How is project and change management evolving this 2018?

Project and change management have been constantly evolving to ensure the highest possible success rates for organisations in achieving strategic objectives. Project management involves the use of people, processes and methodologies to plan, initiate, execute, and monitor activities. It is designed mainly for industries across banking and IT, to meet an organisation's project goals.

Change management, similar to project management, involves people, processes, and tools to effectively help organisations manage all the changes that occur, whether as a result of various project initiatives or any other factors that might impact the business.

What both areas have in common – a traditional approach towards execution, namely through a “waterfall” framework. This is a structured delivery framework used in organisations worldwide to support project managers in controlling schedule, budget and scope.

However, following this waterfall delivery framework does not guarantee project success despite it being considered as best practice. This is due to various trends such as deregulation, globalisation and new technologies which have disrupted project environments across the board. Nevertheless, strategic initiatives that drive change have made significant progress as an increasing number of companies recognise the value of agility as a strategic competence, rather than a set of tools and templates.

Below are trends that we can expect within project and change management.

1.      Adopting an “Agile” business development

Agile transformation is an ongoing, dynamic effort to develop an organisation’s ability to adapt rapidly within a fast-changing environment whilst achieving maximum value through the engagement of people, improvement in processes and enhancement of culture.

Organisational agility enables flexible use of the right approach for the appropriate project. Project management teams and practitioners should consider the full range of project management approaches, from predictive to agile, in determining the method which would deliver the best project outcomes.

Created in 2001 by a group of software developers who felt there was a better delivery approach than “waterfall”, the Manifesto stresses the value of:

 1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools;

 2. Working software over comprehensive documentation;

 3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and

 4. Responding to change over following a plan.

This can enhance greater visibility of a team’s work within the process and foster greater efficiencies within demand management. This is done by planning short sprints, curating manageable release cycles, and engaging in better communication and collaboration between internal teams and clinical customers.

2.      DevOps integration

While agile transformation is a method that applies tools, processes and organisational design concepts to make a program more relevant, adaptive and efficient, DevOps integration promotes a change in IT service delivery and culture.

DevOps seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. This is done through tech utilisation such as automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure.

DevOps Integration is the next significant milestone in software delivery. It allows you to connect the disparate activities occurring in separate tools into one united value stream by connecting those tools into a modular toolchain.

3.      Machines working hand-in-hand with project managers

Artificial Intelligence will first tackle any repetitive and routine tasks, as well as those that require data crunching, project monitoring and forecasting.

The biggest impact that machines will bring to the field – revolutionary ways to collect and process information. As such, this would improve the productivity and efficiency of project managers. However, project managers would also need to improve their understanding and knowledge of these machines as well as statistics, experimental design and similar disciplines so as to apply numerical quantitative statistical analyses in their decision-making as they are likely to manage not only the people but these machines involved in the process.

This is the reason why the roles of project managers would not be completely replaceable. Furthermore, there are areas which still cannot be automated. This includes exhibiting creativity and emotional intelligence, as well as leading, managing and developing a team.

Would project and change managers be difficult to source?

Project Management Institute (PMI) Talent Gap report states that 15.7 million new project management roles would be created between 2011 and 2020.

Retaining the team leaders in resource management would also be crucial as they are the only ones who are able to plan a complete resource utilisation.

Nonetheless, with greater tech integration within the field, more people are trained in areas of software, web and multimedia. Developers in general, also prefer jobs within IT project management as they seem to offer better career prospects. Hence, it is predicted that the market would be experiencing an upturn in the next few years as hiring and sourcing are likely to increase. This might lead to an eventual demand in higher wages too.

Hence, if you would like to find out more about the talent pool within project and change management or get a head start on these individuals, do connect with Mark O'Halloran or follow us on our LinkedIn page for other upcoming trends and relevant industry insights. 

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