New year, new trends. Given the rapid technological advances and shifting attitudes surrounding work and leadership, change in the project management industry is inevitable.
Let’s take a look at some emerging trends that we think will shape the role of the project manager and how they work in 2023.
9 Project Management Trends You Need to Focus on
Whether it’s the project management responsibilities, changes in the way we work, artificial intelligence or a focus on specific project management methodologies—we anticipate 2023 to be a year of significant change in the industry. Here are our predictions.
1. A continued shift to remote teams
Working remotely isn’t new of course, but we’re seeing more project managers managing 100% remote teams. Even though many organizations are pushing for workers to return to the office, many more have embraced remote work. This shift allows them to hire highly skilled talent anywhere in the world. Further, 91% of US workers want to work at least somewhat remotely. This strongly indicates that fully remote and hybrid work options are here to stay.
What does this continued shift mean for project managers? Managing remote project teams means dealing with cultural, language, and time zone differences. This calls for managers to rethink their project and resource management to better address how different team members want to work and be managed.
2. The changing responsibilities of a project manager
With project management tools becoming more intelligent and automation (more on this below) taking some of the tedious work out of repetitive tasks, the scope of a project manager’s role is shifting.
PMs will be required to do more than oversee a few task lists or define the teams and resources that will do the work. The emphasis will now lie in more strategic areas such as business modeling and strategic analysis.
In response to this shift, PMs of the future need to stay nimble on the job and always keep learning. Luckily there are many credible project management certifications that can help project managers gain strategic and business management skills to stay competitive.
3. The expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation
There’s a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence and automation and the impact can be seen and felt in the project management sector too.
AI is helping organizations to evaluate outcomes, estimate timelines, analyze risk, and optimize resource distribution. Project management tools powered by AI provide insights into performance strengths and weaknesses. Executives can then make informed decisions based on the captured insights.
Project management software is also enabling project managers to automate time-consuming administrative tasks. PMs can now have more time and energy to focus on more critical or nuanced tasks.
Project managers should embrace AI and automation and take the time to understand how these elements can complement their role. Those who do will indeed have a leg up in tackling the changing responsibilities of the modern PM.
4. Emphasis on soft skills and emotional intelligence
On the one hand, we have AI and automation rapidly becoming critical elements in dealing with the technical side of project management. On the other, organizations are emphasizing soft skills to connect with, motivate and manage teams effectively. These are the skills making project managers excellent at leadership, decision-making, conflict resolution, mentoring and training, time and risk management, and all the things that tools aren’t (yet) capable of doing.
One soft skill in high demand is emotional intelligence (EQ). As you may well know, in addition to defining the scope, making deadlines, and deciding the budget, your role also involves managing people. This is where the importance of EQ comes in. You need a proper understanding of emotions (yours and others) to deal with different personalities and ensure project success.
5. Advanced project management tools, solutions and software
Technological advancements and improvements in software have made their way into nearly every industry—project management included.
Project management tools have become an indispensable part of project management and are helping make PMs more efficient at what they do. Research indicates that 77% of successful project managers have implemented project management software to plan, execute, and control projects.
PM tools collect data from previous projects, which you can use to plan better. Scheduling and time tracking becomes easier with PM software. So does progress tracking. PM tools keep track of ongoing projects, allowing you to see if they’re on track and if resources need to be adjusted.
Project management solutions also promote efficient team communication and collaboration, as you can quickly share critical information with team members, clients, and stakeholders.
6. Cybersecurity becomes a necessity
Data leaks become more prevalent as technologies and digitalization evolve, making cybersecurity more than just a nice-to-have. It’s now more crucial than ever to have highly advanced and secure means of storing and protecting your information.
Project managers must ensure that the technologies and tools they use offer tight data security. They also need to have a security risk evaluation and management plan to prevent (and deal with) potential data leaks.
7. Freedom to customize project management approaches
There’s a trend toward more intelligent adoption of project management methodologies. Project managers now have more flexibility to adapt project approaches to their environment.
You no longer have to conform to particular approaches. Instead, you can choose a methodology that will get help you get the job done in a way that works for your business.
Whether you want to use a blended approach (we’re seeing that more and more) or stick purely to Scrum, Agile, or Waterfall, your approach is truly your choice. Just remember to use discretion to understand which methodology works best for a specific project and will deliver high-quality results.
8. More focus on data analytics and numbers
Senior executives are increasingly making data-driven decisions as they continue to embrace data analytics. Data-driven decisions help these executives (and their PMs) handle projects in a better way and increase business growth.
Further, the use of big data analysis is quickly shaping how project managers plan and manage projects and evaluate and manage risks.
Don’t have a flair for numbers? No worries! Project analytics tools such as Mission Control will do the magic for you. These tools give you high-level data and custom reports to visualize your project data.
9. Inclusivity is the heart of the team
Diversity and inclusivity are big talking points across the world. But, it isn’t just a trend but a measure proving beneficial to projects. Team members from diverse backgrounds and cultures likely have different experiences and perspectives they can bring to the project. These varied experiences and perspectives can bring about higher performance.
As a progressive project manager, you must create an environment that allows team members to celebrate their differences. Make sure everyone has a voice at the table and the opportunity to be their authentic selves.
Prepare for the Future of Project Management
In 2023, there will be a continued and increased focus on remote working, cybersecurity, AI and automation, and the other trends we’ve described. Paying attention to and adopting these trends will help you lead with success.
It’s also imperative that you implement the right project management tools that will make sure you’re future-proofing your projects.
Mission Control is an excellent project management solution to help you stay ahead of PM trends in 2023, launch successful projects, and stand above the competition.
It gives you the features you need to plan, execute, and monitor all your projects (all from one central hub!). Our Role Utilization feature will help keep your team organized, while Timesheets will help track milestones and keep a time log of time spent on project tasks. The interactive Gantt chart and Kanban will enhance resource planning and task management.
We’re really optimistic about the future. Yes, change can be overwhelming, but it can also be transformative, especially if you welcome it with open arms. So as the PM industry continues to evolve, embrace these emerging trends and leverage them to become a better project manager!
To learn more about how Mission Control can help you adapt to emerging trends and make the most out of them, get in touch with our team today.