Is Project Management Evolving?

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The types of projects that businesses undertake evolve as time passes. For instance, many eventually lean more toward digital products and services than their analog counterparts. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), programs and projects inspire change, which means the methodologies must evolve along with the results. Understanding how project management evolves can make you a more effective leader.

Taking Advantage of New Resources

Image via Flickr by European Parliament

Writing for Project Smart, Sandro Azzopardi points out that the Internet has catalyzed the biggest change in project management, making it possible for businesses to share information electronically. Project management software has taken some of the project manager’s administrative functions and automated them, freeing the PM to focus on building relationships and leading effective teams.

The Internet also allows members of a project management team to work remotely. Team members might telecommute, for instance, or a company might hire a freelance or consulting PM instead of appointing an internal employee. Many of the changes in project management involve conserving financial resources and boosting efficiency.

Reviewing Project Management by the Decades

Technology isn’t the only variable. According to Azzopardi, one can examine the project management trends with regard to specific chunks of time to see how the industry has evolved. He cites:

  • The focus on quality and value in the 1980s
  • The globalization efforts in the ’90s
  • The shift toward forward momentum in the 2000s

Elevating Education to a New Level

Project management’s evolution has included increases in employer and sponsor expectations. PMs need more education and greater experience than ever before, according to LinkedIn. PMP (project management professional) certification offers just one example of how standards in the industry have changed, but professionals should also pursue graduate school education and gain hands-on experience to increase their attractiveness to employers.

Improving your education can also help you:

  • Increase your salary potential.
  • Keep you updated on the ways in which project management evolves over time.
  • Improve your professional value in the industry (thanks to your knowledge of the history of the field and the predictions for its future).

Gaining Agility With Agile

Several project management methodologies exist, including Waterfall and Scrum, but J. Brian Soto, the Director of the Project Management Office of TBC Corporation, writes in CIO Review that Agile offers the best support for projects with evolving variables and goals. A project management method that supports change, according to Soto, makes the best choice, especially in fields like information technology.

Recognizing Threats as the PM Landscape Evolves

Project management evolution isn’t always voluntary, according to the PMI. As time passes, new threats and obstacles emerge, such as the looming threat of cybersecurity breaches. An increasing number of project managers are changing their methodologies to account for potential security threats. They must bolster their data collection and storage methods to protect themselves and their customers.

Just like most facets of business, project management continues to evolve whether professionals in the field realize it or not. Those who choose to educate and prepare themselves for the future of the field will find themselves in the best position to capitalize on lucrative projects.