Chapter 10: The future of project management

The future of project management is being driven by the global trend toward a distributed workforce. This new environment demands increased flexibility, more powerful automation, hybrid management approaches, and a diversity of skills.

Forward-looking trends in project management

Here are some of the top trends you can expect for the future of PM:

  1. Workflow automation: Automation is on the rise since the move to more hybrid remote work. Organizations will increasingly need flexible workflow  solutions that allow them to create and automate standard, repeatable processes to manage and execute project-based work at scale.
  2. Hybrid PM methods: Hybrid project management approaches continue to  become more common, as organizations work to accommodate disparate teams, decentralized work environments, and varied schedules and timezones. This is especially true for large businesses that may not have the capacity to fully transition to Agile, but face new challenges with the increase in remote work.
  3. New skills for project managers: In addition to technical and organizational skills, companies increasingly look for project managers who have high emotional intelligence (EI). It’s not enough to bring in a project on time and under budget — today, companies want people who have a clear vision, inspire others, and drive organizational change.
  4. Increase in “accidental project manager” roles: As teams and organizations increasingly tackle project-based work, more people will find themselves managing projects, even if it’s not an official title or role. With this in mind, it’s extra important to familiarize yourself with basic PM best practices and skills, so you can remain successful as work continues to evolve.
  5. Artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools: AI will also play a greater role in project management going forward — some forecasts show that by 2025, AI will be able to schedule projects, create basic budgets, assign resources, and help administer and interpret contracts, among other things. Additionally, blockchain technology presents a new opportunity to automate tasks and update status within a secure system. At this point, it’s still relatively challenging to implement blockchain for PM, but companies are starting to employ specialists to make it a viable option.