Project managers should be aware of the latest game-changing project management industry trends. Here are the latest trends in project management, from interdisciplinary influences on project management to phase-based planning and automation.
Recent developments in the field of project management integrate the outcome of decades of field-specific development with interdisciplinary insights from behavioral science. The gradual rise in remote work over the last two decades was also accelerated by the ongoing global health crisis that began in 2020. Taken together, these trends have led to more holistic and flexible approaches to managing projects in a wide range of fields.
Popular project management optimization processes such as Agile and Lean date back to automotive factories in the mid-20th century, and have been updated in the context of software development over the last 25 years. These strategies have come to inform project management across many industries in recent years, and are supported by multi-platform software solutions.
Over the last few years, project managers have started to optimize hybrid working arrangements on the basis of insights gleaned from behavioral science. Designing systems and planning project execution in ways that maximize altruistic behaviors and promote transparency can optimize collaborative work. The most cutting-edge technology also supports code-free task automation to maximize the productivity of distributed teams.
There are a few things enterprises need to experiment with the latest trends in project management. The workflows of businesses that provide services or manufacture and sell goods may vary, but both types of enterprises can benefit from taking project-oriented approaches to operations. Here are a few prerequisites for effective project management:
Projects to optimize: Managers of projects that could perform better look to new trends for solutions. Start by identifying any bottlenecks or pain points in current projects.
Capable project managers: Project management best practices are not set in stone. Trends in the field lead standards to evolve over time with knowledge and technology.
Flexible management approaches: Anyone who has managed projects in recent years knows that circumstances can interfere with plans. Effective project managers figure out ways to work around obstacles.
Hardware and software: Cutting-edge software for project and workflow management running on reliable hardware makes projects easier to manage. Multi-platform solutions can be especially useful for managing distributed teams.
Regardless of what a project entails, the manager in charge should strive to clearly communicate requirements to employees. Project management is an ongoing process, particularly given the recent emphasis on rolling-wave planning. This project management trend entails planning a project in phases, rather than commencing a project with a start-to-finish plan that is prone to become obsolete along the way.
In addition to taking a procedural approach to conceptualizing projects, project managers seeking a fresh approach should also consider the latest technology for distributed teams. Multi-platform solutions provide project managers with resources to lead teams, and empower members to collaborate.
Current trends indicate a bright future for resources that enable project managers to direct remote team members. Cloud computing resources and the cybersecurity apparatus necessary to encrypt and protect sensitive data have come a long way over the last decade. The future is likely to involve wider adoption of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence and automation technologies.
In the past, some coding or scripting knowledge was necessary for automation. This transformative trend in business technology has almost unlimited applications for the field of project management. Today, the best workflow management software can make automating tasks and processes much easier.
It is unlikely that automation will replace project managers any time soon, but these professionals can use the latest technology to make their jobs easier and enable employees working on projects to prioritize value-added work. Interdisciplinary influences on thinking about collaboration and productivity, such as insights from behavioral and cognitive science, are also likely to continue to influence project management.
Trends in project management tend to be adopted by enterprises with stakeholders who follow current discourse and technological developments in this field. Knowledge-based workers can benefit from multi-platform solutions that allow for collaboration on documents in real-time, while enterprises that manage physical assets can benefit from geolocation and tracking technologies.
Some management trends, such as Agile and Lean processes, originated in particular contexts, such as automotive manufacturing and software development, but have come to be applied across departments and industries. Many enterprises can benefit from taking an iterative, time-oriented approach to delivering value.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are trends that can have benefits across all industries, although the data used or generated varies based on the business. These technologies still have a higher learning curve, and barriers to implementation, than workflow automation or robotic process automation. The ability to digitize and schedule workflows, or set up bots to perform functions, can support practically any project.
Project managers who want to try out new trends should plan ahead, but not too far. The trend for rolling-wave planning makes it easier to experiment with different approaches to completing each stage of a project. Applying new strategies to existing or ongoing projects based on long-range plans can be difficult, and even potentially counterproductive, without the right implementation strategies. The following measures can be beneficial for project managers who want try new trends:
Review management approaches: Start by considering the role of a project manager on a given project. Are there any ways to optimize guidance and leadership?
Make workflows more transparent: Project members who can see each other working in real time are better able to work together. Do current productivity platforms support cloud storage and collaboration?
Prioritize customers and clients: A recent definition of success for the purposes of project management prioritizes perceived customer value. Are projects conceived with end users in mind?
Try rolling-wave planning: Plan projects in phases to keep plans current. Are plans for projects in process current?
These implementation strategies for project managers can only be as effective as the programs and systems that are already in place at an enterprise. Stakeholders should strive to foster work environments conducive to optimization.
These are just a few trends that are poised to change how managers approach projects in 2022 and beyond. Several of these concepts have developed over many years, but recent advances in automation, data analytics and related areas make these project management methods even more effective. The specifics of project management vary from industry to industry, but these trends can offer productive insights to project managers at any enterprise.