As the project environment grows in complexity, project management in 2012 will require greater team, stakeholder and executive collaboration, according to management training house ESI International. In ESI's Top 10 Trends report, collaboration is a common theme for project management:
1. Program management will gain momentum, but resources remain in short supply. Many organisations struggle to find the right people and lack the management practices necessary to ensure success. ESI expects to see more investments made in competency models, training, methodology development, tool use, and career pathing to ensure that professionals who carry the title Program Manager are fit for the role.
2. Collaboration software solutions will become an essential business tool for project teams. Collaboration is central to project management and having a site which allows project artefacts to be created, shared, and distributed within a repository that provides Web-based access and critical functions such as automatic distribution and notification, version control, and user authentication, greatly enhances productivity.
3. Learning transfer will become the new mantra, but with little structured application. While learning and development (L&D) professionals and business heads agree that sustained learning is a sound idea, very few organisations will invest in a formal process to make it happen. In 2012, it is likely that many organisations will discuss the importance of learning transfer without really putting in place a structured approach to ensure it happens.
4. Agile blends with waterfall for a new "hybrid" approach. Agile project management is a highly iterative and incremental process in which constant communication between the customer (end user) and the project team, which includes functions of project management and business analysis, is an inherent and critical element to success. To transition an organisation into fully adopting certain aspects of Agile, project teams are combining traditional and Agile elements to create their own hybrid approach.
5. Smarter project investments will require a stronger marriage between project management and business process management (BPM). In the financial services industry, there will be continued focus on performing business processes as efficiently as possible. The "smart" money will be spent on driving costs out of the business. BPM is a key concept with which project managers will need to be intimately familiar.
6. Internal certifications in corporations and federal agencies will eclipse the PMP. The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, although popular in the U.S., is not the prominent credential everywhere. In the U.S. government as well as Fortune 500 corporations, a hierarchy of "internal" credentials has overshadowed the PMP in terms of prominence.
7. More PMO heads will measure effectiveness on business results. To judge business effectiveness, PMO heads need to determine if their work has had a positive, quantifiable effect on the business in terms of troubled project reduction, lower project manager attrition, and faster time to market. In 2012 the practice of measuring the outputs, not the inputs, of project management will gain traction.
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