Every aspect of a business is undergoing a change and so is project management. Companies are facing new challenges in an evolving economy and hence newer trends of project management are emerging. The five biggest project management trends in 2020 are discussed below:
- Resource management will be key: One of the biggest challenges facing companies is the availability of qualified staff. Recruiting and retaining human resource is one of the key issues facing project implementation in various companies. In fact, at times positions are vacant for several months on end, affecting the overall performance of the project management team and consequently that of the company. The scarcity of suitable staff will gear up the teams to make resource management their priority. This is necessary as the project portfolios are directly affected by the unavailability of the required resource. Companies have to juggle between projects and decide which one they can implement. Moreover, in deciding which project to implement they are directly dependent on the kind of resource available. Thus, strategic resource management done in line with the corporate objectives will be an important trend to look at in 2020.
- Flexible planning of projects: The advent of digitization and industry 4.0 has brought new challenges for the project teams. New business models have been developed by companies which seek to remain relevant in the market. However, the uncertainty around how competitive advantage can be attained is what causes the project mix to stay in limbo as new changes arrive. There are technological and political challenges facing the companies all the time. This requires the companies to have clear priorities and to take timely decisions which are attuned with the corporate strategy. Whichever companies cannot achieve this are doomed to fail. Also, the many changes in the business environment are making lesser time available for future adjustments. This scenario can be tackled with the help of flexible planning of project scenarios. And thus, this will be one of the most important trends of 2020.
- Importance of Project Management Offices (PMOs) to increase: Another trend that is likely to shape project management in 2020 is the gain in the importance of the Project Management Offices. Until now several top executives and project and line managers may have not given the due importance to the PMOs. The various complexities, numbers and project relevance may have gone unnoticed. However, in 2020 this is likely to change. This change will bring along a change in hierarchies and structure of organizations; thereby, increasing the resources, efficiency and competencies of PMOs. This is other than the scrutiny that PMOs have traditionally been under for justifying their costs and demonstrating their benefits to the organization.
- Cloud acceptance will increase: There has been a debate around the use of internal servers versus the use of cloud technology for project planning and implementation. This debate can be put to rest as cloud acceptance will increase in 2020. The ratio of cloud to internal servers could become 75% cloud and 25% on-premise servers. Excluding industries with highly secret nature of work will avoid usage of cloud for implementation of projects. Most other industries will switch to cloud-based storage in 2020 as they find storage in the cloud faster to implement and less expensive. Even the editing of projects is easier and faster in the cloud. Thus, there is an increasing preference for a shift towards cloud storage.
- Integration of tools for project management to increase in demand: While companies search for the most suitable method for their project management needs, there are several hybrid methods such as agile and classic that is being debated upon. Companies are looking to find which is more appropriate between the two. In 2020-, it might be seen that people look for common principles. For example, weekly or monthly status updates and meetings are part of the classic project management which is similar to retrospective and sprint planning in agile project management. The work of project managers is to plan and control. They have to regularly assign work, monitor results, evaluate the remaining work and re-assign it as per need. In the agile method, there is objectives are defined in a flexible way whereas for the classic method objectives have a fixed definition. However, a link can be established between these methods by phasing the work in a way whereby the fixed and flexible components of the objectives can be handled in a sequence. Thus, companies will be looking for the integration of tools for project management in 2020.
All the above trends show that project management is likely to undergo a lot of changes in 2020 and may receive a fair amount of facelift. Since resource management will be one of the key areas of focus in 2020, there will be an increased demand for professionals with certification in project management. It is thus, advisable for young professionals and students to look at project management as a career option and enrol in project management courses for a better future.