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Top 5 Project Management Trends for 2014
By Nikhil Daddikar

  1. Rise in distributed teams

    Why: As companies scale up globally, projects will need to be executed by skilled resources that are based across locations and timezones. Availability of good talent is scattered across the globe. The need to source the best talent is not constrained by location or timezones anymore. Apart from budget constraints and resource costs, the emphasis will be on ensuring that professionals accountable for projects not only have the technical and management skills to get the job done, but also have the leadership skills to get the distributed team aligned in the pursuit of the proposed objective.

    Challenges: Different teams tend to have different cultures driven by location, source of motivation, time zones and work ethics. Building a coherent project culture is a huge challenge. Project management will need to evolve into Project leadership; leaders will need to manage teams differently with sensitivity to specific culture and motivational aspects to drive successful project execution. The concept of virtual/distributed teams is already a reality and companies will need to master project management in these scenarios. Implementing collaboration software alone will not be enough for a collaborative culture. Collaboration programs will only act as enablers that help create and sustain a result oriented execution focus across teams.

  2. PPM will become popular

    Why: Cost pressures and tighter budget controls will continue to push teams to deliver more with less. Project Managers will need to ensure that resources are engaged in projects that create value and stop maintaining white elephants. Project Portfolio management will therefore take center stage.

    It’s good to see PMI Project Management Institute’s (PMI) new Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) credential; there is surely going to be a lot of buzz around this upcoming area in enterprise project management. This year will also see project management solution providers bet big on PPM with specific features and enhancements.

  3. Increased adoption of PM tools

    With the need for continuous improvement in productivity and profitability, there will be an increase in adoption of project management tools. To make informed decisions, project managers need visibility across teams and projects. This is not possible with Excel. Project management software with centralized repository of projects and resources, advanced reporting capabilities and collaboration capabilities will be ideal for SMEs and Enterprises. Mobility and Cloud adoption will also play a significant role because of distributed teams, anytime, anywhere data access and emerging trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

  4. Increased use of Risk Management techniques across all organisations

    Poor project planning is a leading cause of project failures. Another problem plaguing organizations, not just enterprises, is a weak risk management strategy. As project management schedules, cost management, reporting and other elements become more structured, a top-down view of projects and potential risks will be necessary. Stakeholders and project leaders will need the ability to foresee and optimally manage risk factors, resource allocation, and bandwidth utilization

    Risk management will need to become a part of the planning process, not just an intermittent step. Owing to its increasing significance, PMI-RMP certification may also see a rise in members.

  5. Agile methodology used more outside the software domain

    Agile methodology will be used in the development of non-software products because agile is more of an approach to solving problems than a bunch of rules.

Nikhil Daddikar is Co-Founder at Celoxis Technologies. You can read more from Nikhil on his company’s blog.

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