The pandemic is winding down, and war in Eastern Europe is ramping up, creating a lot of uncertainty for 2022. But some project management trends are now coming into focus and will continue throughout the year. Here are five trends to watch for as the year continues to unfold.
The future is tailored hybrid projects. The first sign of the first part of this trend is evident in the latest PMBOK® Guide. An entire section has been devoted to tailoring project management to fit project needs. Why? The race to agile may be coming to an end. Many are finally learning that agile is not one-size-fits-all. In addition, many have been unable to implement agile fully. They have already adopted a mix of practices best described as hybrid. Hybrid provides the most flexibility. But there are still many projects best suited for predictive project management, so let's not make hybrid a race but judiciously use it as needed.
Remote teams are here to stay. A pandemic lesson has been working successfully with remote teams for more projects than in the past. While they are not new (I worked with remote teams in the 1970s), they are unique for many. Their success and the desire of many not to return to the office environment make working with remote teams essential. Travel expenses are also saved. So be sure to work on these skills.
Increased emphasis on value and principles. Another trend is hinted at in the new PMBOK Guide. To encourage more tailoring and practitioner choice of practices, values, principles, and project outcomes are now emphasized. The new focus makes the new standard even less prescriptive. When considering the project management practices to use, think about this new guidance and how to best steer your projects in these directions. They do not negate past choices but appear to be designed to spark more critical thinking.
Increased demands for technology. The pandemic has created labor issues (e.g., the Great Resignation) that are being met with technology. Robots check you in at a hotel, and ordinary people can now write applications. Expect more technology projects revolving around:
- Artificial intelligence
- Digital transformation
- Cloud computing
- Citizen developers
- Robotics and automation
This will also change how project management is performed. According to a PWC report, "AI will change how the discipline of project management and the role of project managers will function in the future. By 2030, 80% of the work of today's project management discipline will be eliminated as AI takes on traditional project management functions such as data collection, tracking, and reporting."
Increased importance of organizational change management. With more remote work and remote teams, preparing an organization to receive a project is even more important. Plus how organizational change management is performed will change. I've seen many past projects be delivered, only to fail when the receiving organization didn't adopt them. Be sure to focus on growing these skills and finding out how to best implement change in your new post-pandemic organization.
Do you foresee other trends for this year? Let us know in the comments below.
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