The latest trends & future for Project Management - Peter Jonathan Wilcheck
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//The latest trends & future for Project Management

The latest trends & future for Project Management

I recently participated in a study group, and one of the questions that came up was, what does the future hold for Project Management? What key areas, industries, or even technologies will demand the increased involvement of Project Management? Those questions prompted me to research and uncover what particularly ahead for project managers, project management executives, and project management firms. When I asked some substantial, large customers of mine of what projects they will be engaging in or bidding out. It was interesting, to say the least, of what the most common responses were.

So, allow me first to summarize what Project management is. As described by the Project Management Institute, Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of procedures designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together — sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies. Project management processes fall into five groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing

Project management knowledge draws on ten areas:

  1. Integration
  2. Scope
  3. Time
  4. Cost
  5. Quality
  6. Procurement
  7. Human resources
  8. Communications
  9. Risk management
  10. Stakeholder management

The entire process needed to be planned and executed efficiently and effectively to ensure the team can competently complete in any particular project. A project manager will have many objectives. Still, the main task is to maintain a high level of competence from the employees as this is a critical component that assures the business hits its targets.

Quality management has a positive effect on liabilities and revenues within the organization. The core attributes focus on nine areas of knowledge that a project manager will immediately identify include:

  1. Communication management
  2. Cost management
  3. Human resource management
  4. Integration management
  5. Procurement management
  6. Risk management
  7. Scope management
  8. Time management
  9. Quality management

The overall success of any project can depend on how good these attributes are aligned as they are all fundamental factors for contextual dynamics within the project. The attributes help to focus on the planning, managing, and forecasting activities, which are known as the four P’s of project management. These main points of interest include:

  1. Plan
  2. People
  3. Process
  4. Power

The plan focuses on forecasting within the project. These main points of interest focus on the dynamics of communication and collaboration. The process is the approach to project activity and quality governance. Power is the area of lines of authority, which include decision-makers and the intended policies of that particular project. All of the above aspects have a methodology that provides the project manager with the tools to reach objectives and complete the task within the timeline.

The practice of project management is a business concept that is currently experiencing the latest trends, and the future certainly looks bright for all practitioners. In 2019, it is an entirely different notion to what it used to be. It has efficiently evolved with the times, and with the implementation of brand-new AI technologies, it will continue to develop far into the future. Small and large enterprises can now easily embrace effective and time-consuming automated tools and specialist equipment to enhance the entire process of project management. New start-up businesses can now steer clear of project failure by implementing the latest trends and practices into their business model.

All industries, no matter how diverse, can create practical strategies by following these new trends as they highlight the best ideas to run an organization successfully. Sustainability is a key factor for enterprises, and many reach a certain level of sustainability by applying a quality Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) into the infrastructure and other related systems. An EMPO helps the manager/s and the workforce to reach different objectives, and it’s now considered as the newest trend that creates almost 50% more productivity throughout a project. Global organizations are using this latest AI technology to enhance the entire process of project management and to reach all intended targets satisfactorily.


Artificial Intelligence:


Image by Capterra

With many developments arising, artificial intelligence like EMPO and others, including applications like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and numerous different online platforms that help a project manager to connect, communicated and collaborate with the team are effectively streamlining functions to such a degree that overall productivity is exceptional. AI is boosting all elements involved in project management. Workflow is improved, and all resources are accounted for while creating a truly interactive interface for all team members working on the project.

Several new AI applications come equipped with the latest algorithms that can offer insights with useful suggestions for managers and members to sufficiently reach their targets.

AI technologies are capable of cutting downtime while raising uptime within the workforce. Productivity within all areas of a project is paramount, and purchasing a quality AI product is the answer for an effective and efficient workflow.

Here are some examples of how AI is helping project management teams today and in the future:

  1. Estimate the suitable markup acceptances to increase the possibility of winning tenders.
  2. Predict the possible cost overruns based on the selected contractor, the competence of the project manager, the project size and the type of contract used.
  3. Optimize the cost time trade-offs in construction projects.

I personally learned first hand, how these applications could have helped in my budgeting and forecasting timelines of six condos I was renovating. Some were over budget and past delivery dates. Luckily these were all mine that I own and rent out. However, when I was introduced to applications that helped with predictions of overall renovation costs, labor and cost overruns, these applications came in handy.

Emotional Intelligence:

This term, a term created by two researchers — Peter Salavoy and John Mayer — and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name, is the latest trend in the corporate world that relates to a brand-new business concept called EQ or EI. Emotional Quality and intelligence in project management are progressing, and it is now considered an essential part of a project process. EQ enables efficiency and productivity from employees because a manager with good emotional skills can easily manage diverse groups and create the correct path to personal and technical communications. Project team members may be from different cultures. Still, a manager trained in EQ will have developed the capability to collaborate with them all and to easily resolve any issues that may be risen within the group. Emotional intelligence with EQ training is highly recommended when human resource head-hunters are searching for a quality project manager as it is a trend that is considered to be very influential by executives and stakeholders.

Motivation Techniques:

Applying new techniques and essential motivational strategies is a fundamental factor in project management that will always be trending. Managers can follow the latest trends to improve productivity from the workforce by helping the team to raise their game throughout each task and until project completion.

Corporations are actively seeking management employees who can motivate a workforce. Human resources search for people who have been trained in extrinsic and intrinsic motivation techniques as these aspects have a strong influence on project results. Team members who are extremely motivated by the project leader are capable of completing all objectives, and they are more likely to accomplish the end goal within the set timescale. The latest trends in motivation techniques concentrate on psychology concepts that help the team both on an individual and a group basis. A project manager will apply different strategies involving extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators create a desire for the employee to complete the project because he/she will be rewarded. Incentives, such as commissions, are extrinsically based. Intrinsic motivators involve the team leader allowing the employee to realize the personal gain from completing goals within the project. Both motivators help all staff to enjoy their work environment while providing the opportunity to gain rewards and self-satisfaction. Following motivational trends can increase project productivity and enable employees to improve their effectiveness and efficiency throughout the organization.

Hybrid Methodology:

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Applying modern techniques and strategies that are based on other, more conservative methods can result in success. Businesses are actively seeking project managers who can work on various projects and implement methods based on several different methodologies. HR head-hunters will employ managers that can apply different styles at any given notice to ensure that they can complete all objectives no matter what the project entails. These hybrid managers can easily work on different projects as they are trained in implementing various methodologies across a wide range of subjects.

PMO Applications:

A PMO is a Project Management Office platform that helps each project to power towards all set targets. Organizations are applying PMO’s throughout their infrastructure systems to improve efficiency from employees and to use them as a driver for change. Project managers who are well trained in using these platforms can usually assure satisfactory results for project stakeholders. A PMO will organize and optimize all systems throughout a project and enable the manager to manage employees and provide them with the tools and specialist equipment for successful project completion.

Database Storage & Analytics:

Every project has important expectations throughout its lifecycle, and effective and efficient data storage and analytics is certainly a deep concern for project managers. Businesses expect their managers to store data securely while gaining reliable information from their analysis. The manager can then investigate the numbers and analyze performance to provide solutions across the project at hand. The latest trends in cloud databases and analytic tools are helping project managers to improve productivity throughout the workforce and enabling them to collect, store, and efficiently study real-time data. Trending applications and systems such a Google Cloud and co, are creating structure and assuring better results for managers and team members.

Kanban Boards:

The Japanese term, Kanban, basically relates to a billboard. Toyota, the automobile manufacturer, created Kanban boards to help them to improve their manufacturing techniques and to enable strategic change across their global companies. It involves a theory that integrates into project management applications and infrastructure systems with advanced methodology concepts. The Kanban board approach is the latest trend in project management that uses visual boards for managers and team members. The boards hold a set of Kanban cards and a grid to enable all employees to sufficiently manage project workflow. Innovation is increased, and productivity is improved as it provides managers with the possibility of leveraging all tasks and managing them in a centralized way via the Kanban board. Stagnation can then easily be avoided, and the team can work on reaching set targets without interruption by using a more structured plan and overall frameset.

Cybersecurity Platforms:

Security is always a significant concern for organizations as the threat from cybercriminals and their unlawful activity increases. All businesses now use various applications that are technologically advanced to help them combat cybercrime. The latest trends include AI that is more than capable of dealing with security threats. Platforms like a firewall that includes malware and spyware applications will protect project managers and team members throughout the project lifecycle. Data can be compromised by cybercriminals, and large organizations can be hit with a multi-million dollar fine if they didn’t have a cybersecurity system in place. Therefore, all enterprises must now follow the latest trends in security to help them stick to strict regulations and policies. Immediate detection and prevention from the use of these new technologies are compulsory.

The Internet of Things:

IoT is what we all know as the ever-growing global network of devices that use the internet to communicate and collaborate. Information from the IoT is substantial, and project managers can focus on and analyze data related to their projects. It is an excellent environment for communication, and it makes collaboration with team members and self-employed outsourcers exceptionally easy. Workflow is efficiently improved, and productivity is increased by the help of IoT. The Internet of Things has many advantages for project management initiatives, including the fact that it enables reporting at hyper speed. It provides project managers to communicate with team members helping them to remain in complete control of the project environment. IoT provides accurate data for analyzation, and managers can use that data to gain satisfactory results.

Remote Workers:

Project managers will often employ remote teams to help them complete different projects. Now that the IoT allows for essential communication processes and easier collaboration efforts, managers and their teams can stay in contact with each other no matter where they currently reside. Remote working, in general, is undoubtedly one of the main latest trends to hit the headlines with the influx of digital nomads working for global companies as they travel the world.

New technologies enable this way of life, and many people have now packed up their belongings and set up their anywhere office. Organizations actively seek remote workers who hold the enthusiasm to travel and have the motivation to earn funds to continue their location independent lifestyle whilst helping firms to gain positive project results. But it’s not just digital nomads who work in project management. Many home workers now earn a living working for global companies and their project management teams.

Therefore, remote working is a very viable option to earn a living because it is a sector that is on the rise with the digital era booming. Project managers who have quality leadership skills can easily work with a team of remote workers, and both groups benefit from the partnership as the manager has a team that is extremely enthusiastic and motivated. The remote team receives flexible hours and enough funds to obtain a comfortable living. Big businesses are well aware of this beneficial environment, and they have recently realized that it may be the way forward into the future for more success in a competitive industry.


Project management initiatives are a fundamental function across a wide range of global organizations and different industries. Digitalization has helped the sector to gain more momentum, and the demand for project managers with quality leadership skills has risen. The practice will continue to evolve with the implementation of brand-new AI technologies, and it is likely to experience exponential growth in the near future. Companies can now easily integrate their specialist tools and equipment throughout their systems and offer them to project managers and their teams. Technology in the digital era is the driver, and innovations involving artificial intelligence are only going to increase organizational workflow further and improve productivity. Smarter machine learning and communication and collaboration applications allow for continued industry growth.

The future holds more devices with better capability and capacity to connect with team members and manage projects. It will bring AI applications with huge databases that retrieve, store and evaluate real-time information, which will then provide the project management sector with valuable insights that help managers to work competently with team members and gain successful results for the organizations. The future will also offer lifelong learning processes that benefit all involved in project management via upskilling and broader and smarter networks for team collaborations and project success resulting in career progression.

Technological changes are basically the main latest trends and the expected future for project management. Demand for more advanced methods, applications, and system software will continue to increase. Technology is the primary driver in the sector, and it will streamline all project processes. It will enable beneficial factors in all areas, including the planning, resourcing, measuring, and managing of projects.

Objectives and final targets will be easier to reach and complete with the help of AI and machine learning. Advanced technologies will allow organizations to customize and optimize their infrastructures and systems to a degree where they can be confident that any project undertaken will be successfully completed by their project management teams. All projects can be either centralized or decentralized to fit the needs of the team. The more traditional tried and tested methods can still be implemented, but companies will certainly benefit from better devices with higher capabilities.

In conclusion, project succession rates will continue to rise due to the enhanced features that technology offers. The expected future will be a fast-paced environment. Still, project management professionals and their well-equipped teams will surely thrive with the help of new technologies and the vast benefits these initiatives bring into the fray. Improved workflows and increased productivity throughout a project’s lifecycle are assured if all organizations realize the importance of providing project management personnel with the best tools to strive towards project success. Following the latest trends in project management will guarantee a brighter future for anyone involved in delegating, financing, or managing projects.

Peter Jonathan Wilcheck 2019

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