8 Project Management Trends for 2016

28 December 2015
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2016The end of the year often creates a feeling of nostalgia mixed in with anticipation. We reflect on our accomplishments over the past year and think up new plans for the year ahead. As we gear up for 2016, we examine 8 trends for the project management space.

1. Increasing agility

It comes as no surprise that we’ll be seeing even more of a focus on agile project management. It’s cost effective and quick iterative nature appeals to both management and the newer workforce. Agile management increases efficiency, mitigates risk and decreases the time to market for new product development – features that are becoming increasingly attractive to smaller and larger companies alike.

2. Valuing customers as stakeholders

Customers are often considered as stakeholders, but more and more, customers are demanding visibility into projects as they develop. This trend likely has a lot to do with the increase in crowd funding projects. Customers are no longer simply consumers of products, their input now serves as the backbone for delivering projects faster and better. This trend goes hand in hand with the requirement for constant feedback in agile project management.

3. Less focus on PM certifications

PM certifications are an asset for Project Managers looking to land contracts, and although job postings list PM certifications as preferred, companies are becoming more focused on an individual’s experience as opposed to their accreditations – a trend that is by no means exclusive to the project management space.

4. Increasing remote teams

Virtual teams and employees allow companies to select the most talented individuals for a given project – regardless of their location. This of course means that there will be an increase (as has already been seen) in contractual employees. The reality is, the workforce is changing and the terms for employment are changing along with it. 2016 will see an even greater shift away from full-time in house employees towards more transient contractual employees, allowing more flexibility for both the companies and the contractors.

5. Simultaneous projects

Whether it’s a good or bad thing, we believe most companies and their teams will be working on more and more projects in the future. The term “projects” used to be reserved for huge undertakings that would take years to accomplish. These days, projects are smaller in nature with shorter times for delivery, which once again, corresponds to the trend of agile management.

6. Fewer and better PM tools

We’ve seen an over-saturation of the project management & collaboration software space. And while we foresee new players entering the market, evidence shows that mergers and acquisitions will reduce some of the competition and leave consumers with fewer (but quality) choices. This also means that software companies will be forced to think outside the box beyond standard feature sets – the surviving providers will be more inclined to integrate with existing ecosystems and step up their data capturing, visualization and insight capabilities.

7. A shift to change management

Project managers will see themselves more involved in change management. Top management will continue to ask for more buy-in at the employee level, and specific projects for managing these changes will overlap with the work of project managers.

8. Thought leadership

As the importance of content continues to grow project managers and their teams will be increasingly asked to keep records of their processes, obstacles met and best practices, for the purpose of producing white papers, blogs, podcasts and other forms of content. Companies want to place themselves as subject matter experts and producing content on a regular basis will continue to be the best way of doing so.

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