Project management jobs run the gamut from the mundane to the extraordinary, and can be found in every single industry and business niche in the world. However, the world of project management is anything but static, and the positions within this field are constantly changing and evolving. Knowing what the trends are for your chosen field will not only help ensure that you are able to stay on the cusp of the industry, but that you are the most valuable asset possible for your company. What trends should you know? Here are a few of the emerging trends within the field of project management.
Moving from Projects to Programs
More and more, businesses are realizing that projects are actually programs, and that project managers are program managers. While the difference might seem small, it's more important than you may think. Projects are often considered one-offs, whereas programs are ongoing things that require a specific set of skills and the right training. Companies are now investing more in their program managers by offering ongoing training, but also shooting higher in their hiring process.Going Social
Social is one of the biggest words of the last decade, and it's filtered into virtually every area of our lives. You can expect it to take on a new meaning within your own career as well, with the increasing importance of collaboration between partners. Social collaboration software will play a larger role in project management, and you will need to be not only familiar with this type of software, but capable of adapting to custom developed collaborative software.Hybrid Project Management
One of the most interesting, shifts with project management jobs is the blending of approaches
. There are quite a few different approaches that have evolved over the years, but today, they're increasingly being used in conjunction with one another. This is because several styles of management complement other styles, offering significant advantages. Agile management and "waterfall" management styles are two of the most frequently combined, but lean management and traditional management are certainly still important to know.A Greater Focus on Effectiveness
While executives will certainly be keeping a close eye on effectiveness, project managers will be taking a harder look
at their own contributions to the company through the effectiveness of their actions and efforts. Being able to measure and quantify your contributions and the results of your efforts is becoming increasingly important (not just for adding to your resume, either). Output measurement will become the most important metric for project management, and input measurement will fall in importance (this trend is actually well underway already).Changing Scope
The mantra of project management has been scope, time and cost for more years than most people want to consider. That's beginning to change today. You'll find that while those are certainly still important, project value delivery will become the most important metric for managers. Essentially, so long as a project is deemed successful and providing good value, it can be extended indefinitely, outside the traditional bounds of scope, time and money.The Increasing Importance of Certification
Having credentials as a project manager is certainly important. However, certifications are becoming not just "good ideas", but hard requirements from companies. You'll also find that while PMP certification is the industry standard, more and more companies are coming up with their own criteria for addressing the training and education requirements, and even starting their own qualification and certification solutions for in-house project managers.Growing Demand Despite Economic Chaos
The world's ongoing economic malaise has affected virtually all industries. Hiring is down, and unemployment is up. However, project management professionals will see an increase in hiring on a global scale. This is particularly true for developing economies that are poised to make a huge impact on the world as a whole.
As you can see, there are some very interesting emerging trends and new ones are sure to join those listed above.