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A new big technological wave is coming- Is your organisation prepared to surf it ?

Project management trends will have have an impact on the way your teams interact., your internal and external approaches as well as your clients. To stay relevant companies need new approaches to keep their relevancy in these volatile and continuously changing times.

Evolving technologies are changing the way social organisations and business environments interact.

Whether you’re a trend junkie (you joined TikTok last year) or a bit old-school (you bought a wall clock last year), you need to be aware of new project management trends and how they may influence your teams, clients, and approach especially in the context of commodity trading and risk management software.

So, what are some of the top 5 emerging ETRM/CTRM project implementation trends to prepare for 2022 and beyond.

1. Constantly Changing Digital Technologies

Companies are putting more and more emphasis on their employees’ Technology Quotient, defined by the PMI as “a person’s ability to adapt, manage and integrate technology based on the needs of the organization or the project at hand.”

In other words, how well (and quickly) you can adapt to new tech, like AI and automation, and successfully integrate it into your project management process.

Digital project managers should develop their technology quotient, but it’s not just about who can implement technology X, Y, or Z the fastest. It’s also about discerning which digital technologies to use when, and whether a certain technology should be used at all. Using the wrong project management or automation software can have disastrous effects on your projects, costing you time and budget.

2. Importance of Change Management to Project Success

Stay flexible—bending over backwards is a daily project management activity.

Change management is a hot topic among project management trends—whether it’s mitigating change, reducing change, embracing change, or accelerating change. In 2021, increasing competition and smaller profit margins mean organizations must always adapt and adjust their processes, workflows, and competencies. Digital project managers must manage change effectively to complete projects and boost their organizations.

Change management is becoming a daily routine. According to recent data from the IPMA, 63% of companies are carrying out projects that involve change management in some capacity. This will help them complete more complex projects while streamlining and standardizing processes. Project managers will be involved in this standardization and applying it to their own projects, as well as supporting change management initiatives.

Even though more and more companies are implementing change management, only 30% of companies agreed that their internal competencies in change management were either “very or extremely effective,” according to the IPMA.

3. Risk Management has Higher Stakes

It’s slightly more complicated than the board game is.

In previous years we have seen an increase in competitiveness, a trend that is still relevant to 2021, as it places more importance on risk management. Competition between organizations is increasing as more and more players enter the field. Companies need to have a risk management strategy to reduce the impact and frequency of threats and give them an edge over their competitors. As a PM, minimizing risks from project to project can boost project success and keep clients happy. It can also boost ROI and keeping customers returning.

Risk management affects entire organizations, not just at the project level. Managing risk is the latest project management skill that PMs can use toward project success. According to the IMPA, 60% of project managers implement risk management throughout a project, and around 2 out of every 5 companies “never” or only “sometimes” involve a risk management process. More risk management at all stages in the project will help project managers foresee issues or threats before they arise and plan ways to mitigate those risks.

4. Increased Organizational Collaboration

Project management trends: it’s all about collaboration, collaboration, collaboration in 2021.

Individual work—keeping your head down with your nose in your notes or reports—doesn’t seem to exist anymore. It never really existed at all in project management. People have always had to work together to get projects done, and heading into 2022 there are more tools, tips, and tricks than ever that you can leverage to collaborate with your team in a productive way remotely or in person.

Communication is an essential component of collaboration. In 2019, we covered how soft skills like communication, negotiation, and emotional intelligence are increasingly providing more business value. Project management skills in communication will intensify in importance, and are likely to shoot to the top of the list for companies looking for and allocating project managers.

On a day to day level, this means more check-ins with your team, more quick meetings (who doesn’t love a 5 minute meeting if working from home), and more heads ups. You’ll find that projects run smoother, your team has more direction, and you’re proactive in approaching problems.

More collaboration means more collaboration tools. This is a little bit like the chicken and the egg: are we collaborating more because there are more tools, or are we using more collaboration tools because we need to collaborate more? Either way, tools are crucial to your collaboration process. 51% of companies are using collaboration tools in completing projects, and the most commonly used tools were SharePoint, MS Teams, and Confluence. Tools make it easier for team members to jump in on projects, so you can cover all angles, get a fresh perspective, and make better decisions.

5. Shifting, Globalized, Home Based, Contractor Economy

Project managers already have firsthand knowledge of the contract market economy—many teams are bringing on contract workers, and the increasing numbers of remote working and co-working arrangements has already begun to impact our approach in managing projects. Stats from Gallup show that 36% of workers earns income from gig work in some capacity. In fact, according to Arras People’s 2019 Project Management Benchmark Report, 42% of project managers are themselves freelancing, indicating this will become the norm more and more.

More than the other project management trends, the gig economy has direct, immediate results in a project manager’s work. We often find ourselves with a smaller pool of core, full-time team members, who are supported by a distributed and shifting network of freelancers.

For PMs, managing a remote team comes with a whole new set of challenges in time, people, and task management. We’re continuously trying to answer the question of how we’ll keep work flowing smoothly when our teams are in different time zones, different continents, and often committed to more projects than just ours.

6. Greater Focus On Data

Now that we can collect large amounts of data, we need to find a use for it. With that mountain of information, companies expect that it must be useful. From understanding customer needs to detailing risks, analyzing data for important insight is a key activity in almost any development project.

The 2018 WEF Future of Work Report stated that by 2022, 85% of companies are either “likely” or “very likely” to expand their use of data analysis, especially big data. Big data is an important subset of data analysis, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It involves analyzing massive data sets for insights on audiences, customer needs, and demographics.

Especially with profitability being trickier, we have to be smarter about the way we create project data, use data to estimate, and plan and forecast our projects. Yes, algorithms can help analyze some of the data, but the growing availability and importance of data.

a means that project managers will need to step into a data analysis role from time to time.

This means setting up projects strategically with a plan for collecting the right types of data, and it also means helping teams and internal stakeholders get business insights and a common understanding from the data that is collected. We have more data than ever before, so we need to become adept at making sense of the data (and the confusion!).

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