban which allow greater flexibility. This is important as managers must assess which approach is best suited, as a method that works with one project may not be as effective with another.
Use of AI and automation
Industries across the board have utilized technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), automation, and the cloud to streamline operations and maximize business outcomes. Project managers too can take advantage of changing digital technology and machine learning to automate admin tasks such as project schedule, tracking progress, budget updates, or resource allocation. This will enable them to focus on completing the more strategic and crucial goals of the project. It is not necessary for project managers to become experts in the field, but it is important that they should keep in the mind their company’s plans or visions for AI in order to better anticipate any disruption or change in their workflow.
Importance of soft skills
Project managers need high levels of analytical and organizational skills to ace their work, and they will also need to supplement their technical knowledge with soft skills. This is because they are working, collaborating, and managing teams of people and that requires a certain degree of leadership skills and emotional intelligence. Active listening, excellent communication, and conflict resolution are important soft skills that will help project managers excel in their field. These skills will help them manage their teams better, identify any roadblocks to the project, and promote collaboration to achieve the project goals faster.
Project management will continue to evolve with the emergence of newer technologies. By keeping up to speed on the latest technological breakthroughs, project managers can stay ahead of the game and progress in their careers with greater ease.