Project Management is very different today to what it was five years ago. I do firmly believe, the art of project management will have changed in the next five years to a place where we might not even call it project management but maybe ‘engagement management’? The project management landscape will look different, that I will certainly agree with. As clients, businesses and vested parties continue to evolve in thinking and needs, the state of project management needs to mirror this and grow accordingly.
A transformation is taking place in the project management field as the result of changes to business practices, the evolution of IT, the hunger to delivery and the complexity of organisations. This is all putting a sharper focus on project people, governance processes and the technologies we need to enable successful delivery. Here are some of the major factors that project managers should consider as the profession evolves:
- Be Strategically Focused :- Constant competition, limited resources, time and budgetary constraints have an increasing impact on project delivery. This is not going to change, however what needs to change is the mindset of the Project Manager. We should influence these constraints strategically. Let’s not just accept these as project factors, they should be assessed on what we need to do to re-align the business to be better prepared. For example, shortage of resources doesn’t mean we cannot deliver, we need to realign ourselves to take advantage of what resource are available.
- Take up the Coach Role:- Be smarter in your leadership and focus on how you can maximise people’s time. Yes, as project managers, we are greatly influenced by the management team from top-down and our culture of working. However, project managers create their own project culture and develop a team-level energy. Project coaching should be about finding positive and productive ways to promote and reward the various strengths and to brand a stronger team environment. While this is nothing new, it should become the cornerstone of a project manager vision or responsibility.
- Be Entrepreneurial:- If you ask any business owners what the most important thing is, they may say profits, but is it enough to just focus on this. What about intangible value factors such as customer satisfaction, improved services, customer retention, etc. People and businesses want to do business with companies that provide transparency, offer visibility and conduct themselves in ways that can improve how they work. We rely on projects to sell this and sell more beyond just delivering a product. Project managers need to be able to sell the service of the project and be entrepreneurial in how the project can be presented out to clients, business and vested groups.
- Educate yourself Softly :- This is no surprise but it is amazing the amount of people that take this for granted. Soft skills are the cornerstone of successful project management, but project managers should continue to push the boundaries, be educated and challenge the trends and theories that exist. It is not enough to say that by working with people, makes one rooted in soft skills.
- Diversify seamlessly between Virtual/On-Site Working :- Each day the workforce becomes more widely disbursed and mobile, increasing the need for remote project management tools and labour. Having the right technology, can make or break project schedules, budgets and overall success. Remote project management is not for every company, but it is increasing in popularity and demand. However keep this in balance, as a project manager needs to balance the virtual and on-site working
Submitted by our expert Project Management Tutor, Liam Dillon
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