The Project Management field is not unlike other disciplines in the way it evolves over time. Sometimes the trends are driven by technology and improvements in automation to streamline processes. Sometimes changes are driven by new methodologies, standards or best practices that make their way into the mainstream. And sometimes it just comes down to experienced professionals finding new and creative ways to do their job and, as they say, “pushing the edge of the envelope.”
The popular and growing field of project management – thanks to a spike in demand for well-honed skillsets from certifications like PMP Certification, PRINCE2 Certification, and CAPM Certification – is in the midst of such a shift. Here are four trends that are impacting project management professionals and their teams.
|Related read: Here is an article on PMP® Vs PRINCE2® Vs CAPM®: Which One's Right for You.|
1. Technologies Close the Gap on Project Collaboration
Good project management is all about the coordination of processes, and technologies (outside the core project management technology regimen) have influenced how project teams conduct their day-to-day activities more than collaboration tools have. Whether you’re using Slack, Google Hangouts, Skype for Business or other similar products, instant communication and information sharing with your teams has become dramatically simpler and faster. According to a survey from Spiceworks, 53 percent of companies with 500 or more workers are now deploying such tools to collaborate and share information with various internal and external teams.
Moreover, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of employees that are working productively from remote locations such as the home office, remote office, or (dare we say?) the coffee shop. Securing remote access is commonplace for most companies these days and workers are entrusted to make the most of their laptop-enabled time out of core office.
2. Agile Everywhere
When agile software development hit the stage, it was a profound change that embraced speed, flexibility, and collaboration. As customer expectations continue to rise across the board, keeping ahead of the competition requires finding project leaders who can use the best approach methods for project execution. There is a lot to be gained from agile methodologies, so much so that its concepts have taken hold in the mainstream of project management.
Companies that manufacture products benefit tremendously from agile techniques, to be sure, but even services industries like finance and professional services are embracing these tactics for various needs from managing risk in financial products and processes to streamlining the rollout (and subsequent improvements) of complex services to businesses and consumers.
The fact that most consumers absorb services through the technical medium of the Internet only enhances the need for flexible ease-of-delivery to the end-user. Qualified Project managers that embrace agile as a key tenet are having a much broader impact on roles and industries outside the normal agile environment.
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3. The Project Management Community Matters
Never underestimate the power that a community can have on your approach to disciplines like project management. When you open up your learning lens to other skilled professionals across multiple industries and different countries, you’re able to remove yourself from the confines of your ‘ivory tower’ and incorporate new ideas and innovations into your programs.
For example, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has more than 450,000 global members and over 280 local chapters around the world, offering access to expert practitioners, online interaction with other project management professionals and templates for success. Becoming a part of professional communities like this – particularly in today’s digital world – can help spur creativity and innovations with your own teams.
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4. Matching Skills Training to the Right Projects
It’s important for any project manager to have developed the appropriate skill sets for their particular role in the organization. If you’re just getting started in the field and need to learn the fundamentals, you turn to the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) degree. If you’re ready to target more senior roles and take the lead with more complex projects, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is your best choice. If you’re looking into a more targeted and knowledge-based approach of the project lifecycle, you match well with the Project IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2Ⓡ) certification.
For each scenario, there is a wealth of hands-on training available to establish or round out your skillsets. Project managers must also learn to understand the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders throughout the development process, which gives them insights into what skills match each phase in the process.
While technology trends certainly lead the way in the growth of most disciplines, in the case of project management, there are many other considerations and developments that will drive success in the field. It includes taking lessons from the proven field of agile development, leveraging the value of best practices from the project management community, and knowing which skillsets to apply to the scenarios that match your on-the-job needs and career objectives.
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