Understanding current project management trends will help future-proof your PMO
As with all aspects of corporate life, project management has changed over the past 12 months. Features that were once considered ‘business as usual’- in-person meetings, office-based collaboration, easy-to-access site visits- have disappeared in many cases.
Instead, Project Management professionals are navigating a remote world where deliverables have to be guaranteed from a distance, and teams keep in touch online rather than in person. It’s therefore essential to future-proof your PMO with a look at the project management trends for 2021 and beyond. In this post-Covid world, what is on the horizon? What should we seek to keep from the lessons of 2020, and what does the future look like?
Remote working is likely to continue to form a part of the way we work in the future. Many big corporations are talking about adopting a blended or ‘hybrid’ working model. The Project Management Institute calls these companies ‘Gymnastic Enterprises’ (Pulse of the Profession 2021). They can flex and pivot to new ways of managing projects while maintaining their core governance structures at heart.
This more fluid, remote approach is a logical step given the anticipated cost savings of cutting overheads and office costs, however it still presents some challenges for project managers trying to coordinate a remote team. We already know that leading a remote team is a key management skill. Keeping a project team motivated and on track requires excellent communication, a clear view of deliverables, and a well-functioning IT infrastructure.
Achieve a successful remote project team setup, and you should benefit from cost savings and efficiencies across your program of work.
The rise of technology
Linked to the normalization of remote working, the role of technology in project management is becoming ever more key. The value of good communications is well known; however, automation is another project management trend that will become ever more important in the coming months and years.
With teams likely to continue working remotely and the opportunity for in-person interactions reduced, it’s important to look for opportunities to streamline processes. For example, DRMcNatty recently implemented an eSignature solution to help our client more effectively deal with contract documents. As the work at home requirements continue, this will facilitate the processing of these documents more effectively.
Using technology to take opportunities like this creates a stronger, more efficient project management structure, where sign-offs and approvals can take place remotely and digitally.
Actively using data analytics in decision-making
As project management software has evolved, project managers can better leverage data analytics to keep projects on track and achieve better outcomes. The focus moving forward is on insight rather than just monitoring. This means choosing a PPM software solution that combines features such as risk estimation, scheduling, resource planning, and real-time reporting.
The critical point is to choose a project and portfolio management solution that provides the necessary information to each project team member. For example project managers might want an overview of scheduling, or portfolio managers might want to view resource allocation across a whole program of work.
The key is to ensure that your chosen solution moves your data analytics capabilities forwards and allows you to use smart reporting and data visualization to improve outcomes. It’s no longer enough to operate in a world of Access databases and spreadsheets; the world of ‘big data’ has arrived.