Project management has not been immune to technology improvements. It has been intensely impacted, with managers facing changes in teams’ working environment on a yearly, if not quarterly basis. If you still haven't caught onto these growing trends in project management, don't keep pushing it off until you're behind the curve. Read up and adopt best practices on hiring remote project teams, project portfolio management, optimizing internal training, BYOD, and the new reality of all-digital project management.

1. Remote project teams

Did you know that 40% of the American workforce will be freelancers, contractors, and/or temporary employees by 2020? Alongside that, full-time employees are increasingly working as members of dispersed, global teams, communicating and coordinating work via online software and apps. A recent Wrike report found that 59% of companies interviewed use standardized project management practices in either most departments or their entire organization. Technology plays a huge role in that. Meetings are held via Skype. Tasks are tracked in a project management tool. Schedules are developed and delivered to team members online. So the question to ask yourself is: can you improve your projects by bringing on freelancers or remote teammates? If the answer is yes, don't hold back because of technology complications — the right tech exists to support you.

2. Better Portfolio Project Management

Predictions for portfolio project management growth were not quite fulfilled in 2015. However, many companies are in the process of implementing PPM, and many have identified it as a top priority. That’s why we expect the adoption of PPM to continue. 2016 could be the year your team centralizes management of the processes, methods, and techniques your team uses to analyze and manage projects in your company.

3. Shorter employee onboarding processes

FastCompany shared that employees are changing companies every three years in order to learn more, be more productive, and get higher salaries. This means that your company and team will experience higher employee turnover, requiring your new team members to settle in faster with optimized training programs and work delegated to new team members sooner. In 2016, we predict you'll be more challenged by employee development than employee retention.

4. “Bring Your Own Device” work environments

2015 showed us that employees are more and more frequently bringing their own PCs, tablets, or phones to work to help them get things done. We can expect this trend to continue to grow. However, we've seen it create a lot of headaches for IT support teams trying to support and integrate these devices into their company’s defined processes. We'll have to wait and see how the growth of BYOD continues to affect businesses.

5. Project Management will get the “Digital” preposition other departments have

The true digital transformation of project management should be complete by the end of 2016. I'm referring to relying on online tools for collaboration and coordination between teams, and not just senseless back-and-forth email exchanges. Intuit shows that only 25% of teams still rely on room-based meetings to share updates; meetings and status updates are moving online. It's high time the field becomes known as "digital project management" to differentiate itself from the project management of yesteryear.

What do you predict for project management in 2016?

Undoubtedly it will be a year for changes in project management, as goes every year. Of course, not all off these predictions will come true — they never all do. However, many of these practices have been going on for a few years now, and it can only be expected that they will continue taking over the project management space.
Author Bio: Joel Roberts is an account manager and has been writer in project management for more than 12 years. She's currently working on Seavus’ Microsoft Project Viewer — a standalone viewer for team members who only need to view and analyze project plans.
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