3 Project management trends to take us into 2021


As we near the end of 2020, a year that the majority will be glad to see over, we can start to consider those project management trends that might be impacting the industry and coming with us into a brand new year.

Remote and digital teams

One huge thing that 2020 has taught us, for the better, is that project management, just like a good number of other industries is not something that needs to take place purely in the office or on-site. Greater connectivity, a new look at corporate values and an increase in the gig economy have all added up to one thing and that is that remote and digital teams are now more commonplace than ever.

Even before the Coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to close and employees to work from home if they could, the prevalence of remote work was already becoming more commonplace. All the pandemic really did was push it that little bit further and show just how much could still be achieved when a project team were no longer based in the same space. Of course, remote working isn’t without its challenges both for team members and the project manager but this does offer a great opportunity for your project management skills to really get put to the test!

The key thing that project managers should consider as we move into 2021 is that communication will be more important now than it has ever been.

A better link between strategy and project

Project management is traditionally an organisational tool that is used to help achieve a goal, whether this is the launch of a product or service or the requirement for a particular outcome. It is the role of the project manager to guide a project until it reaches a successful end goal.

More recently, the role that project management plays has seen an expansion and it is now more than simply a set of processes used to help reach the end goal. The framework that it offers can now be used for greater initiatives and strategy.

If a project manager wants to use their skills in a more strategic manner than they need to understand that there is a relationship between program, project, and portfolio management. This allows them to look at how individual projects are linked and helps to make decisions that are smarter for the organisation.

Emphasis on soft skills

As any project manager knows there is a certain level of organisational and analytical skill required in order to be effective in their job. The project manager’s role, however, does not end there. They need to understand people and use their interpersonal skills in a way that brings the best out of everyone in order to achieve the most successful outcome. This is why it is just as important to master soft skills in addition to the other skills typically associated with the profession.

As we move forward into 2021, will you be looking to embrace any of these trends in project management, and if so, what skills will you need to do so?

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