The business world is in the middle of a transformation, putting a sharp focus on the people, processes, and technologies needed to successfully manage a project. Those individuals with project management certifications and technical training will find their skills are high in demand over the course of the next year—but with all of the changes in the business landscape, new strategies will be needed to tackle the coming storm. Here are three emerging trends that are reshaping the face of project management, and how you can best use them to achieve your goals.
1. More Focus on Strategy
With the economy taking a toll on businesses over the last few years, project managers have had to find ways to maneuver through increasing competition, limited resources, environmental factors, and budgetary constraints. If project managers continue to approach their assignments in a way that worked for them five years ago, disaster could strike and they could find themselves unprepared to deal with the aftermath.
Project leaders must now adapt to the changing landscape by transforming their PMOs and project management teams to focus on reaching specifically tailored goals—and narrowing in on the most effective strategies to get them there. This means focusing less on general industry-related data and honing in on exact business strengths and weaknesses, with the end goal to reach previously determined objectives. Not only will this help project management teams to more precisely plan for the future—it can also be the greatest contributor to optimizing resources, time, and budgetary constraints more effectively.
2. Implementation of Open-Door Policies
In order for a project to run smoothly, it’s important to establish a leader to manage important tasks and make decisions when ideas are at a standstill. However, the traditional top-down management hierarchy used in most businesses has seen a bit of a face-lift recently, and projects are benefitting from it.
To adapt to the transformations in project management, project leaders must adopt an open-door policy that fosters communication between all levels of employment, with ideas flowing internally and transparently. This way, those with hidden leadership skills and an entrepreneurial spirit can share their ideas with decision-makers, even though a business hierarchy exists.
It also pays to foster those within the team who show any particular skills that might be outside their job description—nurturing developing skills with additional training and workshops could help your team successfully meet their end-goal in unexpected ways.
3. A Balance of Soft Skills and Technical Training
While it’s still important to have the right certifications and technical training to complete a task successfully, soft skills are growing more desirable in the business world and are particularly valuable in project management.
A huge part of project management is learning how to thrive as a team. More so than most other business ventures, it requires a group of people to work closely as a unit, learning the strengths and weaknesses of every individual taking part in the project. Expertise like the ability to resolve conflict, dealing with ambiguity, tactfulness, and communication skills need to be fostered in a group environment, and can prove just as valuable as those with technical aptitude.
When looking to recruit new professionals to work on a group project, it’s important to not just focus on years of experience or type of education—asking questions during an interview like how they would go about resolving a certain problem or how they would deal with a team disagreement can give you much better impression of how they would fare within the cycle of the project.