2020 Project Management Predictions

Insights | 08 January 2020

I have often said the speed of change is accelerating. The age-old quote that ‘change is the only constant’ still rings true.

As the CEO of PM-Partners, I have watched the landscape of the project management industry transform significantly through digital technologies and our customer’s ever-changing needs and expectations. So, to bring us into the new year I have listed below what I believe will be the project management trends for 2020.

  1. Hybrid project management approaches are the new norm. Projects are not created equal and the concept of hybrid approaches is here to stay. The combining of different methodologies to fit the project deliverables is critical to delivering value. Combining agile methodologies where applicable with traditional approaches creates the ‘fit for purpose’ models that will bring value to our customers.
  2. Companies will look to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AoT (Analytics of Things) to perform commoditised tasks and enhance decision making. AI is already being used in Project Management to perform daily tasks that traditionally require human effort. AoT is used to provide performance insights for leadership teams to make ‘fact based’ decisions to improve business performance.
  3. The blending of technology and neuroscience. This involves delving into complex human behaviour and ultimately working to understand the thinking patterns of peers and clients equally. Neuroscience allows us to have a better understanding of how individuals in an organisation will respond to change, therefore allowing a Project Manager to adapt their leadership style to suit the team. It will permit greater visibility of impediments to teamwork and resistance to change. The combining of neuroscience and technology will also give us superior, advanced decision making, as well as harmonious, high performing teams with the ability to identify client needs while delivering successful outcomes.
  4. Soft skills are a must for project managers. Managing projects goes beyond defining the scope, meeting deadlines and deciding the budget. Project Managers must successfully manage people. Project Managers will be defined by strong leadership and negotiation skills that motivate project teams for goal achievement.
  5. Project management tools have become an indispensable part of project management. The numbers tell the same story. Research suggests that 77% of high-performing projects are managed through project management software. This allows Project Managers to successfully plan, execute and control all aspects of the project. We can also expect more sophisticated software including visual representations of project delivery.

No doubt, 2020 will bring more change in the industry, however, the most important resource remains constant – competent people with strong values. What trends do you see emerging in 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About The Author

Ken Sheargold, CEO at PM-Partners group

Ken joined PM-Partners as a Transformation Consultant in February 2016 and took on the role of CEO on May 8th 2017. Ken is responsible for delivering major transformational change where there is complexity, risk, many inter-dependencies and conflicting priorities.

Prior to joining PM-Partners group he held a number of executive appointments in the NSW Government and Telstra Corporation.

His most recent appointment in government was the Executive Director, Premiers Implementation Unit directly responsible for supporting the Premier in the delivery of his key priorities across NSW. Prior to working in the Department of Premier and Cabinet he was the Executive Director of ServiceFirst, the shared services organisation responsible for the provision of shared services to the central agencies of government.

He was the Program Director and commercial lead for the outsourcing of ServiceFirst that successfully executed contracts with Unisys and Infosys in June 2015 with a total contract value of $235 million dollars.

Prior to joining the NSW Government, he held a number of senior appointments in Telstra Corporation. Those appointments included Executive Director Corporate Strategy and Customer Experience and Executive Director Service Advantage.

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