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5 project management trends changing the way we work

Technology is enabling businesses to adopt and streamline smarter work processes. As millennial workers advance to management positions, we offer five ways their work preferences will drive greater efficiency, particularly in the realm of project management.

1. Millennials will start entering management ranks

Millennials have already been moving into management positions over the past few years, as the oldest of their generation is in their mid-30s today. The change we’ll start to see is their rise as project managers. Since a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification requires many hours of experience, the average age for obtaining this certification usually is around 34-36. And younger people are more likely to seek certification as government programs have incentivized the PMP program. As millennials begin joining the ranks of PMPs, we can expect their mindsets and preferences for completing tasks to begin to influence how organizations manage projects. Since millennials will represent 50 percent of the global workforce in a decade, organizations would be smart to plan for an onslaught of younger ideas.

2. Work will continue to become more remote-friendly

Remote work is a well-known millennial preference, and it makes good sense for a lot of businesses, regardless of the employee’s generation. Remote work has been shown to reduce sick time, increase productivity and improve employee attitudes about their work. Collaboration tools are making remote work highly effective. For many in project management, being physically proximate to coworkers is unnecessary.

3. Social-like collaboration tools will edge out formal PM applications

Collaboration tools such as Slack, Google Drive, Trello, Asana and countless others have changed the way organizations work. Younger workers are not only computer literate – many have never known an unplugged existence. The utility of collaboration tools is not only for millennials – their intuitiveness and ease of use are a reason for their popularity. Moreover, these tools are affordable and scalable, particularly for midmarket organizations.

4. More organizations are adopting Agile methods

Agile revolutionized software development by making programs more adaptive and efficient. Other business functions, from finance to operations, have taken note of Agile’s benefits and have remolded their project management practices accordingly. These organizations are experiencing improved communication, greater ability to react to change and more productive projects.

The coming of “business agile” is also ushering in a top-down movement to align projects with big-picture company-wide objectives. Some organizations have adopted Enterprise Project Management Offices (EPMOs) that replace fragmented and siloed tasks with cohesive plans.

5. AI and IOT will facilitate these changes

Lastly, organizations have seen artificial intelligence and data analytics as crucial support players in project management. Today, certain PM tasks are automated, such as report generation and assignment of roles based on credentials. This will continue as the “internet of things” finds more data to feed organizational decision-making.

We anticipate a continuing trend of younger, smarter and more responsive project teams using collaboration tools to attain focused company-wide goals. Workers and managers will continue to combine new technology and flexible work arrangements to produce efficient results.

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