In the ever-changing landscape of project management, few things have stayed the same throughout the last few years. With numerous trends posing to disrupt the status quo, it’s crucial to be aware of the shifting tides to make waves of our own.
As we dust ourselves off from the pandemic and embrace the new normal, let’s look at the five major trends that will affect project management in the coming years.
1. Hybrid Work Environments and The Future
The increased use of business management software and productivity tools have played a big part in the continued success of the hybrid/remote work environment, allowing teams to organise and manage their work without ever having to be in the same physical space.
With up to 80% of employees polling a preference for the hybrid work environment and up to 70% of employees wanting to remain fully remote, it’s safe to say that hybrid and remote working are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
However, as the hybrid work week becomes the norm instead of the exception, we must recognise the challenges of remote working that any project can face, ranging from mismatched schedules to fragmented team communication.
As such, it is essential to make the necessary investments to facilitate a better remote working environment for both employee satisfaction and retention.
2. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Task Automation
While using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate project tasks may sound like science fiction, rest assured that it’s very much in the realm of reality.
From machine-learning algorithms to neural networks, using AI in task automation can significantly improve the efficiency of the more mundane aspects of project management while also freeing up your team members to work on tasks fitting their skills and expertise.
Learning to embrace and leverage AI in project management will become vital for the success of project managers. Many project management software programmes already have integrated task automation solutions, so it is an excellent time to implement them into your team’s workflow.
3. An Emphasis on Data
Data analysis isn’t anything new for project management, but the way we collect and respond to that data will have a more significant emphasis placed on it in the future.
Our focus on data has presented a need to turn collected data from a mess of spreadsheets into a more comprehensive medium, which we see in the development of tools such as Tableau, Google Data Studio, and various project management software.
Some project management software will also allow you to consolidate your data into one platform, allowing quick access to relevant information and detailed reports on all aspects of a given project.
Given the various tools now at your disposal, it would be remiss not to leverage the data you have to make informed decisions rather than relying on summaries or intuition.
4. The Hybrid Project Management Approach
Be it Agile, Traditional, Waterfall or Scrum, throw your preconceived notions of rigid project management systems and approach your projects and team with a hybrid management system instead.
Hybrid project management will give your team the freedom and flexibility to tackle a project in a way that suits them, while also providing a good balance of dedicated planning and free-form adaptability that every team member will appreciate.
With better team cohesion and flexible approaches, hybrid project management hopes to deliver higher success to projects that were otherwise stifled by the procedure.
5. Consolidating Tools – How Project Management Software Can Help
Even the tech-savviest of us will occasionally spend minutes trying to find the latest version of a file bounced from app to app, so it’s not surprising to find studies that say productivity tools are detrimental to productivity.
Reducing and consolidating your team’s number of tools can streamline your project’s workflow, leading to more efficient work and higher productivity.
Project management software, in particular, is well-suited for this, as it can take the place of multiple productivity apps for tasks such as scheduling, cloud storage, and time-tracking.
Your team will greatly appreciate having all of their resources in place without the fuss of switching between multiple apps.
The Future Of Project Management
From AI to remote working to hybrid management systems, the future of project management is leaning towards more automation, better worker flexibility, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of remote working.
While project successes still very much depend on the teams working on them, leveraging the new technologies available will be the defining factor in keeping ahead of the competition.