Tuesday, January 7, 2014

5 Project Management Trends to Look Out for in 2014

As we enter the New Year it is interesting to reflect on the previous year and forecast new trends for 2014. The project management space went through some impactful changes in 2013, which has set it up for major growth this year.

According to Tech Republic, here are five key project management trends you should watch for this year:

1. Project management roles continue to develop in the business function.

These days, the concept of a project manager is no longer restricted to just IT. Years ago, system implementations were only staffed with IT project managers who had project responsibilities. Now, organizations are getting smarter as they begin to mirror the IT project management role to ensure successful implementations.  This year, the concept of establishing a business owner to represent the department's IT priorities will continue to grow, and the business lead will take on business-related project management tasks and work directly with the IT project management staff.

2. More project schedules will move to the cloud.

In 2014, more businesses will move to cloud-based tools to support scheduling and collaboration. Tools like LiquidPlanner, AtTask, ProjectManager.com, Wrike, and Gantter have useful project scheduling tools that are competitors with Microsoft Project. In 2013, Microsoft's Project Online with Office 365 also introduced improved web-based scheduling with its flagship product.  These solution providers will continue to innovate the project scheduling domain, and more businesses will take advantage of scheduling tools that are platform independent and work in mobile environments.

3. Online collaboration tool adoption will increase.

Web-based document sharing solutions have been around for some time, but they are being replaced by collaboration platforms that move teams into the collaboration platform. In 2014, more businesses will adopt collaboration tools like tibbr, Asana, Trello, and Siasto to provide project management support. As the collaboration space improves, platforms will provide an integrated collaboration suite instead of instant messaging, document management, and desktop sharing tools.

4. There will be more of a reliance on resource management.

In 2014, with scheduling centralized, resource management becomes a feasible option. PMOs will develop a better view into the work pipeline and in determining existing capacity. By integrating project schedules with task tracking, real-time resource curves can be developed to obtain a top-down view of the project pipeline. Using the platform, data-driven decisions will improve decisions instead of guessing over who has capacity to take on additional work.

5. Distributed teams will continue to grow.

Collaboration tools help flatten the obstacles to communication, enabling organizations to access talent across the state, country, and world without relying on co-location. Just a few years ago, conference calls and text messaging were the predominant means to collaborate as a distributed group, but this year, better collaboration tools will improve the way teams work in greater distances.

About the Author:  Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
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