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Emerging Trends in Project Management

March 19, 2017

We have seen 2015 to be a year of rise of the Agile and Scrum. We saw increase in maturity of Project Management among the IT Companies. PMI started to focus on Benefits Realization and Leadership skills for Project Managers.

We have also seen that there are no pure Agile projects in a organization and neither do we see organizations following agile in total. People have mixed projects in the organization and need for governance did not go away and more and more organizations following agile is also feeling the need for project management.

Based on my understanding and experience the following are the trends in Project Management that I foresee:

More use of Agile Delivery with governance through traditional project management:

We need to deliver faster using Agile Delivery capability. At the same time we need to have proper governance in Portfolio, Program and Project Management. Agile delivery will be for Project, Program and Portfolio Management. This gives the best of both worlds and can handle the practical need of speedy delivery and strong governance.

Use of multiple tools as best suited for the situation:

Scrum is not going to be the only tool that will be used by organizations working on Agile methodology. Even though Scrum will be at the core, but use of Kanban, Lean Startup, TDD, etc. will be used in collaboration to get the best out of it.

Focus on Delivering Value:

Focus will be on delivering value to the customer. Projects or Service, the focus is on delivering value and not just the output. PRINCE2 has always had strong focus on Business Value. We now see PMI also have made changes to the exam content to bring importance of Business Value.

Avoiding waste and collaboration will be important:

We see the need for more productive situation. This is possible by trying to remove waste like in Lean. The first is of having cross-skilled team and then only we will be able to have more work done. There will not only be cross-skill within the team but also use of resources across development and service management. Devops will gather more momentum.

Importance of Leadership skill:

The need for leadership skills is a getting recognized. We see this in the change of the Continuing Certification Requirement of PMP where Leadership and Domain are areas of skill acquisition required. Now we will see PMs to be looked at as a Leader and not just a manager.

Focus on Program and Portfolio Management:

Program management is going to grow in its maturity. Focus will also be now on implementing Portfolio Management properly to ensure right projects are taken up and also value is generated by the projects. We have already seen the focus on value creation and it is possible with good Portfolio Management and Benefit realization in projects.

Using Contemporary Communication:

Project Communication will now not only be limited to the traditional channels like signed documents and mails but also newer ones like whatsapp, trello and other social media. This will be more useful as we have virtual teams.

Contract change to accommodate Agile:

The contracts also will need to be written differently to facilitate the Agile delivery. It will no longer be Fixed Bid or Time and Material that we see but will be more flexible to meet needs of agile delivery. Customer involvement throughout the project will also be a requirement in the contract.

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