The business world after COVID-19
For more than a year, the world has been in a state of emergency. Numerous plans were hampered by the pandemic, which is exactly why professional, digitally supported project management gained importance for almost every company. The following five trends in project management, although not caused by COVID-19, were definitely accelerated and will remain relevant in the future.
Project-based organizations currently require new management tools that support virtual (home office) collaboration. It is a clear leadership task to manage project portfolios wisely in order to achieve smart resource management.
Some rejoice, others suffer: The home office provides material for controversy. As is well known, companies' opinions on how to deal with home office arrangements also differ widely. Thus, it is still a question of personal decisions and their corporate culture whether productivity losses or increases are realized. Regardless of the basic attitude towards virtual collaboration, the need for greater transparency and flexibility in project-based organizations is beyond question now at the latest. Excel sheets have certainly had their day for a meaningful representation of projects, because project plans must be quickly adaptable and comprehensible for all project members with the appropriate user rights. The trend in project management here is towards modern project portfolio management solutions: they map complex project organizations along the entire project life cycle and enable rapid action through a 360-degree view of ongoing projects.
Capacity planning and controlling have always been at the heart of Project Management Offices (PMO). During times of crisis, the pressure on project managers increases even more. In a recent survey by PMtimes, 45% of project managers confirm that resource management is one of their biggest challenges.
The trend towards professional portfolio project management should be followed quickly: Constantly changing priorities, team constellations and financial trade-offs require meaningful figures that are very difficult to provide without a project portfolio management solution. Although gut feelings and company policy have not become obsolete when it comes to decision-making, hardly any manager today can or wants to do without number-based insights. Dynamism and change are not short-term phenomena, but a constant reality. Therefore, it will become routine in the future to constantly calculate scenarios, adjust planning data and communicate changes in project progress in a timely manner. Those who cannot do this work due to a lack of tools and data will not remain competitive in the medium term.
A quick start in professional project portfolio management is possible despite very specific requirements. Basically, it doesn't matter whether you rely exclusively on agile project methods, still follow the waterfall model to some extent or have found your own project management style thanks to a high level of maturity in your organization: Our experience shows that there is a manageable number of generic processes and best practices that can map all possible project management structures. The current trend in project management is "quick start" - for example, with Capture SmartStart, project management structures are available pre-configured and can be set up promptly for customers. In any case, forward-looking companies no longer have to forego digitizing individual process steps because of supposedly high project costs.
How many projects actually meet their time and budget targets? You can significantly increase the rate with a powerful portfolio management solution. In addition, you should ensure that lessons are learned from mistakes and that experiences are reflected in improved process flows. Project governance structures should provide the framework for how projects are implemented. However, in order for project procedures to follow a "uniform" standard, it is not sufficient to document general project procedures including intended software use once. In project management, the trend towards "agile project governance" is emerging - a living, interactive process with sufficient freedom. As long as ongoing projects are regularly reflected upon and contribute to the profile of a learning organization, the set of rules can sometimes be more concise. The crucial thing is that new knowledge does not seep away again, but can be made explicit. No easy task! One thing is certain: agility is not only required in technical teams, but of course also in the PMO and at the highest corporate level, i.e. by those protagonists who demand and are responsible for project governance.
The job profiles of portfolio and project managers have become much more demanding due to the new working world. Success of PMOs is measured primarily by the following two criteria:
The ongoing trend towards autonomous, cross-organizational project teams requires new complex forms of cooperation that demand excellent coordination. This is hardly conceivable without a powerful project portfolio management solution.
Overall, digitalization within the corporate landscape has recently made a great leap forward. Many companies understood during the Corona crisis that digital transformation is not only a question of technology, but also of human rethinking. It is now important to continue on this path at the same pace.
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