Project Management Trends 2015

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Project Management is continually evolving and to “stay ahead of the game” it is essential to advance and progress with our Profession and the industry. As the New Year comes closer we are all asking what will be The Trends for 2015 ?, whilst none of us has a crystal ball my take on the Eight (8) biggest trends are as follows.

  1. Fostering and Agile Environment – The Agile approach to project execution, will continue to grow and build further traction in 2015, as Organisations look towards new methodologies to improve their delivery and outcomes of projects whilst gaining an upper hand on their competitors, through fresh methods. Indeed the rapid cycle time implementing this approach can massively improve results if applied and monitored correctly. However due to the relaxed methodology, somewhat informal structure and low level of documentation along with the multiple, swift project cycles often lead to failed attempts, unless implemented correctly by an experienced and skilled Team with close bonds. In 2015 large businesses will elect to incorporate an “Agile Approach” into the existing large tried and proven methodologies such as PMBOK and Prince2, forming hybrid methods rather than the “All or Nothing” approach of yesteryear.
  2. Program and Portfolio Management – 2015 is likely to see the implementation of clusters of smaller projects by a single PM as opposed to delivery of large intricate projects that some of us have become accustomed to. Organisations will lean towards mitigating risk through a larger volume of smaller projects and work packages, but will expect more to be done with less whilst delivering a speedier ROI and results in a much shorter time frame. Project Managers will require additional skills and knowledge in order to maintain governance and apply a holistic approach over the portfolio or program, which is vastly unlike managing a single Project.
  3. Certifications – Certifications and credentials are becoming a must. With global competition on the rise for professional Project Mangers to remain on the leading edge in our profession, credentials (or multiple) are now expected. This requirement will continue to cultivate into and throughout 2015, with a primary focus on PMIs PMP, Prince2 and the sweat of Agile/Scrum Certifications.
  4. Change Management – Change Management has been the “Buzz word” in Project Management circles over the past few years, with a frenzy generated. However I am not certain we all fully grasped the frameworks required for successful implementation of the tools and processes and as a result many successful Organisations adopted Change Management without applying it correctly nor reaping the real rewards and benefits. Traditionally change has been overlooked or not handled as well as it could have been. With the recent release of The CMBOK, the hype still fresh and lessons learnt, 2015 is the year to perfect Change Management processes.
  5. Benefits Realisation Driven – Gone are the “Bad Old Days” where bringing a project in on time, and on budget, constituted a successful project and a pat on the back. Often after client sign off has been achieved and a Lessons Learnt Meeting conducted, The Project Team moves on without ascertaining if the product or service returned the expected value. 2015 will see overdue evolution in this area, with emphasised accountability and measurability. Business Leaders expect results and confidence the desired outcomes have been not only met but exceeded. Results will be measured against the Business Case determining the true success of the project.
  6. The Big Picture – Project Management is rapidly advancing with a focus on “The Big Picture”, rather than the small piece of work being conducted. Business Leaders and Executives will urge, PMs to consider the alignment of a projects outcomes with those of the overall goals and strategic direction of the business. Project Management will no longer measured on a Project by Project basis but rather across all Commercial Initiatives. As a result Project Governance at an Executive level will inevitably be implemented to control business outcomes and investment spend within portfolios.
  7. Centralised PMOs – Centralised PMOs are on the rise and the value of Project Management Offices with a focus on improving project performance for large Organisations will continue to be acknowledged by Business Leaders with an emphasis to support Project Teams and enable projects to be successful. PMOs will focus on centralising decision making, providing support to The Project Teams, coordinate resources and provide a uniformed and standardised tools, templates, methodologies and procedures.
  8. The Cloud – More and more companies will move towards The Cloud in 2015. A rapid increase in Web Based Platforms permitting storage and sharing will become the normal of many project based entities with Project Documentation, Templates and Tools being accessible and available across multiple locations and devices.

Ray Turner

Principal Ray Turner Consultants