Keeping up with the latest trends in project management is crucial for success because project management is an ever-changing field. As we look ahead to 2023 and beyond, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape work and create new project management challenges. Seven critical trends for 2023 include:
- Emphasis on remote work and virtual teams
- New applications of Agile methodologies
- Increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in project management
- Growing cybersecurity threats
- Increased focus on sustainability
- Importance of employee wellness and work-life balance
- Greater reliance on digital transformation for business and project success
- Let’s take a more detailed look at these trends and how they will affect project managers.
Remote Work and Virtual Teams
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward remote work, and it is expected to continue in 2023. As a result, project managers must be proficient in communicating and collaborating with team members in a virtual environment. This may require new tools and technologies to facilitate communication, collaboration, and skills and processes to manage virtual teams effectively.
In the past, project managers gained project insights from elevator-, water cooler-, and other informal talks. New communication paths and more frequent, informal check-ins must be developed. Virtual Team Contracts and Operating Agreements will become more critical to ensure everyone understands how to operate in this environment (a free template is available in our downloads).
Agile methodologies will continue to grow in popularity. These methodologies emphasize flexibility, adaptability, continuous improvement, and value delivery, which are particularly valuable in today's fast-paced business environment.
Project managers will need to be familiar with these methodologies and be able to apply them effectively to their projects. It’s essential, however, to note that these are not “one size fits all projects” methods. For example, some projects may still require waterfall solutions, and being able to adopt hybrid solutions is critical as the complexity of projects and project sponsor demands increase.
If you still need to have the opportunity to work in an Agile environment, consider putting Accidental Project Manager: Zero to Hero in 7 Iterations on your reading list to start building your knowledge.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation
AI and automation are becoming increasingly prevalent in project management. These technologies can automate repetitive tasks, improve decision-making, and provide insights into project performance. As a result, project managers will need to be familiar with these technologies and be able to leverage them to improve project outcomes.
On the AI side, you should look into ChatGPT, which was released for free at the end of 2022. It can be a powerful aid in writing reports, analyzing data, and generating various web code snippets and Excel formulas. In addition, its conversational style makes it exceptionally easy to use.
Along the same lines, PowerAutomate, a relatively new tool from Microsoft, can automate various PC tasks. For example, it can scrape and analyze data from websites and create Excel or Word documents containing the data.
AI and Automation are also having a massive impact on many industries, including retail (warehousing and shipping), food (preparation and delivery robots), and health care (electronic records and AI diagnostics). Learn how your industry may be affected to manage projects better.
Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in project management, and project managers must be aware of the potential risks and have plans to protect their projects from cyber threats. This may include implementing security protocols, training team members on best practices, and implementing incident response plans. With the growth of cloud solutions, decentralized computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), these threats are no longer limited to the IT department. Consider these threats in your risk management and overall project plans.
One of the top cybersecurity threats to watch out for is the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning by cybercriminals. These technologies allow them to automate identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities, making launching attacks easier. Another trend to watch out for is the rise of ransomware attacks on cloud-based systems and IoT devices. These attacks can significantly impact organizations, disrupting operations and leading to data breaches.
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration in project management, and in 2023, project managers will need to take a more holistic approach to sustainability in their projects. This includes considering their projects' environmental, social, and economic impact and minimizing any negative consequences.
One important consideration will be to use sustainable materials and practices, such as using renewable energy sources and reducing waste and emissions. Another important consideration will be to incorporate sustainability into project plans, such as targets for reducing carbon emissions or increasing energy efficiency. Additionally, project managers will need to consider the long-term impact of their projects on local communities and ecosystems and take steps to mitigate any adverse effects. This may include working with local organizations and stakeholders and incorporating their perspectives into project planning and decision-making.
Focus on Employee Wellness
Employee wellness has become increasingly important in recent years and is expected to be a significant trend in 2023. As a result, project managers must be aware of their project’s potential impact on their team members' well-being and take steps to promote a healthy work-life balance.
A project manager can create a healthy work-life balance for their team by setting clear expectations for working hours and encouraging team members to take breaks and use their paid time off. They can also promote a culture of flexibility by allowing remote work and adjusting deadlines as needed and possible. In addition, regular team check-ins and open communication can help team members feel heard and supported in balancing work and personal responsibilities.
Businesses increasingly rely on digital technologies to improve their operations and customer experience. As a result, project managers will need to be familiar with these technologies and be able to lead digital transformation projects. This includes understanding how to implement new technologies, such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and the internet of things, and managing the associated risks and challenges.
Project managers must understand the implications of digital transformation on their workforce. With the implementation of new technologies, the skills required of employees may change, and there may be a need for retraining or hiring new talent. Project managers will need to work closely with HR and training departments to ensure that the workforce is prepared for the changes and that the transition is as smooth as possible. Additionally, they must consider how the company's culture and management style must adapt to embrace digital transformation's benefits. Overall, digital transformation requires a holistic approach and a deep understanding of the business, the technology, and the people impacted by it.
In summary, keeping up with the latest trends in project management is critical for 2023 and beyond. These trends include the continued emphasis on remote work and virtual teams, new applications of Agile methodologies, increased use of AI and automation, growing cybersecurity threats, increased focus on sustainability, the importance of employee wellness and work-life balance, and greater reliance on digital transformation. As a result, project managers must be proficient in communicating and collaborating with virtual teams, familiar with Agile methodologies and able to apply them effectively, knowledgeable in using AI and automation tools, and aware of cybersecurity risks and how to protect their projects. They should also stay informed about how their industry is affected by these latest trends to manage their projects better.
Subscribe for Our Project Management Resources, Best Practices, and Tips
Confirm your subscription to receive an email with immediate download access to Project Manager's Resources, a valuable list of books and web sites.
Get the latest tips and updates sent directly to your inbox monthly.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.