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In nearly every industry, significant changes are occurring as technology advances and attitudes surrounding work and leadership evolve. Project management is no exception to these changes, and as we enter 2023, the styles and strategies for managing both the technical and human aspects of team projects are being adapted to accommodate the new workplace landscape that has emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Continued Shift Toward Digital and Remote Work
The post-pandemic world has solidified the presence of fully remote and hybrid work options. Gallup reports that approximately 56% of full-time employees can fulfill their job requirements entirely from home. The transition to remote work during the pandemic demonstrated that productivity and effectiveness in the workplace could be maintained, even when a majority of employees were working from home.
From a project management standpoint, this transition brings both pros and cons. Working in the same physical location as other team members promotes team-building and spontaneous collaboration that can be limited in a virtual workspace. However, remote employees enjoy the flexibility of working from home and report increased satisfaction with their work. Many remote employees prefer to remain remote or partially remote instead of returning full-time to the office.
As we move into 2023, project managers face the challenge of navigating team dynamics and maintaining productivity in an increasingly digital environment.
Project Management and Change Management
In recent years, companies have implemented numerous change initiatives to restructure organizations and improve efficiency. Project managers are now learning to integrate the requirements of these change initiatives into their project management strategies and plans. It is crucial to create a flexible methodology that can accommodate these change initiatives, with specific steps and protocols that teams can follow. These skills will continue to be relevant as companies adapt to the ever-evolving workplace standards in the coming years.
Traditional project success strategies have relied on adherence to a single project management methodology. However, in recent times, more companies have started combining multiple approaches to project management to increase flexibility and create a style that caters to the needs of individual projects. Hybrid approaches also work well when integrating the expectations of new change initiatives presented by company leaders.
Increasing Connection Between Projects and Strategy
Project managers are increasingly being asked to expand the scope and scale of strategies in growing workplaces. Instead of solely focusing on individual projects in isolation, project managers are now tasked with understanding how individual projects relate to one another and how they work together to advance the company’s goals. This type of understanding promotes the strategic use of a project manager’s skills and helps them consistently make decisions that align closely with the company’s vision.
Increasing Prevalence of AI and Automation
Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, machine learning, data collection, and analysis are rapidly becoming critical elements in project management strategies. According to PwC, 77% of high-performing projects utilize project management software to streamline their work and meet their goals.
AI can evaluate outcomes and provide insights into performance strengths and weaknesses. It can also provide organized data to guide important decisions, predict outcomes, estimate timelines, analyze risk, and optimize resource distribution. Project management tools and software can automate time-consuming administrative tasks normally performed by the project manager, freeing up their time and energy to focus on more critical or nuanced tasks.
Project managers who take the time to understand how AI and automation processes in their organization can complement their role will be well-prepared to take advantage of this resource.
In conclusion, project management is evolving in response to the changing workplace landscape. The trends for 2023 include a continued shift toward digital and remote work, the integration of change management into project management strategies, the adoption of hybrid approaches, an increased connection between projects and strategy, and the prevalence of AI and automation. By staying updated and adapting to these trends, project managers can effectively navigate the changing landscape and lead their teams to success.