As we are just a few weeks away from the end of 2014 (where did that year go?) we’re looking ahead to 2015, and beyond, for growing trends affecting the project management space. Whilst these might not necessarily be new trends, they are certainly picking up pace and many will become mainstream as we move ahead.
The new face of project teams
Where we once had a centralised office for all project teams to physically work together, we are seeing more and more companies utilise their global teams to get the job done. This has a number of benefits including;
- Wider range of skillsets
- Less downtime on business critical projects (24/7 instead of 9-5)
- No duplication of effort – one project, done once instead of 5 similar projects happening at the same time
Challenges companies need to prepare for include:
- Time zone issues
- Differing languages, cultures, work practices and expectations
- Integrated technology platform
- Use of modern communication and collaboration tools
Smaller projects (but more of them)
Maybe as organisations we’ve got better at delivering projects and we are seeing a trend of more projects happening but the scale of them reducing. An ERP implementation is probably one of the biggest projects an organisation can experience, but if that’s behind you, then you might start to see more technology-based project demands coming in with fewer deliverables and tighter timeframes.
This is also a great time to think about your PMO, or implementing one if you haven’t already (see our previous PMO post). With more projects happening at the same time, the governance, prioritisation and management of these will become even more relevant.
Cloud technology to rise
We’d hazard a guess that most companies have already dipped their toe into cloud-based technology of some kind. That trend is only set to rise as we see projects being delivered across borders and the demand for more projects rises.
Some of the major benefits of cloud technologies for projects include:
- Ability to quickly track progress in real-time
- Collaborate with a range of internal and external stakeholders on a range of platforms and devices
- Free / cost effective tools with no big investment needed
- New technology comes to the market quickly so it’s easy to keep up with the latest tools and applications
See our recent post on cloud and SaaS technology.
Outsourcing of project management services to third parties
This is a dilemma we see a lot of organisations ponder. Outsourcing has its benefits such as cost reductions, access to a wider range of skillsets, less risk etc., but it can also end up creating more work for those internally who are responsible for the external party’s outcomes.
The jury’s still out on this one, but we’re sure we’ll see more happening over the next few years.
It will become inevitable that companies go down the PMO route (even if they decide to outsource their project management function), especially given the increase in project numbers. PMOs form the backbone of any organisation’s project success and can have far-reaching cost benefits when implemented correctly.
A function once tightly held by the sales team guarding their pipeline, the CRM is now opening up to other departments across organisations. For projects, the data a good CRM can deliver can help to avoid repeating past mistakes, uncover real market insights and determine the future path for organisational projects.