Curious about what the future holds? Get to grips with the project management trends that are having the biggest impact on the way we work.
Between the rise of AI and increasing focus on flexible work, 2023 is seeing drastic changes in the project management landscape.
Among other things, organizations are now:
To be ready to deal with these new challenges yourself, stay on top of the new project management trends that are shaping up the year.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through these new project management trends and help you prepare for the challenges cropping up in their wake.
So, let's read on.
From tech literacy to a growing demand for analytics skills and data analysis, there are a lot of interesting trends surfacing this year.
Here’s a summary with the details below:
Between economic uncertainty and the rise of generative AI, the demand for rational, logical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving is increasing.
In fact, analytical thinking is the most valued core skill than any other soft skills. Creative thinking ranks second — ahead of emotional intelligence — according to a fresh World Economic Forum survey.
This makes sense given AI can provide plausible solutions but the decision to take those suggestions remains in human hands.
AI-enabled tech isn’t a solution provider — it only suggests solutions based on the prompts (read: commands) humans give it.
Meaning: project teams need to master prompt crafting and learn how to use different AI-powered tools to tap into the full benefit of artificial intelligence.
Interestingly, training staff to use AI and big data ranks third among companies’ skills-training priorities. In fact, 42% of the survey respondents are currently prioritizing it.
Other tools that drive benefits include project management tools — delivering benefits like:
With four million people quitting their jobs, the second half of 2021 witnessed record-high employee resignations.
Organizations have since been focusing on retaining top talent given the cost of losing, finding, and onboarding employees is significantly high.
In fact, a Centre for American Progress study estimates the cost of hiring new folks could be anywhere between 20-213% of the leaving employee’s salary. The exact, of course, depends on the departing employee’s seniority and role.
Not only that but finding the right people within the available budget is another challenge.
Gartner forecasts that 80% of project managers’ tasks will be run by AI by 2023.
But how does AI help in project management?
A TPG webinar surveyed its attendees about where they’d like to see AI’s help — here’s what the top three answers were:
Essentially, AI is playing a useful role in data collection and analysis, helping you make project reports, and assisting in efficient project planning, prioritizing, and progress tracking.
What’s more, by anticipating potential problems and automatically addressing them with simple solutions, AI is also helping in effective risk management.
Skills training is one of the top perks workers look for in a new job. In fact, investing in employees’ professional development is a proven way to retain them.
Two-thirds of companies also expect to see returns on skills training within a year of their investment. These returns include improved employee satisfaction, enhanced productivity, and cross-role mobility.
Not to forget, investing in workforce development gives you a competitive edge.
Hybrid project methodologies are on the rise with hybrid and remote work team structures growing.
Essentially, a hybrid project management methodology revolves around combining two or more project management methodologies to create a new method that works for your team.
For example, pairing the speed and experimentation from agile methodology with the sequential order of steps to take as in the waterfall method.
Such a hybrid approach helps teams:
Change ensures continuous improvement. However, identifying the right time to change and the way to encourage change adoption throughout the organization is an invaluable skill.
Change management also lets you anticipate changing market and customer needs, which is essential for staying ahead of the game.
And with the influx and impact of digital tech and tools, change management is more important now than ever before.
Adequate resource management makes sure all resources are utilized to their optimal capacity. In turn, ensuring employees are engaged and there’s no resource wastage.
So what does resource management include?
Having full visibility of the available resources, skill- and interest-based resource allocation, and managing resource schedules.
In short, you’ll want to work on planning, scheduling, engaging, and optimizing resources.
Employees are continually demanding flexible working environments.
According to Microsoft’s annual Work Trend Index, 73% of workers want flexible remote work options to stay with their current employers.
However, a flexible work environment isn’t limited to offering the option to work from home only. Instead, it gives up the notion of a rigid workplace and schedule — embracing the idea that employees can be productive working from anywhere.
Many workers now question job security in full-time roles, which is paving the way for contract-based work and fractional roles.
In fact, Gusto found that freelancers/contractors’ top priority is when and where they work.
From an organization’s lens, such flexible roles are beneficial since you don’t have to pay for contractors’ health care, severance, and unemployment insurance. You can also cut back on hiring costs.
There’s an abundance of project data but organizations are only now leveraging it for its massive potential.
You can use the data to:
Remember, process success relies on embracing the new tools and trends that are here to stay in the project management field.
To this end, regularly talk to your team. Ask employees how satisfied they are in their jobs, what you can offer to help improve their wellness, and what they’re interested in learning.
At the same time, conduct a skills gap analysis to understand which skills are lacking in your team. This is an essential step for identifying which training workshops to provide to employees.
And don’t forget to plan out strategies for implementing the ethical use of AI in project management. This way, you can reduce repetitive work and boost efficiency.
By keeping an open and inquisitive mind, you can make the most of trends - keeping what works, discarding what doesn't - and future proof your professional practice.
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