Projects have always been and will be. Their implementation will forever remain a challenge. With the growing number of new projects, the field of project management has received particular importance. Unique methods and solutions of different tasks appear on the market, which bring this sphere to a new level.
There is an erroneous opinion that this industry is not experiencing major changes. In fact, project management is an area that is intertwined with many other industries. Therefore, you need to be aware of the latest trends and aspirations of project managers.
Engines of progress in project managementEach organization is aware that proper project management provides an unconditional advantage over competitors. But following trends is not enough to always be on top. First of all, you must follow the principles of project management:
- search for involved sponsors;
- prevention of uncontrolled changes in the project.
SponsorsAny manager understands how important investors are for a project. But only a small group realizes that they need a sponsor who is 100% interested in the project. In other words, he should be interested not only in income, but also the idea itself.
Active sponsors help organizations bridge the communication gap between influential individuals and project implementers. It enhances collaboration and support, which brings success and reduces risk.
Expanding the scope of the project is one of the indicators of success. But if it passes without adjusting time and resources, everything instantly turns into failure. The lack of clarity about the state of affairs in the project makes it almost impossible to control new changes.
There are three key reasons for changing the scope of a project:
- changing the organization's priorities;
- change of project objectives;
- erroneous requirements.
Separate influence creates the development of modern technology. They can change the intermediate goal or even significantly affect the target audience.
The concept of "new project" today acquires a broader meaning. This is not only coverage of some idea, but also compliance with the latest technological capabilities. Therefore, when managing a project, it is worthwhile to instantly determine the lack or excess of some elements.
At the start of a new project, any organization follows the well-established rules. Today's pace simply does not allow for one or two approaches. For quick and effective implementation, project managers resort to combining several ways to accomplish tasks.
First, they all use the prediction method. Acting at random is prohibited. Therefore, each manager must know at least an approximate result in order to develop a plan of further actions for several cases.
Secondly, no organization can do without flexibility. This follows from the need to maintain control over the project. When managing a project, it is impossible to avoid unforeseen situations. Therefore, adaptation is not just a skill, but an approach to project implementation.
Project managers work in new ways, laying the way for the future. On their way, they combine more and more practical knowledge, such as design thinking or machine learning. The more methods involved, the wider the possibilities.
Many are no longer surprised by this trend. Artificial intelligence is having more and more influence in any field. Today, the results of its implementation are clearly visible: chat bots, smart devices, autopilots and much more. It is unlikely that in the near future you will be replaced by the "drone". But it is better to learn how to handle AI well.
What is happening now?
Mankind has experienced many revolutions. First, the transition from stone tools to metal. Next - the emergence of electricity and the industrial revolution, the gradual transition from manual to machine power. XX-XXI centuries are notable for the development of the Internet and the automation of many processes.
Artificial intelligence is gradually pushing the world into another revolution. In digital products, AI is used to adapt devices for continuous use in real time. Within companies, AI helps automate most tasks — from planning to data visualization.
What is the impact?
In project management, AI will, above all, help to prioritize each task, as well as optimally allocate resources. No one person will be able to optimally calculate the time as well as the robot will.
For example, to plan a next operation, a person needs to roughly evaluate past results, highlight the main goals and get information about available resources. All this requires at least a week, but the current pace severely shortens deadlines.
Al provides real-time scheduling of operations. This means that organizations and project managers themselves can adapt to any changes instantly, depending on the availability of free employees or the wishes of clients.
Also, AI contributes to improved decision making at different stages of project implementation. The sequence of actions of the machines organized much better than people. The 10th Global Project Management Survey, conducted by the Institute for Project Management, showed that 41% of all projects are complex.
Every complexity in the first place, simplifies the use of machine intelligence. The harder the project, the more benefits you can get from AI. At a minimum, it is an estimate of the process duration, possible risks and the final result. As a maximum - performing tasks in a shorter time.
What to do with it?
Many are afraid that the AI will leave people without work. But it is not. As I said, the drone will not replace you. Project management is also a human relationship that a bot cannot duplicate. AI will help free the brain to build meaningful solutions based on teamwork and collaboration with customers. You just need to accept this trend. Today it cannot be resisted, because in any case you use it. Better to squeeze the maximum from AI.
Attraction of freelancersIncreasingly, we see people moving from a working day “from 9 to 5” to remote work. Project managers attract freelancers instead of the traditional "office" team. What caused this?
- clear assignment of tasks;
- saving time.
Conservatives do not want to use this approach, for fear of lack of control over the staff. But the creation of the project is not a workshop in the factory. Because performers need more freedom. So they make more effective results.
Of course, you cannot confidently say that remote collaboration is better. Despite the modern possibilities, it still creates a communication problem. In addition, there is a big problem: how to achieve consistent execution of tasks if the performers are in different time zones?
But project managers should accept this trend. Qualified performers go to work remotely with a free schedule. For example, it is easier for a UX designer to stand up, make a cup of coffee and develop an interactive web page at home. But if he needs to go to the office, then he:
- loses a lot of time;
- bound by the time of the working day;
- depends on external irritants (extraneous noises, shouts of employees, etc.). 2020 is ready to prove that the remote team is a new way of working on a project.
Focus on informationToday we have the ability to collect huge amounts of data. All of them require application in the project. The company expects that, using the information provided, the manager will be able to create the perfect product. Thus, data analysis is one of the important components in project management, from understanding customer needs to detailing risks.
The data array is:
- foundation to start;
- ideas for planning;
- the possibility of the correct distribution of tasks;
- soil for forecasting;
- risk allocation;
- details of possible changes.
The work of a project manager today is very difficult due to the high demands of clients and huge market competition. At the same time, this is a simple job, because the manager has an array of information that was never enough before.
In the past, one of the tasks when working on a project was data search. Today they are before the eyes - on billboards, in the news, polls and their own research. Therefore, the main trend is the ability to use information.
The trend is no longer new. Kanban is one of the ways to organize work. This technique was developed by Toyota in order to improve the quality of production. Today it is one of the best car dealers in the world. Kanban has paid off, because today it is used by many companies.
But in 2020 this system will gain new popularity. First of all, this is provoked by the development of freelancing. Kanban allows much better organization of work between them. The project manager can specify key tasks and deadlines, identify the performers of each part of the project.
Kanban helps to avoid apparent stagnation in project management. This way of organizing work is useful for flexible projects, as it allows you to instantly point to a new task or cancel old ones. Kanban increases centralization of project management, which provides better efficiency.
Training of performers
Long unchanged trend is attracting skilled professionals. Of course, this trend will dictate the future, because the company needs a person who immediately takes on the job. But the growth of competition provoked an almost opposite trend - the training of weaker performers.
Project managers are ready to take a specialist who has less experience and give him a short period of time to study a specific issue (if the time limits allow). What caused this?
Beginners have a fresh look, without elaborated patterns. Therefore, their main advantage is the ability to give a radically new idea, to approach the solution of some problem in an extraordinary way. They have no reputation, so they must prove their competence. The ideal option is precisely to implement new approaches.
Any organization today is interested in uniqueness. This increases interest in its product. Because project managers are aimed not only at performers with great experience, but also at ambitious beginners.
Understanding project management trends will help both organizations and direct managers coordinate new and existing business strategies.
But, whatever the future trends, the main thing is to understand that the key to success will remain skills and creativity. These two components will help to build the best team and create the highest quality product.