Predicting the Project Management Trends of 2018

6 December 2017
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As every year’s calendar turns its page to usher in a new era, we must constantly wonder what’s coming to the forefront in order to prepare ourselves on how to handle it. Each profession is constantly greeted with new trends that come forward and are popularized. Sometimes these trends are temporary, acting like shiny new toys that get played with until they appeal wears off and they’re discarded to the corner of the room. But sometimes these trends latch on to the way we do business, their stickiness spreading to a business solution until it’s impossible to imagine life without them. It wasn’t more than 5 years ago that the idea of artificial intelligence seemed like a techno-dystopian pipe dream, and now it’s a technology that’s present in almost every business vertical imaginable. The Project Management industry is not immune to trends either, and in the past few years we’ve seen items like visualization take root in the field. What sort of things can we expect project managers to adapt to in 2018? Let’s take a look at some of 2018’s trends of Project Management.

Project Management Trend: Smarter Visualization

Data visualization is hardly a new trend, but the way it managed to latch onto every component of a project has been astounding. Data visualizations allow for anyone at any level of the organization to get a quick view of the progress, effort, and results that went into a project. In 2018, as technology gets smarter and the screens get smaller, you can expect visualizations to tell richer stories than ever before. Gantt charts and Kanban Boards have all become all but standard practice when it comes to workflow visualization, and the future will only produce more visual cues from which teams can draw results and take actions.

Project Management Trend: More Data Driven Decisions

Big Data is a part of our every day lives now, but the past few years have certainly put the focus on collecting that data. 2018 might be the year that we’re able to take the millions of data points and map them to something that can predict human behaviour itself. We’ve already seen how data can help us make sense of what has happened in the past, but what if we can use it to predict how humans will act in the future? Putting aside the ideas of gathering biometrics data to predict how someone can react to outside forces such as stress, what if we could predict how quickly an employee can complete a task with a predefined difficulty level?

Project Management Trend: Wider Scope Collaboration Done Seamlessly

The world is getting smaller and smaller, but that doesn’t mean that project are too. You can now collaborate with a design team in Pakistan, an engineering department in Cape Town, a marketing team in Vancouver, and a team of consultants in New York. Building the perfect team doesn’t mean having to look in your own backyard anymore, and collaboration tools allow you to manage everyone in one single view. Historically this meant that you’ve have to delegate and manage using a variety of tools that each team is most comfortable, but as we move towards products being more central and less prohibitive to the point where the only barrier to entry is having a working internet connection, collaboration can be implemented in a way that allows everyone to stay on the same page at each stage of the project.

Project Management Trend: Take Your Results With You

LinkedIn was originally built with the idea that your online resume would be a living and breathing object that you’d be able to quickly pass along and share with your network and beyond. As we now know, the scope of LinkedIn has now grown to become one of the largest social networks for professionals, but what if someone took their original idea and expanded on it? What if you were able to judge an employees experience not just on their resume, but on their recorded results. You’d be able to make smart decisions about who  you bring onto your team thanks to a bevy of data available to you. And as an employee, you wouldn’t have to worry about polishing your resume every time you apply yourself to a new role since you’d be able to simply show your work over any network that you’ve previously collaborated on projects on.

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