Predictions for project management in 2018
By Harold Kerzner, Ph.D. Senior Executive Director of Project Management, IIL
Every year, there are changes taking place in project management. The predictions for 2018 concern all levels of management of a company. While we have high hopes for a lot of change to happen everywhere, some bad results can happen especially if people are afraid that the changes will take them out of their comfort zone. Most of these predictions are based on my lecture series on PM 2.0 – PM 3.0: The Future of Project Management and My Conferences on Project Management Innovation.
Growth of Measurement Techniques for Project Metrics
When the Project Management Institute (PMI) ® moved from the triple constraint to competing constraints, companies became more sensitive to advances in metric measurement techniques. For nearly four decades, we have focused primarily on time, cost, and range measures (ie, Triple Stress). But understanding the true health of a project requires more than just these three constraints. Companies will need to make further progress in measurement techniques to address any new measures that management and stakeholders will want to display on performance dashboards.
Prioritization of Constraints
With an increase in the number of metrics, there will be an increase in the number of constraints on a project. There can be up to 10 or 12 measurements monitored throughout the project. With so many metrics, and assuming that each measure represents a potential constraint on the project, it may be impossible to meet all the constraints. Compromises will be needed. The solution will be to prioritize the constraints at the beginning of the project as well as periodically review the priorities throughout the project lifecycle. With just the three constraints, the prioritization was not so difficult. But with maybe 10 or more constraints, prioritization will be difficult.
The Need for Value, Value, and Value
The traditional goal of project management was to produce a result or a deliverable product. The new goal is the creation of commercial value. After all, why work on a project if the intention is not to create a form of commercial value? Value may very well become the most important word in the project manager's vocabulary in 2018. Measures will be established for monitoring and reporting on the creation of business value.
Trust Project Managers
For decades, executives feared that project managers would make decisions for senior executives. As such, very limited trust was given to project managers and, in most cases, project sponsorship and / or close governance were considered critical. Now, executives place much more trust in the hands of project managers.
One-Size-Fits-All no longer exists
For decades, leaders felt that the best way to control project management from the top floor of the building was to create a unique project management methodology that could be applied to all projects. In many cases, each project of the company had to follow the same methodology and all the activities and support processes, even if many activities were not directly applicable to a particular project. Now, due to the trust placed in the project managers, flexibility is given to the project managers to customize an approach for a particular client. These flexible methodologies or frameworks, such as Agile and Scrum, will replace existing methodologies for all.
Cases as usual no longer exist
Using one and only one methodology, small improvements were made periodically, and executives still thought it was as usual. By eliminating the unique approach, this is no longer as usual. To remain competitive, companies must change the way they manage project management. Techniques such as Agile and Scrum have shown that some traditional project management practices can be out of date.
The Need for Client-Centered Frameworks
For years, we have told our customers that our company has an excellent methodology and, if you give us a contract, we will manage your project according to our methodology. With the ability of project managers to use flexible methodologies or frameworks, clients are now asking project managers to customize the framework based on the client's business model rather than the business model of the client. l & # 39; contractor. I call this approach a customer-focused framework, which can easily lead to more business and better customer-entrepreneur relationships. The more project leaders conduct their business based on how the customer does business, the greater the chances of a project's success accompanying higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Growth Project Management in Innovation
Companies can not grow solely through cost reduction and hope for business resumption. Innovation is now central, and companies that can effectively manage innovation projects will become the market leaders for tomorrow. But innovation project management will require a form of project management that is significantly different from what we traditionally teach in the classroom. There will be a significant growth in innovation project management practices in 2018.
Growth in Managing Organizational Change
The result of innovation activities is not just new products and services. Innovation also includes new ways of doing business with the ability to pull people out of their traditional comfort zones. Businesses are now learning to implement organizational change management activities, including changes in the way projects are managed, without major impact on the business base.
The Changing Role of Governance
In the past, governance in project management was heavily focused on the supervision of project managers and the decisions they would make. Now that more trust has been given to project managers, the role of governance is more to validate that the company is working on the right projects and that portfolio projects are aligned with the strategic objectives of the project. business. People's governance will be replaced by governance of activities.
The Growth of Adaptive Capabilities
Projects become bigger and more complex. Changes in project management, as identified above, occur. All of this increases stress and pressure on project managers. Rather than teaching project managers only traditional human relations skills, educators also need to help their students gain the skills needed to cope with stress and pressure projects and project management. If you can not cope with the pressure and stress, no matter what other skills you have. The failure may be right around the corner.
I hope you enjoyed reading my projections for 2018. In closing, let me make a comment on the last projection. Change is inevitable and some changes will be disruptive. What you have at home is more important than any project you will likely manage. What you have at home is the means to cope with the pressure and stress of project management. There is a "quality of life" and does not allow stress and pressure to affect it.
About the Author
Harold Kerzner, Ph.D. is the senior executive director of IIL for Project Management. He is a globally recognized expert in project management and strategic planning, and author of many successful textbooks, most recently Project Management 2.0.