I had another baby this year. I returned to work properly and saw a project go live (yep, just the one). I’ve drunk more tea than in previous years put together, often three or four cups by 8am. I have scrubbed poo off the bedroom carpet and worked late into the evenings in bed, often with a baby snoring in my ear.
In many ways, this year has been unremarkable. I imagine many project managers with young families did exactly the same.
But next year? For my family, who knows what it will bring (birthdays, potty training and more snot, I expect). For project management, I’d like to hazard a guess. These are my predictions for the future of project management in 2015.
We will cut across silos
Cross-team communication is the best way to get projects fully integrated with the rest of the business. We’ll find ways of embedding projects into business teams and we’ll rely more heavily on cross-functional teams to get things done. That’s because we don’t have the money to have people seconded on to teams: business experts with knowledge of how projects work will be required to support several projects at once and none of them full-time.
Enterprise PMOs will help with this: we’ve already seen a rise in PMOs (although the state of the PMO tends to be cyclical – I wouldn’t be surprised if it wanes again before taking permanent hold).
We’ll invest more in change
Gartner reports that organisational change is the biggest risk for businesses. That isn’t doing it – it’s doing it well. One of the speakers at the PMI UK Synergy event last month said that typically 8% of a project budget is allocated for business change.
Project management needs to grow up and become more rounded when it comes to change. Who has the luxury of a dedicated change manager? If you do, that’s great. If you don’t – no one is doing it for you. Change management is now part of the project manager’s job.
We’ll recognise that we provide a service
Project management is one of the many back office functions that keep an organisation working. We provide a service to those people who use the deliverables to make the company money. Our project stakeholders are the customers of the project management process, just like I’m the customer of the coffee-making process when I order a skinny decaf pumpkin spice latte.
With the shift to cloud computing taking a serious hold we’ll stop thinking about software and tools and start thinking about services.
I hope more project managers get the customer service mindset in 2015.
Our professional groups will work together
I have been at conferences where a member of one professional body raises an eyebrow when you mention the other. I hope that will stop. I think we’ll see a less antagonistic relationship between the professional bodies in the UK. Since APM won the right to pursue chartered status earlier this year it opens up the ground for a positive working relationship between that body and PMI.
This is already happening: Ricardo Triana, Chair of the PMI Board of Directors, gave a well-received presentation about supporting project managers whatever their affiliation at Synergy this year. He explicitly said that the moves that PMI are making aren’t about gaining membership share but about providing the tools and industry awareness to help project managers achieve greater success.
Total harmony in the next 12 months? A girl can dream – but at least we are moving in the right direction.
Online tools will amalgamate
Projectplace was bought by Planview this year in a move that illustrates the consolidation that needs to happen in the online project management space. The Deloitte Shift Index reports that social media use at work is decreasing, and I think that’s because project-based teams are finding it hard to adopt online ways of working due to security and governance concerns.
Consolidation in the marketplace, interoperability and open standards and more structured support for governance in virtual teams will help address this decline.
That’s what I think. What are you forecasting for project management in 2015? Please share your thoughts in the comments.