Top Trends in Project Management
How it works
For a task to be completed accurately and efficiently, it is a manager’s highest priority to regulate productivity. Depending on the scope of a project, managerial tools like division of labor and communication work to facilitate the process. Project management is crucial to the success of any venture, and it is important to acknowledge recent trends in this discipline. Like with many enterprises, navigating the ways to increase productivity while staying true to a company’s mission can be difficult.
Although there are many, the most relevant and recent trends include the increase in remote employment, hybrid methodology, and the usage of analytic data. This paper will define upcoming trends in project management while discussing why failure to implement these trends can cause organizations and businesses to fail.
In our digital age, younger people are increasingly encouraged to work from the comfort of their own computers; at home or any other desired space. While learning how they can bring a competitive edge to the emerging working class, young adults are more open to remote employment opportunities. The unspoken millennial school of thought insists that practices in organizations can always be improved and modernized. The use of remote employment allows for greater work-life balance for employees and “reduced administrative or logistical overheads” for employers (Alexander, 2018) in emerging and successful organizations.
In a 2012 survey conducted by Andrew Filev, team members and business owners shared their delights and grievances about virtual teams. The survey’s findings included observed benefits from working remotely, such as focusing more on work than on “office formalities” (Filev, 2012). Essentially, an organization’s primary goal is to improve productivity. An issue introduced in the article is the lack of face-to-face communication, which is valuable. Being able to approach teammates or management with any internal issues decreases the time it takes to resolve them. Despite being in the peak of a digital age, it is not as easy to respond to emails with questions from remote employees as it is to get an immediate answer. The most valuable aspect of this kind of communication is being able to clarify a thought with a prompt response. This can be resolved with the implementation of periodic status reports that can be easily accessible to both remote and on-site employees. The flow of communication in an organization is just as important as its existence.
This next section will introduce a method of management called hybrid methodology. In the context of project management, hybrid methodology uses a combination of traditional and agile project management styles. The traditional approach is considered incremental through five phases: scoping, planning, launching, monitoring and controlling, and closing (Baird & Riggins, 2012, p. 247). The agile approach also functions through these five phases but is generally considered cyclical through the incorporation of “culture, communication, and people” according to Lindvall (as cited in Baird & Riggins, 2012, p. 244). Combining these approaches introduces the benefit of customizing solutions in an organization.
Management cannot be approached with a one-size-fits-all perspective. Hybrid methodology allows for tailoring problem-solving strategies that can provide success to an industry based on its desires. Many organizations have departments that focus on different aspects of the company. Depending on the matter at hand, different teams have to be managed in ways that are conducive to accomplishing their respective objectives. A recommendation to ameliorate this issue is to increase managerial transparency by sharing methods of managing teams and discussing their outcomes. The choice and integration of management styles ought to be intentional, corresponding to a project’s objectives, “considering both project characteristics and characteristics of the organizational environment” (Špundak, 2014, p. 946).
How can managers and business owners know they are progressing without the evidence to support it? Companies periodically measure metrics to gauge improvements and understand how internal and external processes positively or negatively impact the business. Those insights are used to make critical decisions that impact company-wide initiatives. An inability to share this information increases the potential for stakeholder micromanagement, the misuse of company resources and funds, and ultimately, client dissatisfaction (Rumeser & Emsley, 2018, p. 56). It is not enough to just have the data; presenting it in a manner that is transparent and comprehensible to all interested parties is something that many organizations fail to execute.
Many companies use data analytics in their organizations to provide a general overview of the progress they’ve made regarding implemented practices. The primary impact this data should have for an organization is to create and monitor solutions for success (Cervone, 2016, p.140). A problem that arises here is the collection of overlapping or unnecessary data. The lack of understanding regarding what data you’re looking for or what to do with the information that has been collected impedes the valuation process. Having too much information relevant to one topic increases avoidable confusion. It is crucial that organizations gather information that will give their industry a competitive advantage and make finding solutions simpler.
By understanding the impacts of remote employment opportunities, hybrid methodology management, and the use of data analytics, we can grasp just a small aspect of what it looks like to manage a project. If management were an all-encompassing task, maintaining successful businesses and organizations would be more feasible. However, managing projects, large or small, can be a challenging task. The failure to determine what areas an organization can improve in makes success harder to achieve. Having the ability to manage an organization and knowing how to implement strategies to encourage growth are not identical concepts, but they complement each other. Project management – an ever-changing discipline – will always experience shifts and trends based on a project’s style and mission. What will always stay consistent, however, is that groups and individuals in the position to manage must understand how the industry is evolving to accommodate progress.