In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, project management has become essential for organizations of all sizes.
And with new technologies emerging every day, it’s crucial to keep up with the latest project management trends to ensure successful project delivery. From artificial intelligence to remote team working, several exciting trends are shaping how we approach project management.
But why should you care about these trends?
The answer is simple: by staying up-to-date with the latest trends, you can gain a competitive advantage and improve your project management skills.
Whether you’re a business strategist, seasoned project manager, or just starting in your career, understanding these trends can be game-changing for you and help you deliver successful projects that meet the needs of your stakeholders.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top project management trends to watch out for in the coming year.
9 Project Management Trends for 2023
Here are the new trends in project management to watch out for in 2023.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Automation
Whether you’re in software development, marketing, or consulting, you must have heard about the buzz around ChatGPT, right?
It’s an AI-powered tool that responds with original, well-researched answers to your queries and prompts. Its correct and catchy responses have left everybody amazed.
Its possibilities to leverage the tool for different models across industries are increasingly being analyzed, explaining why AI has made it to the top of our list of the latest trends in project management.
ChatGPT is just one example. Hundreds of other AI and automation tools are being explored for easier project management.
The rise of AI and automation is transforming the project management outlook, potentially improving project efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing decision-making.
IBM is an example of an organization that has embraced AI and automation in project management. The company has developed an AI-based project management tool called Watson that can help project managers predict and mitigate project risks, analyze project data, and automate routine project management tasks.
As AI and automation technologies continue to evolve, project managers will need to develop a deep understanding of these technologies to leverage their potential benefits while mitigating any associated risks effectively.
Tips to leverage AI and automation in project management:
- Use AI to analyze project data and identify patterns or trends supporting decision-making, resource allocation, and risk management.
- Implement automation to streamline repetitive or low-value tasks, such as data entry, scheduling, and status reporting, to improve productivity and free up time for higher-value activities.
2. Embracing Hybrid Project Management
The hybrid project management trend involves combining the best aspects of different project management methodologies, such as agile and waterfall, to create a tailored approach that suits the unique needs of each project.
Hybrid project management offers greater flexibility and adaptability, allowing teams to respond quickly to changing project requirements.
One example of a successful hybrid project management approach is the Scrumfall methodology, which combines Scrum’s flexibility with the waterfall approach’s structure. This approach has been used successfully by organizations such as IBM.
As businesses face new challenges, hybrid project management is set to become even more important in ensuring successful project delivery.
Tips to leverage hybrid project management in project management:
- Adopt a flexible project management framework that allows for a hybrid approach, such as Agile or Scrum, combining traditional and adaptive methodologies.
- Create a clear communication plan that outlines the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of all stakeholders involved in the project. Also, ensure that everyone understands the approach being used and how it will impact their work.
3. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Emotional intelligence (EQ) has always been a critical skill for effective leadership, but it’s also becoming increasingly important in project management.
EQ involves the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions and understand the emotions of others. By incorporating EQ into project management, teams can improve communication, build stronger relationships, and deliver more successful projects.
In fact, Google now includes emotional intelligence training as part of its management development program, recognizing the critical role that EQ plays in building successful teams.
Tips for leveraging emotional intelligence in project management:
- Build strong relationships with team members, stakeholders, and clients by showing empathy, active listening, and effective communication to improve collaboration, trust, and engagement.
- Develop self-awareness and self-regulation to manage conflicts, handle stress, and create a positive work environment that promotes productivity and innovation.
4. Soft Skills
Effective project management involves not just technical expertise, but also soft skills such as communication, leadership, and empathy.
A ResearchGate study shows that 92% of team members believe that soft skills are required for teamwork. Also, 83% are of the view that soft skills positively impact team performance.
Thus, as organizations evolve and projects become more complex, project managers who can effectively leverage soft skills will have a distinct advantage in delivering successful projects.
Tips to increase emphasis on soft skills in project management:
- Provide training and development opportunities for project managers to enhance their soft skills, such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and conflict resolution.
- Incorporate soft skills as part of the performance evaluation criteria to recognize and reward project managers who demonstrate strong soft skills and encourage others to improve their soft skills as well.
5. Data-Driven Management
Among the new trends in project management is data-driven management.
Gone are the days when project management was purely a creative process. Today, project managers increasingly rely on data analytics and numbers to drive decision-making and project success.
With accurate and reliable data, teams can gain insights into project performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to optimize project outcomes.
Tips to leverage data in project management:
- Collect and analyze project data regularly to identify patterns and insights to support decision-making and predict project outcomes.
- Use data visualization tools, such as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and dashboards, to communicate project performance and status to stakeholders, track progress against KPIs, and identify areas for improvement.
Read More: Project Management KPIs to Track in 2023
6. Simple Project Management Systems
In today’s digital age, project management is no longer a manual process. Advanced project management technologies have become essential in ensuring successful project delivery. From task delegation to progress monitoring, there are a variety of solutions available to help teams stay organized and track project progress.
An example of an advanced project management tool is ProProfs Project. It offers a comprehensive suite of project management features, including task views, project reports, and automation for recurring tasks. The tool also allows for real-time collaboration via task comments and file sharing ability, ensuring that team members are always on the same page.
Tips to leverage project management tools and solutions:
- Define a clear project scope and plan before implementing a project management tool. It is important to know what you want to achieve, what resources you have, and how you plan to execute your project before selecting a tool. This will help ensure that the tool you choose is a good fit for your project’s needs and can be used effectively.
- Use a project management tool’s features to keep everything in sync and on track.
For example, you can use the tool to create a crystal-clear workflow.
Let’s understand this better by checking out how to create a workflow in ProProfs Project.
On your ProProfs Project dashboard, click on your profile icon at the top right corner and then click ‘Workflow.’
Then, click ‘+ Add Workflow’ to create a new workflow.
In this window:
- Give the workflow a name.
- You’ll see three default statuses – Open, Completed, and On hold. You can’t edit or delete these.
- ‘Open’ represents all tasks open to being picked or assigned.
- ‘Completed’ represents the tasks that are finished.
- ‘On hold’ represents tasks that are temporarily suspended.
3. If you wish to create a new status, click ‘+ Add Status.’
This window will pop up:
Enter the status name, say ‘Research,’ select its default progress percentage, and choose a color representing this status.
You can come back and edit this information whenever you want. Click ‘Done’ to finish.
This is how it will appear:
And voila! Your new workflow is ready.
Besides this, you can use a tool’s Baseline feature to compare estimated vs. actual schedules.
This is how the Baseline feature appears in ProProfs Project.
In this image, the dotted line represents the Baseline. Using this line, you can measure the difference between two distinct time periods and analyze a task’s progress compared to the defined baseline.
Similarly, you can use a tool’s:
- Task comments to exchange information and feedback
- Project reports to extract project KPIs
- Timer to create ready-to-share client invoices, and more.
To sum it up, using a tool will set you on the right track for seamless team collaboration and effortless project management.
7. Remote Working
One of the top emerging trends in project management is remote working.
The rise of remote work has had a significant impact on project management. With more teams working from home or across different locations, project managers need to adapt to new communication and collaboration challenges.
It’s not surprising that almost one in four Americans will be working remotely by 2025.
Also, it’s noteworthy that remote plus high-paying jobs have leaped to over 15% today from a mere 4% in the pre-COVID time.
An excellent example of a company that has embraced remote work completely is GitLab, a software company with no physical office and relies entirely on remote teams. The company uses a range of tools and processes to ensure that its teams can collaborate effectively, including regular video calls, an online handbook, and a focus on asynchronous communication.
Tips for facilitating remote working in project management:
- Establish clear communication channels and guidelines. Make sure everyone in the team knows how to communicate with each other and when to use each channel. Set expectations for response times, availability, and meeting schedules. Utilize tools such as video conferencing, chat, and project management software to facilitate seamless communication.
- Cultivate a culture of trust and accountability. Trust is crucial for remote teams, so establish clear goals, deadlines, and metrics for measuring progress. Encourage the team to take ownership of their work and hold themselves accountable for delivering results. Provide feedback regularly to ensure everyone is on track and aligned with project goals. Additionally, show appreciation for good work and celebrate team accomplishments.
8. Project Leadership
Project management is not just about managing tasks and timelines. Effective project leadership is essential in driving project success. And this calls for an increasing focus on developing strong project leaders.
A good leader possesses the ability to:
- Inspire and motivate team members
- Handle responsibilities delegated by senior management
- Make difficult decisions when necessary
Tips to enable project leadership in project management:
- Lead by example. Project leaders must set the tone for the team and establish the standards for behavior, communication, and quality of work. So, demonstrate the values and attitudes you expect from team members, and model the behaviors you want to see in others. Remember to be transparent, open-minded, and solution-oriented while promoting a culture of continuous improvement.
- Build strong relationships. Effective project leaders prioritize building relationships with stakeholders, and team members. This includes understanding their needs, interests, and motivations, as well as communicating effectively and building trust. Regular check-ins, feedback, and recognition can help build these relationships.
Last but not least, on our top project management trends list is ‘Cybersecurity.’
With increasing digitization, the risk of handling the project on the cloud also increases. This is a critical concern for organizations. Also, with the rise of remote work, cybersecurity risks have become more complex and challenging.
To keep things in check, project managers need to develop strong cybersecurity strategies and processes to ensure that their projects are secure from cyber-attacks.
Tips to leverage cybersecurity in project management:
- Make cybersecurity a priority. Keep an eye on potential threats and vulnerabilities. Regular risk assessments should be conducted throughout the project lifecycle to ensure that any new risks are identified and addressed are identified and addressed on time.
- Get your team members on board with cybersecurity awareness. You can do this by providing regular training on security best practices, promoting good password hygiene, and encouraging team members to report any security incidents or concerns immediately.
Drive Project Success from Start to Finish
So these are the top 9 project management trends to watch out for and embrace in your project management practices.
Remember, the future of project management will vary from what we expect it to be. New methodologies and tools will keep disrupting the project management industry.
Be open to new approaches, adopt new project management technologies, and drive project success consistently.
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