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Top 10 trends for project management in 2016

Construction Week takes a look at the Top 10 project management trends for 2016 compiled by TwentyEighty Strategy Execution

The evolution of the project management discipline has created high demands for new skills.
The evolution of the project management discipline has created high demands for new skills.
Agile approaches impact the way project-based work is done. [Representational image]
Agile approaches impact the way project-based work is done. [Representational image]
PMs are now more engaged in solution recommendations from the beginning.[Representational image]
PMs are now more engaged in solution recommendations from the beginning.[Representational image]
Change management is a required skill in any PM’s toolbox [Representational image].
Change management is a required skill in any PM’s toolbox [Representational image].
Although many have mastered keeping track of all the data, it is not enough [Representational image].
Although many have mastered keeping track of all the data, it is not enough [Representational image].
Thinking like an entrepreneur is imperative for PMs today [Shutterstock image].
Thinking like an entrepreneur is imperative for PMs today [Shutterstock image].
Design thinking encourages innovative solutions [Representational image].
Design thinking encourages innovative solutions [Representational image].
Portfolio and program management (PPM) has grown to be a part of the business management [Shutterstock image].
Portfolio and program management (PPM) has grown to be a part of the business management [Shutterstock image].
A diverse workforce enhances client engagement and brings new perspectives to the workplace [Representational image].
A diverse workforce enhances client engagement and brings new perspectives to the workplace [Representational image].
A distributed workforce creates challenges around managing at a distance, communication [Representational image].
A distributed workforce creates challenges around managing at a distance, communication [Representational image].
Project management is for anyone – which is everyone – who does project-based work [Representational image].
Project management is for anyone – which is everyone – who does project-based work [Representational image].

Workforce development company TwentyEighty Strategy Execution has released the top 10 project management trends for 2016.

The evolution of the project management discipline has created high demands for new skills to master the challenges of the ever-changing work environment.

Today organizations are embracing these trends to stay ahead of the competition and continue to innovate.

TwentyEighty Strategy Execution assembled a panel of senior executives from around the world to compile the Top Ten Project Management Trends for 2016.

Lets take a look at them:

1. The permanency of agile project management

Agile approaches impact the way project-based work is done and have even started infiltrating more rigid methodologies such as Waterfall.

Although people are still struggling with embracing the principles of agile, smart organisations are helping their employees grasp agile ways of thinking to move their mindset away from how things used to be done to how they need to be done.

Forward thinking organisations will strike the balance between disciplined and agile methodologies.

2. Broadening strategic role of the project manager

Project managers (PMs) are being asked to think more strategically, in large part because, as organisations flatten, there is a rising need for more people to do this on behalf of the entire enterprise.

Project management is no longer just about managing the triple constraints, but rather about reaching solutions faster and demonstrating strong, direct business impact.

As a result, PMs are now more engaged in solution recommendations from the beginning.

They are evolving from project managers to profit managers, accountable for the project’s financial performance, benefits realisation and its impact on the organisation’s bottom line.

3. The fundamentals of change management

Change is embedded in everything we do.

Because every project is a cause for change, change management is a required skill in any PM’s toolbox.

Change management places the emphasis on relational and strategic skills because organisations have learned technical skills alone are not enough to effectively execute change.

Without effective change, projects fail to achieve their full organisational impact.

Forward-thinking organisations do not assume people have learned these skills somewhere else; instead they are providing PM leaders with the resources to learn how best to manage change quickly and with impact.

4. Mastering modern day complexity

The world has become increasingly complex with many interdependencies and technical interfaces required to master the multivariate of information and relationships.

Although many have mastered keeping track of all the data, it is not enough.

Understanding and interpreting the information about projects, people and relationships are essential skills for breaking down complexity into pieces easily understood by others.

5. Upskilling talent

Thinking like an entrepreneur is imperative for PMs today.

It goes beyond a business mind-set to an overall C-suite level way of approaching project-based work and the decisions required for top job performance.

PMs can no longer function without the ability to execute strategy. It requires up skilling to meet the demands of today’s marketplace.

Solid PMs must have a multidisciplinary skill set that includes effective communications skills, analytical thinking, strategic initiative, a business mind-set and technical finesse.

6. The need for design thinkers

Design thinking has emerged as a major trend for how innovative organisations approach problem solving.

The potential impact for the project management profession is significant.

Design thinking encourages innovative solutions by drawing on approaches from engineering and design and combining them with ideas from the arts, social sciences, and the business world.

For PMs, it’s particularly significant for exploring and then narrowing the scope of requirements for a project in a way that generates non-typical solutions to meet a challenge.

7. The significance of portfolio and program management

Portfolio and program management (PPM) has grown to be a part of the overall business management and leadership landscape.

In fact, PPM is a key element in successful strategic execution, because every effort of the organisation to move forward requires project-based work.

Therefore, seeing how projects, programs and portfolios align to the organisational strategy is essential for PMs and non-PMs alike.

Understanding how various projects affect others while maintaining a strategic perspective requires PMs to be able to focus on the details as well as step back to a more strategic, multi-project viewpoint.

Savvy organisations recognize the importance of a strong PPM perspective and work to empower their PMs to step back and question when misalignment between strategy and project execution occurs.

8. Diversity matters

A diverse workforce enhances client engagement and brings new perspectives to the workplace.

In fact, according to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit study, 83% of the respondents claimed a more diverse workforce actually improves an organisation’s ability to engage a diverse client base, which then leads to expanded access to a number of markets.

While more than 50% of all professional jobs are held by women, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report on major tech companies worldwide, only around one in four technology and leadership roles are undertaken by women.

Smart organisations will tip the balance in favor of diversity to leverage the power of this growing workforce demographic.

9. Colocation, global teams and distributed work

Few project teams are solely co-located any more even though colocation is a desired state for agile project management.

This tension between agile work methods and distributed teams will continue to grow.

A distributed workforce creates challenges around managing at a distance, communication, cultural differences, as well as balancing and coordinating internal versus external resources.

And as work is increasingly handed off from time zone to time zone in a 24/7 operating model, managing interfaces and interdependencies becomes a critical competency.

Those who know how to coordinate distributed teams will increase the likelihood for achieving success as well as career advancement as they demonstrate this most essential skill.

10. The spread of project management into non-PM arenas

Given that project-based work is responsible for all organisational transformation, whether incremental or comprehensive, project management is no longer just for project management professionals.

Rather project management is for anyone – which is everyone – who does project-based work.

Project management best practices and concepts are being adopted by many non-PM roles such as marketing, sales and logistics.

The benefits of this can be seen in increased efficiencies, stronger strategic alignment and improved customer satisfaction – to name a few – all of which leads to improved organizational performance.

 

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