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The future of project management: adaptability, sustainability, diversity

 MS MS

Published: 23rd December 2020

The only way for many organisations to thrive and survive is by making sure that their projects have the ability to adapt quickly when new circumstances arise; and to focus on sustainability and diversity. When times are turbulent, an organisation’s success will depend on their ability to adapt in terms of planning and delivery of the project, which requires experience and particular skills within their project teams.

In order to ensure adaptability is at the very heart of a project, project managers may have to develop a new mindset and new skills to enable them to cope with the challenges of constant change in the workplace.

Embrace new skills

Project professionals are at the forefront when it comes to planning and delivering any change and businesses that can make these skills a priority will gain an advantage over those that don’t. The development of skills is hugely significant, not just for project managers but also for those who are in a stakeholder role. The skills that are most likely to be important for development in a world post-COVID, and well into the future are:

Cultural change

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on business but is not the only challenge that businesses find themselves facing. Issues such as digital transformation and the worsening crisis with the climate mean that workplaces are going to need to continue changing at a much faster rate. New skills alone will not be enough when it comes to these challenges. Individuals will need to consider a change in their attitudes and behaviours, and a culture of resilience is more likely to spark bolder ways of overcoming the situation.

Diversity

The majority of modern workplaces value diversity, this particularly includes those who work in project management. Diversity is, however, more than just gender and race. There are also other characteristics that should be addressed. The idea of diversity must be embedded into what and how people think. Organisations looking to the future need to view people, situations, problems and solutions differently in order for employees and leaders to embrace change and the resulting innovations that can be achieved by a diverse organisation.

Sustainability

Targets from the government regarding the possibility of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions have given businesses some significant issues, starting with a need to look at their carbon footprint. Anyone responsible for delivering a project will need to ensure that environmental sustainability is one of their priorities.

Developing project management skills to include a focus on digital transformation, the environment, sustainability and diversity will enable businesses to adapt to a changing world, and successfully lead projects to implement such change.

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