Benefits of Project Management Trends emerging in 2021

Every passing year brings in a lot of changes in project management approaches leading to emerging trends. These changes introduce efficient changes in the overall planning & execution of organizational goals as well as product strategies.

What are the key drivers of these project management trends?

So far tech-innovation, market demands, mobile-first approach, and on-demand service fulfillment have been the key drivers forcing us to re-look the way projects are delivered.

2020 added the COVID-19 pandemic to this list which is most certainly beyond human control.

Yes, there was wide-scale panic because none of us were prepared to deal with the unthinkable.

And at the same time, there were organizations who were in-sync with the technological advancements and used it to their advantage.

COVID-19 forced us to make radical shifts in the way businesses are run as well as the way we live.

Remote team management is just the tip of the iceberg rather a mere outcome although with significant impact.

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But then look at the innovation that continues to take place in all aspects of our businesses and lives.

  • Remote home offices
  • Virtual teams
  • The exponential use of remote collaboration tools
  • Redefining productivity and efficiency
  • Changing business models
  • Added focus on work-life balance
  • Doing away with silos more than ever
  • Optimization of work processes and policies

Now all of these mini optimizations throughout the value chain have led to the overall project management and delivery process. Let us take a look at these emerging trends and the benefits they offer.

Rise of Remote Project Teams

The first impact of COVID-19 was to restore services on top priority which led to rising of remote work management and virtual teams.

Some businesses had robust remote work management processes and technology in place and were able to shift gears with minimum friction. While the laggards had a tough time. Also, not all industries can sustain themselves with virtual teams and could not do much about it.

But as 2020 progressed more and more companies had remote teams in place to keep the lights –on and maintain consistent customer support and delivery.

As a result, they were able to benefit from:

  • Significant cost savings in terms of office rent and utilities cost
  • Time savings from the usual office commute
  • Quick restoration of operations
  • Increased availability for their customers
  • Reviewing existing processes and optimizing them to meet the current business demands
  • Revamping resource management
  • Increased focus on project management

The rapid adoption of remote collaboration tools and practices

The remote task and project management tool market is valued at $4.3billion by 2023 and is expected to grow between 11%-14% (CAGR).

Collaboration tools have been around for over a decade now while the market continues to be flooded with new ones.

MS Teams, Zoom, GoogleMeet, Orangescrum, Slack, Mattermost, and a host of others are leading the remote collaboration industry.

These tools bring a host of benefits for remote teams:

  • Precise and contextual information exchange
  • Real-time communication between remote teams
  • Transparency around assigned tasks
  • Breaking away from silos
  • Increased accountability among the project team members
  • Well-defined roles and responsibilities
  • Clarity on task objectives at a granular level
  • Prevention of re-works and duplicity of efforts
  • Teams are aware as to who is working on what
  • Seamless execution w.r.t task due dates and key milestone deadlines

Most importantly, remote collaboration tools act as self-service portals reducing dependencies between teams, eliminating manual reporting or data massaging, and making the teams self-sufficient while being remote.

“Our teams are now more adept in remote project management with the use of Orangescrum collaboration tool throughout the COVID-19 work from home situation. We actually saved around 7–9hours per resource per week because of Orangescrum, says Muhammad Syahmeer, Head PMO, Resonant Networks, Singapore.”

Increase in Agile Projects

Agile Methodology has been gaining wide acceptance across industries. Scrum, Kanban, Pair-Programming, Scrumban have seen rapid adoption among product, engineering, and services teams globally.

Agile is no longer restricted to software development. Crucial business functions such as Digital Marketing, HR, Sales & Marketing, Customer Services, and Quality Assurance, etc. have also started relying on agile practices to be more effective and efficient.

As a result, the overall organization benefits from

  • An incremental and iterative approach
  • Low-cost POCs
  • Increased willingness to rethink and revamp existing product & service offerings
  • Increased stakeholder engagement and contribution
  • Constant visibility to project progress
  • A modular approach to implementing wide-scale strategies
  • Preventing significant investment of time and resources
  • Improved clarity on the product roadmap
  • Better alignment of execution with the planned goals

More automation, more control

Remote work culture has also led us to think more in terms of automation to reduce human dependency. Specifically to cater to situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Take a look at the impact on the manufacturing, travel, and hospitality sectors. They just had no way around it.

Automation is not only seen as an effort and time-saving mechanism but also from a business sustainability standpoint.

The rise of chatbots, self-service customer support portals are excellent examples of automation and zero-touch service, and contactless sales.

You tend to save money, save time, and make money!

The most obvious yet significant benefits of this trend are:

  • Reduction of manual and repetitive tasks
  • Eliminate administrative activities for business leaders and project managers
  • Quick & meaningful insights into the overall project and operations
  • Automated tracking and reporting
  • Faster implementation of new processes
  • Increased adoption of desired policies and procedures
  • Reduce the probability of human errors
  • Entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers are able to focus more on the core objectives

Most importantly, automated reports and analytics help pave the right way forward. You can identify probable risks, learn from past mistakes & avoid them.

Better Alignment of Strategy and Projects

Projects have a defined goal to be met within a pre-defined timeline. True!

But, how many times have we seen the mismatch between what the customer wanted and what we delivered? Yeah!!!

Why does that happen? A long debate, really long debate

However, the key reason points to the gap between the project team’s understanding of the goal and the stakeholder expectation.

How to bridge this gap? One sure shot way is to implement an online centralized project management tool that offers the following benefits:

  • Bring your stakeholders and team together
  • End to end breakdown of high-level goals into tasks and sub-tasks
  • Milestone planning and progress tracking
  • Efficient resource allocation — the right person for the job
  • End to end time, cost, and quality tracking
  • Seamless exchange of project information with the full context
  • Know who is working on what
  • Everybody knows what’s to be achieved

The fact is when you breakdown the overarching goal into granular activities there is more clarity during execution. Anomalies are identified and resolved promptly.

Thus, bringing project execution as close to the core objective and possibly nailing it 100%!

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What’s the way forward?

The key thing to learn from these emerging trends is business leaders and project managers need to deploy a range of skills to ensure project success.

Secondly, having the right tools, processes, and technology to execute the strategic vision is crucial.

The days of silos, I will do it all by myself or sequential execution are long gone. We are serving an ever-demanding, on-click result, and highly digital customer base.

Thus as a project leader, you must

  • Understand the value your project will deliver to your customers
  • Tie your deliverables to low cost yet high profit
  • Build and run highly motivated agile teams
  • Bake in as much automation as possible
  • Channel your efforts & focus more on strategic pursuits
  • Ensure each milestone completion is linked to a quantifiable value

And with the implementation of these practices, paving the way for the right changes at the workplace, the way projects are executed and ensure greater chances of realizing the organization’s goals.

The last nugget, try Orangescrum and find out a powerful ally to crushing your 2021 project management goals.

Digital Marketing Specialist at Orangescrum.