In the world of project management, change is constant. From technology improvements to shifts in how teams collaborate and work together both in-house and around the world, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to keep up with the rapid pace of flux.
So what are some of the biggest changes in the world of project management, and what do you need to keep an eye out for in the coming months? Let’s take a deeper look into four specific trends disrupting project management right now.
There are many, many trends shaping the project management landscape right now, but we’re going to focus in on four in particular: Remote work, generational shifts, internal shifts in PM approach, and artificial intelligence.
The New York Times reported that more than 43% of US-based employees are working remotely (at least part of the time) as of 2017— an increase of 4% from the previous year. The shift, surging from increased demand for flexibility and efficiency away from the noisy, distraction-ridden office environment, also extends into the world of project management. Most industries, in fact, have started to embrace the idea of remote work.
However, with remote work, there’s a need for a shifted mindset around traditional project management. Teams will need to build trust, schedule more virtual meetings to keep lines of communication open, get the right tools, build better onboarding strategies, and make time for semi-regular in-person meetups.
Are there pros and cons to remote project management? Absolutely. But with an open mind and a strategy for effective collaboration, being open to remote opportunities can help you better retain team members, reduce churn, and enable work whenever and wherever it needs to happen.
Data shows that in the US, Gen X and Millennials make up 34% of the current workforce, and that they’ll outnumber the Baby Boomers by 2028. Right now, however, there can be as many as five different generations of people within the modern project management working environment today, which means there are a lot of different elements to balance. From communication styles and preferences to optimal workflows and technology training, how do you manage such a diverse team?
Many are taking a multi-faceted approach to better manage the generational gaps between team members and focusing on developing skills for effective leadership. This means better understanding what employees from each generation need, want, and expect at work.
With a foundation of understanding about what employees in each different generation is looking for within their work, project managers can better oversee projects and play to the strengths of their team members to improve day-to-day working relationships and to get top-notch deliverables. That means fewer conflicts, more efficient projects, and stronger end results.
At the micro level, we can expect to see more internal shifts in how people approach project management. In large part, this means taking a more agile approach to projects so there is greater ability to adapt to changes in customer desires, technology, and timing.This is often accomplished by adoption of new project management tools, which can optimize processes around collaboration, deliverables, and more.
So what can managers do to jump start these internal changes?