Project Management is not a static topic but evolves from year to year and follows the trend of industry and the labour market in general.
The trends we are seeing are influencing and will influence this profession more and more.
Some of these started a few years ago and gradually take hold, others have been born recently and also suddenly.
Knowing how Project Management evolves is necessary to maintain a strategic vision of the profession and the sector.
So let’s see what are the trends that will affect the project management sector.
The Trends of Project Management: The advent of artificial intelligence
We hear a lot about artificial intelligence and there exist a real debate around this topic.
As with any new trend, also for this scenario are two currents of thought:
- those in favor who announce it as the “reality” of the future;
- and those who are skeptical, or even frightened, of the consequences that this evolution can have in everyday life and in work.
Project management can also be influenced by artificial intelligence.
Therefore should we be favourable or frightened?
Specifically, when we talk about artificial intelligence applied to Project management, we talk about systems that can manage projects daily, as well as their progress without the need for human input.
Not only the simplest tasks will be automated, but an understanding of the key points of the project can also be developed.
In this way artificial intelligence can use this knowledge to perform more complex tasks, make recommendations and even make decisions.
Furthermore, an artificial intelligence system can save time by improving the results of a project.
Project Management managed by artificial intelligence is a service that goes beyond what is currently offered, for example, by so-called bots.
Not even an algorithm that applies machine learning to predict activity estimates, although interesting and useful, can be called artificial intelligence.
It’s only when you start to merge bots and algorithms that you start to see the true potential of artificial intelligence in Project Management.
Let’s try to hypothesize what artificial intelligence can do applied to the Project Manangement.
Here’re some concrete examples:
- Match the right resource to the right role: Project Managers will be able to perform resources according to the teams. In fact, thanks to artificial intelligence, it will be possible, not only to match the right resource to the right team / project, but it will be possible to select upstream the resources suitable for a given project;
- Reduce downtime: artificial intelligence can analyse the performance and progress of each resource and assign a work /project based on the real capabilities of the individual;
- Create an ecosystem for knowledge management: when an employee leaves the company, part of his knowledge is non-transferable and goes with him. Artificial intelligence can also serve to centralize knowledge. Improving the coherence and quality of work will avoid “starting from scratch” when a change takes place;
- Improve resource performance, by minimazing effort: How many times are you not in the right mood, and you spend a lot of time on a simple task? How many times, on the contrary, do we manage to complete complex activities in a very short time? Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, the project management system could associate the bestjobs/ task to be performed at the best time of day, suggesting the planning of activities in a personalized, unique and even variable way.
- Provide objective evaluation and vigilance without getting tired: by their nature, human beings can get tired and this can affect the quality and precision of work. An artificial intelligence system, on the other hand, is tireless and available 24 hours a day.
Of course there is not yet a system that integrates all these functionalities, but in the near future all this can become a real and concrete advantage.
There is still a long way to go in this field and the potential of artificial intelligence in Project Management is not yet fully developed.
New technologies, however, are working to realize and integrate these functionalities.
Project Management Trends: Wearable technology
The tendency in Project Management to the growing use of Wareable Technology seems unstoppable.
Wearable technology goes well beyond glasses, headphones or smartwatches that many might think when they hear this word.
Wearable technology devices not only help us count how many steps we take in a day or how many calories we burn, but can even improve our productivity in a project.
In fact, wearable devices have the ability to provide data in real time and to perform monitoring and localization functions.
These devices will establish a connection between workers and the digital platform.
In this way, the data will be used to analyse the workforce in order to increase efficiency and productivity.
Wearable technology can also simplify the process of managing daily activities.
Time, as well as the progress of the activity, can be scanned and collected on virtual worksheets to obtain a precise image of the flow.
But wearable devices will not only be used to analyze the workforce, but also to increase the level of employee health.
Even now, a growing number of employers are encouraging their staff to wear fitness trackers to measure their health.
Indeed, it’s widely demonstrated that an increase in fitness levels is related to increased productivity, morale and job satisfaction.
In addition, many wearable technology devices have the ability to enable Project Managers in particular, but also those involved in team management, to keep track of strategic aspects , such as heart rate employees, stress and the level of fatigue, in ordere to maintain workplace performance.
This has the potential to decrease the burn out cases caused by projects that are too demanding for a resource.
For this reason, if an employee shows a high level of fatigue during a given job, the employer can choose to delegate these tasks to those who prove more suitable and “fresher”, allowing the first employee of the team to devote himself to lighter work.
Companies all over the world are also using wearable technology for fitness tracking to offer incentives to their employees. (For example, some companies in the United States offer cheaper health insurance to employees who increase their fitness levels.)
The potential that wearable technology has in increasing productivity is the factor that is increasing its use in the workplace.
There are already studies and reports that highlight how the use of this technology actually increases productivity.
Project Management Trends: Smart Working and Remote Team
The sharing economy is proving that more and more companies are implementing the use of project teams with resources also operating remotely.
More and more workers are looking for the flexibility. The possibility of organizing, one’s time and hours of work and not being tied to a desk has become a must.
This trend is destined to grow.
In Italy, Smart Working (or agile work) is a reality: 305,000 workers have switched to this work modality. And the numbers will grow, especially in the large companies.
This is confirmed by the data from the latest research of the Smart Working Observatory at the Politecnico di Milano.
The benefits of Remote work are undeniable for the company:
- Improves productivity.
- Absenteeism is reduced.
- Costs for physical spaces are significantly reduced; in fact, several large companies are redesigning their offices, reducing the surface area.
Moreover, the Observatory considers a productivity increase of 15% for a worker who adopts an already tested smart working model.
The benefits of remote work and Smart Working also have an impact on the worker:
in fact, the Smart Workers are more satisfied compared to their colleagues who don’t adopt this working method.
Thanks to remote work the smart worker:
- Reduces travel time and costs. As the Observatory also shows by implementing only one working day a week remotely, an employee could recover even 40 hours in a year.
- It greatly improves the balancing of professional and private space (the so-called work-life balance).
So, remote teams offer great opportunities: more economy and more productivity if managed effectively and with the right tools. We’ll talk about it later in this blog.
In the meantime, a conclusive reflection: the scenarios change but the basic objective of the project management remains the same: deliver within the deadline and without exceeding the budget.
This our analysis, we would like to know yours. Do you see other trends that can help to innovate and simplify the Project Management?
Leave us your comment or your impressions on the evolution of Project Management.