Virginia Beach, Virginia (PRWEB) January 17, 2012
This year holds a number of challenges for project management professionals, predicts Jon Swain, President of Virginia Beach enterprise project management consultancy Ten Six Consulting, LLC. He is forecasting that the rise in mobile technology and cloud computing, deeper partnerships with outsourcers and the continued difficult economic conditions will impact projects during 2012. Debates about Agile leadership and change management will further test project managers and their teams this year. These will be the top five hot topics for project management over the next 12 months.
1. The number of projects in the cloud will increase
The adoption rate of mobile devices such as tablets continues to grow. “We’ll see more project managers involved in software projects for mobile devices,” said Swain. He also predicts that the number of project management software vendors enabling access to their products from mobile devices will increase. “Project managers need to keep on top of their projects while travelling, so the demand for access to their management software via tablets and phones is on the up,” he added. “A natural extension of this is that project management software will become more cloud-based.”
2. Outsourcers will form an integral part of project teams
Outsourcers are no longer on the periphery of projects. With companies focusing on their core competencies and generating savings by using outsourcing partners, suppliers will become an integral part of project teams. “The increase in cloud computing is helping supplier partners integrate into project teams,” says Swain. “They are able to work on projects with the same systems as their customers. We’re seeing more and more projects start with a decision about whose enterprise project management tools to use, and the growth of virtual teams and cloud computing makes that possible.”
3. Challenging economic conditions means reducing costs is still important
Companies are still nervous about over-investing during such difficult market conditions. “Many organizations have already stripped out costs through process improvement projects,” said Swain, “but there is still more to do.” This year will see companies reviewing internal processes and looking for additional cost savings to be delivered through projects.
4. Leadership buy-in is required for Agile
Many companies have adopted Agile methods as a way to consistently deliver projects while working with changing requirements. The traditional roles in an Agile team will evolve as leading Agile projects becomes established as a skill set in its own right. “Agile leadership is a hot topic for 2012,” said Swain. “As Agile gains a greater foothold in companies, we’ll see senior managers becoming more aware of the benefits of Agile and what it can deliver. Agile requires a different organizational culture and mindset, and Agile leaders need to establish and embed that so project teams using Agile methods can operate most effectively.”
5. Project management will extend to include change management
“In times of economic difficulty, companies can’t afford for change not to stick,” said Swain. “Integrating change into the organization is imperative to ensure that the investment is not diluted, or worse, wasted.” Managing transformational change will be top of the agenda for C-suite executives as they move to make sure that the return on any investment is assured. Projects will involve more than just the completion of deliverables, as the role of project manager as leader of change evolves.