5 Trends to Transform Project Management in 2016

5 Trends to Transform Project Management in 2016


There is an exciting transformation taking place in the project management landscape in 2016 as the result of changes to business practices, requirements and expectations. The advancements of the current market will continue to influence how businesses need to adapt and manage their projects.

As clients, stakeholders, businesses, government and environmental expectations change and develop the importance of project management certifications, technical expertise and training will be in high demand. To prepare for what is ahead, here is a list of the 5 trends to transform project management in 2016.

Preference for Qualified Project Managers

Due to an increased scrutiny of project management processes and the policies within a company, business executives will move towards qualified project managers. Although there will still be project managers without qualifications, job opportunities without a qualification will become increasingly more scarce and eventually, businesses may not consider applicants without any qualifications for project management roles. For those studying the Diploma of Project Management, this will equip students with the skills and knowledge recognised as essential for all project managers both in the Australian workplace and globally.

In addition, project manager qualifications and technical training, soft skills and solid communication will continue to increase in value. A major aspect of project management is suited to people who are affected greatly by interactions with various people. These soft skills include the ability to resolve conflict, diplomacy, ambiguity and confidentiality. This will be at the foreground as more projects are globally implemented, and will transform language and cultural barriers.

Project managers need to develop constructive and encouraging ways to address issues when they arise. Soft skills are not easily found and are becoming more in high demand. Additional highly valuable soft skills include agility, adaptability, ability to refocus efforts and well as a sound judgement.

Focus on Strategy Over Projects

There are numerous factors impacting businesses: competition, limited resources, time and budgetary constraints. Executives will need to transform their project management teams to focus all efforts on meeting business targets and goals. Project managers will need to focus their attentions away from industry related data that sometimes guides benchmarks when planning and focus more on precise business strengths and weaknesses to determine the best opportunities to reach specifically identified objectives. It is important to reach overall business strategy instead of individual department goals to increase the overall strength of the company.

It will also be of interest for individuals as they will be selected upon merit for specific goals based on their high value core strengths in relation to business requirements. By taking this more focused approach to strategy over projects can optimise resources, time and budgets.


Increased Emphasis on Mobile

2015 was the year of the smartphone app in project management, and this is sure to continue and evolve into 2016. With the workforce becoming more widely dispersed on mobile, means that apps will continue to grow increasingly more complex and will rely less on terminal based systems for accessing information. Utilising the correct technology can make or break a project’s schedule, budget and overall success. At the end of 2016, we are expecting to see the use of computers for managing project processes to become much more obsolete than the present day.

Companies are looking to actively re-engineer a core business process to achieve business mobility and will continue to undergo a major strategic mobile shift in the upcoming months. Project managers will be responsible for leading this strategic mobile shift that will have an immediate ripple effect on all the phases of the project lifecycle from development through the implementation of deployment. Subsequently, security policies and procedures will need to be enforced to keep client data secure.

Growth of a Virtual Team: Remote Project Management Teams

It has become increasingly common for organisations to begin moving more and more to geographically, dispersed teams. We are currently moving towards an industry where project managers and teams may never have to meet face to face. We anticipate relying more on offshore development teams who can provide excellent development services at the fraction of the price of highly priced co-located project teams. In reality, project teams rarely need to meet together at the same time so this will allow project managers and project teams to work remotely.

Hiring managers are looking to fill jobs ranging from programming to content writing to graphic design and consequently project teams are becoming increasingly more distributed across multiple geographic locations and time zones. To enable better collaboration between these distant team members, project managers are relying on social media and software that includes chat and message boards and we predict within a few years this will become the standard practice.

IoT and Big Data

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data were the buzzwords of 2015 and this will continue in 2016. IoT is going to have a profound impact on project management whereby companies can track and control their assets remotely such as devices, vehicles and buildings. As the IoT grows, the role of the project manager will become increasingly more important as they have the necessary skills to manage the challenges of integrating it into existing systems and to handle all the data it produces. Working seamlessly alongside IoT is the issue of Big Data. Big Data is crucial for project management as it improves efficiency and accuracy, but will provide many challenges in the future as we will need to find ways to collect, collate and interpret all this new data and information. Project managers are continually looking to advance data response rates and bring structure to the extensive amount of data that it offers. Although, the more data we have access to means cyber security is to become a top priority.

Project management historically focused on physical factors and aspects to ensure a project stays within budget and time constraints. However, Big Data saw the arrival of data analytics processes and improvements in efficiency. As a result, risk management and data analytics will help provide stronger and more accurate forecasts for your project.

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