Project management is a buzzword in business but what is it exactly? Simply put, it is the process of initiating, planning, executing and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. While this could be said to apply to any project or task, project management as a discipline provides a structure, tools and techniques to guide and measure projects in order to ensure success. In today’s business world, projects have a defined beginning and end, which are usually high-pressure, given time, and funding constraints. The project’s unique goals and objectives must bring about beneficial change or added value to a business. Thus, project management is becoming a booming field that requires permanent roles and positions. There are a number of trends within the industry that highlight how an organisation can maximise the efficiency of their project management efforts. These include:
The creation of a Project Management Office
Instead of employing consultants or expecting non-expert staff to perform a project management role, companies are hiring trained and skilled project managers. By doing this business can retain experienced staff who have the skills to ensure project or programme success.
Thanks to the ultra-connected world we live in, crowdsourcing has also become of crucial importance to project managers. Software-as-a-service allows them, and the organisations they work for, to create a central hub where ideas, innovation and feedback can be shared. By engaging the correct partners and platforms it can lead to significant savings while increasing productivity.
Within the last few years many project managers have begun to use big data techniques, text analytics, numerical correlations and frequency analysis in order to identify the best times to plan milestones or schedule maintenance. Leading firms can basically integrate multiple sources into one pool and deliver a huge overview for a project manager, and in turn project managers can get a better understanding on the gaps in a project that need to be filled.
Ditch the email and use smarter tools
One of the headache areas for project managers is e-mail, which is considered to be too messy and inefficient. The key reasons are long mail strings, the difficulty in inviting newcomers, access management considerations and long-winded back and forth conversations. Instead, smart project managers are turning to the many dedicated tools that are expected to become common place (such as Yammer, Salesforce Chatter and the highly regarded Flowdock). Replies can be sent quickly and easily between groups with access controlled in an easy manner.
The final expected trend is a complete movement to agile management or agile x management (also known as extreme project management). It is a method of managing incredibly complex or uncertain projects. It differs from traditional project management as is has a far more flexible and undeterministic approach. It focuses more on the human aspect and interaction in the project. By understanding this, it helps to enhance the project goals while allowing the project manager to manage the unknown or unpredictable, instill desire and confidence to gain commitment and it is a holistic approach, based on reality and managed by specialists.
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