The only thing that is constant in this world is change, and in the competitive world of project management, this definitely holds true. New trends are fundamentally altering the way businesses are run and how projects are finished.
In your organization, you may even have someone with the title “project manager.” But really if you’re in charge of motivating people, setting up tasks and ensuring project success, then you’re a project manager. Even without the PMP (that’s a specialized certification—don’t worry about it!).
With companies trying to get more done than ever before, the industry is making changes to try to keep up and improve collaboration. As the business value of project management increases daily, what are the emerging trends crucial to project management and getting things done?
1) Crowdsourcing with Self-Organizing Teams
More project managers are taking advantage of new software programs to coordinate contributions from various sources. They are organizing teams of freelancers, consultants and in-house team members to get the job done in the fastest and most efficient ways possible. These dedicated project teams use a mix of productivity platforms, video conferencing, project management tools, design and proofing programs to communicate and collaborate.
What happens when you blend so many great people together?
Ideas happen. Good ones, too. These crowdsourced ideas are iterative, constantly being worked on within their day-to-day activities.
But it’s up to the professionals, managers and C-suite leaders to utilize them to their fullest capacity.
For example, Wazoku Idea Spotlight is as software-as-a-service which gives companies a central hub for ideas, innovation and feedback.
Users include Microsoft, Aviva, Oxford University and many more. These same companies are even gamifying the system so that employees get points for their contributions, and even a % of the profits if an idea is successful!
Large enterprise organizations that are not taking advantage of their employee’s ideas and talent will be left behind. This is becoming a hot trend in the new year that is yielding great results!
2) Integrated Apps and Tools
The integration with daily apps and services on the cloud will continue to be a major part of project management in 2017.
For that reason every PM software must be capable of integrating into the many popular tools used today, and in the future.
When choosing your project management software the first thing you need to ask is, does it have a simple and clear connection with your commonly used apps.
At the moment Asana seems to have the most integrations, including everything from tracking to portfolio management and more. However, any of the other PM options can add integrations if you need them, so never be afraid to ask!
3) AI, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things Improves Project Management
Projects are notorious for being late. Predicting how long task will take to complete is very challenging and some would say impossible.
Solving that problem is one way machine learning in project management can help. It can see how projects are going, and provide automatic estimates based on past data.
And that’s not all…what if your software could:
- Automatically predict the best team member for a task and assign those tasks to them?
- Tag users in comments based on the context of the task?
- Predict when deadlines were at risk for not being met?
- Fix incorrect task time estimates
- Receive commands with Google Home or Alexa?
Those machine learning advancements are already part of ClickUp. For more on how ClickUp is impacting machine learning and AI in the project management space, check out this article.
It’ll be a matter of time before we fully understand how these new technologies will impact project management, but the faster your business adapts, the more aligned your team members will be for project success.
4) Remote Work
Remote working, telecommuting, virtual workers, or however you choose to describe it–the results are the same. Research from Gallup found that employees who spend at least some time working remotely are more likely to be engaged in their jobs.
It’s no secret remote working is becoming more and more popular by the day. It’s a popular trend that won’t stop. Remote work allows for more freedom and for companies to scale faster while saving money. When building any product in the tech space you must ensure your product will follow this trend.
Working remotely requires initiative, proactiveness, and a willingness to do what’s necessary – without being asked. It’s an indispensable part of remote working – if you want to be successful that is. Research shows that remote work has climbed to 37 percent, with no signs of slowing down. This trend is a two-edged sword, simplifying and complicating project management at the same time.
These teams—especially agile project teams, dynamic growth and marketing teams, and highly innovative business development—need project management software that takes into account the collaborative nature of these jobs.
An easy project management software tool that requires little onboarding helps teams stay on task—when one team member is sleeping, others can be working. Clear cut directives with flexibility and connectivity makes this possible while also helping work-life balance for all those involved.
5) The End of Email
Got a new idea? Send an email.
Need an update? Send an email.
New project files? Send an email.
But, as any busy professional who has spent much time in the workplace knows, email and task assignments don’t mix.
For day-to-day activities, email won’t cut it. Why not?
Too many things get lost and requests do not get completed.
When 10 or more people reply to the same email, the conversation string can quickly spiral out of control. It’s hard to invite newcomers and decide who is working on what.
Oh yeah, and tracking progress? Forget it.
With a powerful project management tool like ClickUp, you can assign comments and set up action items during communication.
And what about document collaboration? It is nearly impossible to edit documents via e-mail correspondence. Even within project management software, you are often forced to collaborate between multiple tools to complete any design or mockup work. ClickUp allows you to create and add comments to mockups from within their software, saving time and keeping everyone on the same page. Stop trying to assign/complete tasks via email and finish projects faster with project management software.
6) Personalized Project Management
Why are we forced to use and pay for features we don’t need? This is a common issue that many industries face. Software can be built today easier than ever, leaving no excuse for us not having the opportunity to personalize and customize it. It’s a project management trend that can’t be ignored.
This could go beyond software—especially in the realm of heightened emotional intelligence. Understanding how a project is going beyond what’s on the task update, and then how to manage that project and team member more effectively will become even more important. This may become more difficult in a remote environment, but understanding that personal connection and still deliver results will be even more imperative. As we said at the beginning, project management and regular professional management are merging together.
Plus, the workforce expects a customized experience. This isn’t another rant about millennials, but let’s face it—the capability of our personal apps are far outpacing the ones we typically use for work. Thankfully, this is changing.
By giving companies the option to personalize their project management users can save money and increase efficiency. People already have enough on their screens and are tired of clicking through things they don’t need. The sooner this change happens the better!
To be honest, it’s an exciting time to be in the productivity and project management space. Especially as the two fields are converging, providing valuable insights into how people integrate their work, personal to-do lists and side projects into one. It’s a change for sure, but one that makes sense.
What trends are you most excited about in project management? What are you looking forward to? How is your project management software evolving with the modern workplace?