The COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across all industries, sparing little and forever changing the way we live, socialize, and work. Many of us have switched to remote work or telecommuting, while others have faced prolonged lay-offs and job losses. In one way or another, we’ve all felt the devastating blow of businesses being shuttered from economic instability.
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For project managers, the impact of COVID-19 on operations has been catastrophic. A reliance on remote work has obstructed the collaborative approaches often seen within a traditional team environment. Lockdowns and border closures have caused a major disruption to supply chains, and the risk of operating a business and managing projects have skyrocketed.
In a world beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, project management remains the key to success for many businesses. Let’s examine the future of project management through remote working, upskilling, and the residual effects of the pandemic on our industry.
Remote Working in Project Management
The pandemic has revealed that the future of project management — like many other industries — is remote working. However, implementing remote work for project management is no easy feat.
From facing issues surrounding collaboration and accountability, to inept corporate culture, there are several challenges to overcome when building and managing a digital team.
While remote working in project management is an adjustment, there are benefits to managing a team of remote workers, such as the ability to hire top candidates for the open roles across the country. To best manage a virtual team, project managers need to focus on clear lines of communication, clear expectations and goals, and direct feedback.
When executed properly, remote working provides many benefits to an organization, project managers, and teams:
- Increased productivity
- Access to top talent globally
- Reduced turnover rates
- Reduced levels of stress
- Improved work/life balance
Switching to remote working requires a balancing act. But if properly executed, project managers gain the ability to establish a highly skilled team of contractors that yields exceptional results.
The Trickling Effects of the Pandemic in Project Management
Changing how and where we work is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the trickling effects of the pandemic on the future of project management.
Here are a few ways COVID-19 continues to shape the future of project management:
Working with Contractors
Hiring the best contractors to assist on a project will be a challenge. Project managers will need to consider the financial stability of a contractor to finish their project, carefully analyze contracts, and perform a risk analysis of all critical contractors to avoid potential disruptions to productivity.
Lockdowns and border closures have created a nightmare for industries relying on the supply chain, which has led to increased costs and longer lead times for products and parts. It’s clear the future of project management is forward-thinking, so project managers must get proactive to support the potential threat of a supply chain disruption. This may include stockpiling critical materials or sourcing local alternatives.
Risk mitigation is more essential than ever in the future of project management. The potential of new and evolving risks such as lockdown measures or virus transmissions means project managers must create comprehensive contingency plans that are frequently reviewed and updated.
The burden of an unstable economy may result in limited cash flow for project managers in a post-COVID world. Project managers will be required to optimize their capital to stretch tightening budgets to the best of their ability. The risk of future COVID-19 transmission not only affects a project manager's risk mitigation, but it also poses substantial cost implications. Health and safety protocols for a worker infected with the virus could lead to workplace closures and enhanced cleaning measures, both resulting in major cost implications for an organization.
COVID-19 and the PMP® Exam
Previously set to launch in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a prolonged delay to the release of the new PMP exam. While January 2, 2021 finally marked the official transition to the new PMP exam content and layout, project managers preparing for their PMP certification exam may experience lengthy delays due to high volume of contacts. Learn more about changes to the PMP exam.
Upskilling in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic
For better or worse, the way in which project managers work has changed. With this change comes the growing need for professional upskilling to improve operation practices and achieve successful project results.
Remote working leads to a whole new ballpark of challenges in management for project managers. Nurturing top talent and inspiring innovation doesn’t read easily through a computer monitor. Upskilling to learn new collaborative approaches and lead in a virtual setting can empower your remote workforce to yield exceptional results.
Project managers help drive businesses into the future through innovation, which is why upskilling everyone’s knowledge to stay ahead of the curve in emerging technology is pivotal to long-term success. This can include:
- Cloud-based systems
- AI and automation
- Data analytics
- Project management software
Quality & Continuous Improvement
Shrinking budgets leave little to no room for error in managing a project. Lean Six Sigma is an effective process to improve internal processes and better your project efficiencies through continuous improvement.
Stay Ahead of the Curve with Corporate Training
At Simplilearn, we help clients through every step of the training process, from identifying where reskilling and upskilling are needed and designing a perfect strategic plan. Our programs engage learners actively through hands-on, interactive learning. This includes live, online classes, mentoring sessions, real-world projects, online self-paced learning, interactive labs, and much more.
As an Authorized Training Partner for the Project Management Institute®, you can be assured that our courses and bootcamps on project management provide you with everything you need to earn the latest certifications to succeed in this lucrative and rewarding field. Check out our PMP® Certification Training course, or, if you want to really dive in you can enroll in our PMP Plus Master’s Program or our Post Graduate Program in Project Management, offered in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The time has never been better for you to upskill, so enroll today!