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project management trends 2020

Project management trends 2020

We may only be a month into the year, but already we are seeing trends ahead for 2020 in the project management profession. Read on to discover what new emergences are on the horizon and how to develop the successes of previous years.

Tech that’s not a fad

You may be sick of hearing about AI, automation and the Internet of Things, but we promise you these are more than just buzzwords. Cutting edge technologies have already entered our home in ways we could have only ever imagined, in the form of Siri, Alexa and Google Home. Now seemingly ‘futuristic’ technologies are set to infiltrate our workplaces too. It is predicted that 800 million jobs globally could be automated by 2030. The project management profession will see a rise in the use of Artificial Intelligence, offering insights and algorithm-based suggestions to boost project efficiency. Get ahead by learning more about AI with an Artificial Intelligence course.

Remote working

Remote working has a number of advantages and is bound to continually increase in popularity in 2020. A recent report from the Carbon Trust found that greater adoption of home working could save around 3 million tons of carbon emissions in the UK alone. This way of working has been found to be particularly appealing to environmentally-conscious Generation Z employees. The result, however, is that many offices are only ever at around 55% occupancy. This is leading to a rise in shared spaces such as WeWork offices; smarter working spaces with shared desks and a meeting place.

Beyond this, and perhaps even beyond 2020, Virtual Reality is set to increase in popularity as well. Although it is not yet widespread, companies have begun to adopt VR headsets in meetings as a way of enhancing the feeling of presence for remote colleagues. Virtual reality assistants are already present in many airports and shopping centres, so it is only a matter of time before we introduce VR tech into our workplaces.

Tools for on the go

Having remote employees was a hurdle that many project managers had to overcome. That said, a key benefit is that you are no longer geographically restricted by the local talent pool. The challenge is ensuring remote teams work as collaboratively and smoothly as they would in the office. The solution to this challenge has been in found in technology. From laptops and webcams in the early days, to collaborative chat tools such as Slack – which we wonder how we ever lived without. Now we are seeing a shift towards on-the-go tools; project software that can be used on mobile devices and cloud-based solutions for collaborative working. Desktop-only tools have become massively outdated in favour of smart tech which allows you to work from anywhere and pick up from where you left off on any device. And this trend will continue in 2020 and beyond.

A hybrid approach

First there was ‘waterfall’, then came the rise of ‘agile’, but now the in-thing is a hybrid school of thought. Organisations are embracing agile working practices and the associated benefits; allowing for project flexibility, creativity and innovation. But we can also see the advantage of traditional methodologies with well-planned project charters and managed scheduling. However, we now know that these methodologies are not mutually exclusive. 2020 is set to see a trend of customising your approach and combining project methodologies more than ever. This has been found to work best for organisations who want to pick and choose which practices work best for them. For the individual, those well-versed in various approaches can improve their career prospects.

The future of project management

To round up, 2020 will undoubtedly be a year of change. We are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, and that is set to have a profound effect on the project management profession. Technological advances will continue to be disruptive this year and over the next decade, likewise with new trends for ways of working.

The key to the success of any new fashion in the project profession is in people’s skills and creativity. How you handle and adopt these changes is pivotal for project success. Proactively prepare for changes by undergoing training in your shortfalls or areas of weakness in order to stay ahead.