Current trends in project management

Current trends in project management 25.06.2018 - Project management is a profession that is in a constant process of change. People who choose a career as a project manager should be aware of this. It helps them immensely in their professional career if they are interested in new technologies, innovative methods and creative processes. Some trends arise and remain only a few months, others continue for years and decades and change project management sustainably and continuously. What are the current trends and what do we have to be prepared for? Project manager certification bodies like us, the IAPM, also have to keep up with the times. Current trends are therefore reflected in the preparatory seminars of our trainers.

Traditional hierarchies disappear
One of the current trends is that awareness of hierarchies is changing. This applies in general to the economy, but especially to project management. A departure from classical structures can be observed in many areas. One of the reasons for this is that modern managers and executives know that they cannot recognize and use the special abilities of their heterogeneous workforce if everyone has their assigned tasks and the hierarchy prevents all ideas from being heard. In order to make optimum use of the strengths of all employees, a hierarchy-oriented organization must be reorganized. One in particular and all the others follow - this strategy only works in the military.

Project management benefits from the strengths of everyone, if everyone can contribute their special skills. The project manager must develop the ability to recognize these strengths. He must apply methods that give him access to the individual strengths in the team. A focus in project management is therefore still on the further development of innovative leadership styles and interactive teamwork. An "open door" company policy not only produces new talent, but can also help a project manager to find creative solutions in problematic situations with open ears and an open mind. Often the perspective of a person of the opposite sex, a different cultural background or simply of a different age offers completely new perspectives and an alternative solution to the problem.

Accountability is booming
In project management it can be observed that there is a trend towards greater demands for accountability and social responsibility. Companies are no longer anonymous. In an increasingly transparent world, they must assume more and more social and ecological responsibility. Of course, project managers also have to deal with this. Transparency, ethics, environmental protection and a sense of responsibility are important for many customers, investors, entrepreneurs and thus also for project managers. Anyone planning a project must therefore take factors such as environmental certification into account. Public relations work is gaining in importance as it is constantly changing in the world of the Internet. The Internet, which never forgets anything, must bear witness and account - on Facebook, in the commentary columns of blogs and online editorial offices. In addition, a construction project today no longer consists solely of the coordination of various craft companies, but today environmental tests, recycling certificates, studies on ergonomic workplaces and noise protection play just as important a role. Time for the PMs to inform themselves in new areas!

Technology, Data Protection and Communication
One of the most important trends comes from the field of technology. New tools, computer programs, technologies, communication possibilities and other tools are constantly being developed. With each new invention, someone thinks about how it could be used and exploited for successful project management. In many cases, products are created that have become an integral part of the project manager's everyday life. With PowerPoint, digital cameras, tablets and interactive management platforms, the entire team can access data and plans anytime, anywhere. New ideas and technologies follow weekly and often customers and authorities are sceptical about these new methods. Sometimes, however, even a customer insists on the use of new technologies, which often creates new challenges for data security. Teleworking, data transfer and user passwords require special measures, making IT professionals more important than ever.

Soft skills are gaining in importance
This trend has been going on for some time and it is likely to continue: Soft skills catch up with technical and classical training. Of course, studying engineering is still an important argument in the fight for the chance to start a dream career in project management, but very many employers today pay attention in their assessments to communicative abilities, team spirit, language skills and everything else that can help to drive a project forward. The best academically educated manager will fail if he fails to convince the local council or an investor of his project. Communication has become essential. People are an important factor and dealing with them is not for everyone. Conflict avoidance and resolution can be more important than technical understanding, depending on the project you are working on. Technically experienced lone wolves and loners with masterminds are still in demand and indispensable, but not on the front line, but in the background, where they don't have to lead a team.

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