Revisiting Project Successes & Failures

Revisiting Project Successes & Failures

A project can be a complex, nonroutine, one-time effort constrained by time, budget, schedule, satisfaction, quality, and scope to meet the customer’s needs. Today, many businesses prioritize project management because it focuses on meeting project objectives and achieving them successfully. Moreover, it got significant because it employs managerial processes and tools that give managers a good chance of achieving their project’s goal.

Project Management Today

Project management has become an essential part of various industrial segments because it crosses corporate and geographic boundaries, adapting to the unique characteristics of various businesses and teams. Here are some of the project trends on the project’s success/ failures.

Key Project Management Trends

Key Project Management Trends

The Most Important Project Management Trends for 2022

  • The growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation
  • Hybrid project management approaches are getting increased.
  • The significance of emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • A greater emphasis on data analytics and numbers
  • Tools and solutions for advanced project management
  • Increased use of remote working

Key Project Management Statistics 2022 (Success and Failures)

Project Success Statistics

  • Project management software is used by 77% of high-performing projects. (Hive, 2020)
  • 35% of organizations are somewhat satisfied with their project management maturity level. (Wellingtone, 2020)
  • 29% of projects are completed on time (Wellingtone, 2020).
  • Surprisingly, 54% of organizations lack access to real-time KPIs (Wellingtone, 2020).
  • Around 51% of organizations complete projects that meet the business objective or original goal. Meanwhile, 52% of organizations complete projects that meet the needs of stakeholders (KPMG, 2020).

 Project Failure Statistics

  • COVID-19 had a moderate or significant impact on 58% of organizations, causing project delays and cancellations (KPMG, 2020).
  • Organizations with low-value delivery maturity have a project failure rate of 21%, which is significantly higher than the failure rate of organizations with high-value delivery maturity, which is 11% (PMI, 2020).
  • 25% of organizations do not use technology suitable for team collaborations on informal projects, despite consuming 20% of their productive time at work (Wellingtone, 2020).
  • The most challenging obstacles to implementing agile techniques in an organization are resistance to change (48%), a lack of leadership participation (46%), and inconsistent practices across teams (45%). (Digital.ai, 2020).
  • 47% of agile projects are late, have budget overruns, or have dissatisfied customers (Scrum, 2021).
  • Understanding these statistics allows project professionals to prepare better for what comes next and make more informed decisions.

Success and Failure of Projects

The business environment is constantly changing, and meeting the customer’s ever-changing needs has become challenging. In addition, customers’ expectations increase as competition in the global market increases. This is sometimes reflected in the pressure that Project Managers face when attempting to provide the best possible value to their customers.

While project management is constantly improving, there are some challenges for which solutions have yet to be found. Global projects are typically getting complex, and as a result, a similar project may be successful in one part of the world while failing in another. Let’s look at the factors for successes and failures on similar projects, as well as how leadership style can help to improve project performance as a contributing factor to the project’s outcome.

Causes of project failure

A project is considered a failure if it fails to deliver on time within the estimated budget. Most project managers have felt the agony of a failed project. In fact, according to a Pulse of the Profession® survey 2021, 12% of projects in an organization failed in the previous year.

When a project is considered a failure?  

  1. First, the project did not meet the expectations.
  2. The client did not receive the desired deliverable.
  3. The work was not finished on time.
Reasons of Project Failure

Reasons of Project Failure

So here’s to planning ahead of time and avoiding these common project pitfalls.

  1. Unclear Goals And Objectives

Businesses that fail to set clear employee goals and objectives waste significant time and effort. The following are the consequences of ambiguous project goals and objectives.

  • Unclear objectives lead to ambiguous operational methods.
  • Individually, the level of performance can be justified.
  • It’s not always obvious when a project deviates from its original path.
  • People involved in a project cannot work to their full potential.
  1. Lack Of Resource Planning

In project management, resources refer to people, money, and materials.   Human resources are likely underutilized or overworked if you do not use a good task management tool.

Another critical aspect of project resource planning is financial planning. Projects with poor cost estimation and inconsistent tracking will almost certainly go over budget. In addition, project managers who do not understand how to track and manage finances are more likely to fail the project.

  1. Poor Communication 

Poor communication in the workplace can have disastrous consequences for the project, including poor collaboration and decreased productivity, resulting in stressed employees, dissatisfied customers, and workplace mistrust.

Whether it’s delayed communication, a lack of communication, or no communication at all, the fact is that the project is likely to fall through the cracks if the project professionals don’t have an effective communication strategy in place.

  1. Stakeholder Management Is Inadequate

Stakeholders have an inherent interest in the project, for better or worse. Project managers are responsible for identifying and communicating with all stakeholders promptly and without delays. Unfortunately, there are numerous reasons for poor stakeholder management, some of which are listed below.

  • Stakeholders are too narrowly defined.
  • Failure to strike a balance between compliance and strategic opportunities
  • Stakeholders are prematurely removing resources.
  • Stakeholders’ disinterest
  • Stakeholders are unaware of the project’s progress.

Engaged stakeholders provide support and insights to help a project succeed, whereas disengaged stakeholders can become barriers to success.

  1. Poorly Defined Project Scope

The project scope details everything you intend to do (and not going to do). In project management, scope creep refers to uncontrolled, continuous changes in the scope of a project. Conversely, a poorly defined project scope leads to scope creep, where the former is vaguely defined, documented, or controlled.

A project with an unclear project scope is more likely to fail and encounter a variety of issues, including:

  • Failure to meet customer expectations
  • Continual changes are being requested throughout the project’s life cycle.
  • The budget exceeds the allocated budget.
  • Failure to meet deadlines
  1. Inaccurate Cost And Time Estimates

Inaccurate cost and time estimate frequently result in team members making accurate predictions about the expected duration of tasks and the project’s cost based on an average duration of time and cost for previous projects.

Inaccurate estimates are frequently the result of two underlying causes:

  • Upfront planning
  • Poor estimation practices
  1. Inadequate Risk management

Risk management enables project managers to identify and analyze issues that may arise during the project and impede its progress. If risks are not effectively managed, they will likely emerge during the project’s later stages, causing significant scope creep. Conversely, poor risk management can lead to project delays, low user adoption, late assignments, overspent budgets, and project failure.

  1. Monitoring And Controlling

Monitoring and controlling the project is one of the lesser-known facts that project managers and their teams often overlook. However, a project manager needs to “track, review, and regulate the project’s progress; identify areas that require changes in the planning, and initiate the corresponding changes.”

Every effort should be made to keep the project on track, and if it falls behind budget or schedule, the plan should be adjusted to get the project back on track.

How to Recover a Failing Project?

Three key questions you can ask to quickly and clearly understand the project.

  1. Are the problems internal or external?

You can determine whether the source of the problem is internal (and thus correctable) or external (outside of your control).

Review project documents such as the charter, plan, and schedule for:

  • Requirements from relevant stakeholders.
  • A reasonable timetable with attainable goals.
  • Allocation of resources
  • A method of collecting and managing change requests.
  • Unexpected expenses (internal and external).
  • Success metrics.
  • A procedure for upholding quality standards.
  1. Why are we behind schedule?

Next, determine why the project is running late.

  • Were tasks properly prioritized?
  • Were tasks clearly explained?
  • Was the timetable overly ambitious?
  • How frequently did the project manager provide status updates?
  • Who made important project decisions?
  • Is there a record of decisions and change requests?
  • How were risks communicated and addressed?
  • Was the initial budget adequate?
  1. Is the team working effectively?

Finally, consider how well the team worked together.

  • Did the team understand the project’s goal and its roles and responsibilities?
  • Was the team using the same procedures and tools?
  • Did the team meet regularly to share updates and challenges?
  • Was a clear communication strategy in place?
  • Were the right people assigned to the project?
  • Were there any issues with suppliers or vendors?
Techniques for Recovering Failing Projects

Techniques for Recovering Failing Projects

Techniques for recovering failing projects

While failures are unavoidable in project management, project professionals can always learn from the failures to succeed in the future. So, let’s look at how project managers can ensure that their next project runs smoothly and that any potential problems are identified and resolved before they become too large to cause project failure.

  • Plan diligently and identify any gaps.
  • Communicate effectively and frequently.
  • Examine your Resources
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Use the Proper Methodology
  • Monitor Project Development

Strategic alignment in project management

Strategic alignment in project management refers to aligning project goals with your organization’s long-term vision and mission.

Contrary to popular belief, strategic alignment in project management does not only refer to establishing and maintaining key financial metrics. Instead, it’s a broad concept that encompasses everything from key financial and quality indicators to customer satisfaction, brand recognition, and value proposition.

Every project has a goal. While some may seek to provide a service or product, others may seek intangible benefits such as positive customer relationships or company goodwill. These strategic goals guide a project professional’s day-to-day business operations and help them turn their ideas into desired results.

Importance of Strategic Alignment in Project Management

  • Focus the energy in the right place
  • Allow for productive team collaboration
  • Describe the organization’s competitive advantages
  • Manage priorities that conflict
  • Avoid duplication.
  • Accept market manoeuvrability

Leadership performance is significant to project success

Effective leadership in project management is the ability to persuade people of the need for change, stimulate new ways of thinking and problem solving, and encourage them to achieve project objectives. Leadership also guides team members to grow as professionals while completing their project responsibilities.

Today’s evidence-based theories of leadership can be characterized into six major classes, which include:

  • Attributes
  • Behavior
  • Contingency
  • Visionary
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Competency
PMI's Talent Triangle

PMI’s Talent Triangle

PMI’s Talent Triangle – How to Stand Out as a Successful Project Manager

Project managers must be more agile and resourceful than ever to keep up with and make an impact in a fast-changing world. PMI has always been dedicated to assisting project professionals in developing strong skills. Nonetheless, project managers now require a skill set that includes a variety of disciplines and practices, as well as other in-demand skills.

To assist project professionals in navigating this changing world of work and embracing smarter ways of working, project professionals need to focus on:

  • Ways of Working: Formerly Technical Project Management
  • Power Skills: Formerly Leadership
  • Business Acumen: Formerly Strategic and Business Management

Factors of project success

Project success has been defined as a project that meets its objectives on time and within budget. A development project’s success extends beyond meeting schedule and budget objectives. It also includes meeting the expectations of beneficiaries, stakeholders, donors, and funding agencies. However, defining these dimensions of success is more complicated and can only be assessed years after the project is completed.

Measuring project success after the fact is important because it aids in determining future strategies when planning new projects. Continuous improvement based on data from past projects enables project managers to identify problems before they occur. Using past data allows new processes to be implemented with fewer errors and greater management success.

Factors of Project Success

Factors of Project Success

Here are some of the factors for the project’s success:

  1. Goals and objectives

The project’s overall goal is specified and recognized by all stakeholders; it is not at odds with subsidiary objectives, and project leaders have a clear vision of the project’s outcomes.

  1. Capable sponsors

Sponsors play an active role in the project’s life cycle; they bear ultimate responsibility and accountability for the project’s outcomes.

  1. Secure funding

The project has a secure funding base; contingency funding is recognized from the start, and budgets are strictly regulated to ensure maximum value is realized.

  1. Project planning and review

Pre-project planning is thorough and considered; progress is monitored regularly and carefully; the project has realistic time schedules, active risk management, and a post-project review.

  1. End users and operators

End users or operators are involved in the project’s design; the project team works with users who can effectively and efficiently implement what the project has produced.

  1. Aligned supply chain 

All direct and indirect suppliers know the project’s requirements, timelines, and quality standards. As a result, the supply chain’s higher and lower tiers are coordinated.

  1. Proven methods and tools

Good project management tools, methods, and techniques are used to maintain an effective balance of flexibility and robustness.

  1. Appropriate standards 

Quality standards are actively used to drive output quality. In addition, other standards are regularly monitored to ensure delivery at the best practice levels.

Knowing what success factors are important at the end of a project is critical for assessing how that project went and making changes for the next one. It is critical to understand what distinguishes success from failure.

By investing time in learning about the future of project management, project professionals will be better prepared to capitalize on new opportunities and develop their skill set accordingly. So many opportunities for growth and success are on the horizon; use these trends and factors to propel your company, projects, and team to new heights!

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

 

 

 

 

Project Management Challenges In “DIGITAL AGE”

Project Management Challenges In “DIGITAL AGE”

Artificial Intelligence, the most common and vibrant technical term in the 21st century, has begun to rule the world stage with its intelligent functionalities. There is no doubt that AI is transforming the productivity and workflow of various industries around the world. However, there may be a constant concern about human job opportunities in the coming years. Organizations have gradually realized that Artificial Intelligence requires collaboration with human employees, and ample job opportunities are emerging.

Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Project Management

Project management has evolved significantly in the last decades. According to an IPMA & PwC report, 56% of organizations has already digital transformation projects, including AI adoption. The current adoption of AI among project professionals is expected to move from 27% to 35% in the next three years.

The organization must consider that successfully implementing projects in the digital age necessitates new skills and different focus areas for project managers. There is a growing demand for digital literacy, critical thinking, and creativity skills, replacing traditional project management skills such as teamwork, communication, and the ability to build effective relationships.

Benefits of AI in Project Management

Benefits of AI in Project Management

Benefits of AI in Project Management

Aggregating task statuses to generate weekly status reports, calculating the budget implications of increasing scope and timeline, and performing risk modeling are all functions that an AI technique in your project management software can provide. Here are a few more advantages of AI-enhanced project management:

  1. Employees receive personalized coaching based on their learning habits.
  2. Increasing project success by releasing resources from routine operational tasks.
  3. Observe how a project is progressing and make educated predictions about its future.
  4. AI can keep track of budgets and schedules.
  5. Capability to manage complex analytics.
  6. With its unique ability to monitor patterns, AI is a capable project manager’s assistant.

Digital Skills for Project Managers

Businesses are creating better products and stronger customer relationships at an unprecedented rate. They rely on a workforce with the necessary skills and experience to deal with the effects of disruptive technologies. Organizations combine those experts with data and digital tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning that allow for agility and speed.

Digital Skills for Project Managers

Digital Skills for Project Managers

Top Six digital-age skills for Project Delivery

1. Data Science Skills

Data science is the umbrella term for data management, analytics, and big data. It focuses on Project Managers’ ability to extract meaningful knowledge from available data to improve project outcomes. Data science is expected to play an increasingly important role in all stages of project development, from planning to completion.

2. Innovative Mindset

Today’s project teams are being asked to do more with less. That means that Project Managers who can think creatively and find new ways to achieve great results will be in high demand in the job market. Skills and experience are no longer sufficient. It is now critical to provide examples of one innovative mindset in the workplace.

3. Security and Privacy Knowledge

Today, most businesses and individuals are concerned about data security. In addition to the legal requirements, there is a general expectation that all personal and project data is handled securely. This skill is becoming increasingly important as more projects rely on digital information systems.

The best Project Managers contribute to the security of the projects they manage. They are aware of the requirements and collaborate closely with their IT and legal teams to ensure that data security guidelines are incorporated into each step of project delivery.

4. Legal and Regulatory Compliance Knowledge

Ensuring the project is legal and regulatory compliant is not new. Leading Project Managers are always aware of this. The difference that the digital age brings is the growing need to act as a bridge between project teams and the IT, Legal, and Data Protection teams, all of which are critical to the process but need little understanding of each other’s areas of expertise.

5. Ability to Make Data Driven Decisions

Using data to make sound business decisions is core to the best practice of project management. Today’s challenge is synthesizing the massive amount of data available to gain useful insights that propel a project forward. Data is only useful if it is appropriately interpreted. The best project managers use cutting-edge tools to make informed decisions and gain an advantage.

6. Collaborative Leadership Skills

Because of remote working, outsourcing, and cross-functional teams spread across multiple locations, Project Managers today require collaborative solid leadership skills more than ever. Their ability to establish standards and bring team members together (even if only virtually) for the sake of the project is becoming increasingly important. Project managers who can implement collaborative platforms and work management tools to improve their team’s work will outperform their competitors.

An Emotionally Intelligent Project Manager

Emotional intelligence can be referred to as our ability to recognize, control, and communicate emotions. People with high emotional intelligence understand how they feel, what their feelings imply, and how their feelings affect others. In interpersonal situations, it is also the ability to empathize with others. Emotional intelligence is about creating a positive work environment, which is critical to the success of any project.

According to a LiquidPlanner study, most project managers commit approximately 10% of their time to people-related activities. Top project managers dedicate 70% of their time to these activities. As a result, emotional intelligence is critical to project success.

EI skills that a Project Managers require

EI skills that a Project Managers require

Some EI skills that project managers require are:

  • Intra – Personal – Ability to know and manage yourself
  • Inter–Personal – Your ability to interact and get along with others
  • Adaptability – Ability to be flexible and to solve a wide range of problems
  • Stress Management – – Ability to manage stress
  • General Mood – Ability to be positive and in a good mood
Project Managers with Emotional Intelligence

Project Managers with Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally Intelligent Project Managers

Project managers with high emotional intelligence have a better chance of success, better physical and mental health, good work relationships, and lower stress levels. Project managers with emotional intelligence can also:

  • Successfully manage difficult situations
  • Express themselves clearly
  • More flexible
  • Solution-oriented
  • Keep cool under pressure
  • Motivate themselves to get things done
  • Have a growth mindset

Project Leadership in “DIGITAL AGE”

Over the last decade, the project management practice has evolved from a simple guide for project managers to a deeper understanding of organizational maturity and business agility. However, to capture the true essence of organizational maturity and business agility, the project management practice needed to evolve again, this time by adapting to the needs of the digital world.

According to a PMI’s report, “‘The Project Manager of the Future,”‘which surveyed over 450 HR professionals, over three-quarters of these organizations recognized the importance of project managers understanding disruptive technologies. They were actively recruiting project professionals with specialized skill sets required to manage the impact of disruptive technologies. But what are these skill sets?

Skills to manage the impact of disruptive technologies

Skills to manage the impact of disruptive technologies

  • Technology
  • Mindset
  • Operating Model
  • Business Agility
The Digital Space and its Components

The Digital Space and its Components

Beyond using digital transformation as a token, project managers must gain a thorough understanding of the digital space and its various components, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR).

Qualities of a Project Leader in Digital Age

Qualities of a Project Leader in Digital Age

Along with that, the project leader must have these qualities in the digital age:

  1. A human with a “Magical wand”
  2. Continuous learning & fail fast attitude
  3. Strong affinity for novelty
  4. Work smarter than harder
  5. Breaking industry boundaries for a shared future
  6. Better Understanding of Innovation & Creativity
  7. Never consider digital as the only outcome

Digital transformation in project management is more of a collective mindset than a task that can be checked off as completed. It describes a vision that needs constant improvement and encourages future innovation and growth.

3C's need to be followed by project leadership in the digital age

3C’s need to be followed by project leadership in the digital age

Here are the 3C’s need to be followed by project leadership in the digital age:

  • Calm – Inspire more trust and better performance.
  • Connect – People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, and People will never forget how you made them feel that moment.
  • Communicate – The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has occurred.

Challenges faced by Project leadership Teams

1. Disconnected & disengaged remote workforce

HR leaders and project managers nowadays, regardless of industry or size of business, assume that connecting with people within the organization is becoming increasingly difficult. Remote working, prompted by the pandemic, has only exacerbated the situation. But why is having a connected workforce important?

A well-connected workforce means employees and the company’s vision, mission, and values are connected. Employees who might feel isolated and disconnected from the business and its goals and objectives, regardless of where they work, are likely to feel disengaged and demotivated, which may affect productivity and efficiency at work. Here are some ideas for how businesses can manage disengagement and create a more connected workforce.

  • Use technology to stay connected
  • Recognize the good work
  • Implement Open Culture

2. Uncertainty in decision making

Project managers strive to conform to all elements and avoid uncertainty in project management to ensure the success of their endeavor. However, no one can predict the future. Working on large, complex projects, such as those in technology, frequently entails high uncertainty in terms of time, cost, and scope, as well as uncontrollable external forces such as inflation, regulation, and financing constraints. These factors can impact a project management system’s ability to assist managers in leading and monitoring projects. Therefore, the project management must comprehend the process of applying decision analysis techniques to the practice of project management, like:

  1. A process that can assist project managers in improving their ability to make decisions under uncertain conditions.
  2. A process that can assist project managers in confronting
  3. Resolving the realities of the project management—uncertainty, external influences, and risk.
Challenges faced by Project Leadership Teams

Challenges faced by Project Leadership Teams

3. Loss of company culture

Employee attitudes, values, beliefs, behaviors, and underlying assumptions comprise organizational culture. Furthermore, culture is important because it forms the foundation of the business logic applied to any specific decision or problem; there is a minimal chance that something will be done that violates the culture because it would mean contradicting fundamental beliefs.

An organization’s culture, which is not supportive of project management, may be perceived as an additional burden and an impediment to daily work.

4. Lack of alignment

Project success begins with good project management practices and a good team. But how do you make sure they’re in sync? Especially when alignment requirements can take many forms, such as alignment to the overall strategy, stakeholder expectations, mandated processes or policy, or delivering the right things at the right time and in the right way.

Moreover, business organizations may require precise alignment of project strategy to prevent projects from duplicating work or producing useless deliverables to reduce waste and manage costs. Strategic thinking is one way to foster the game-changing power of aligned organizational strategy to project outcomes.

5. Low morale

Employee morale is employees’ attitude, contentment, loyalty, and willingness to give their all and actively contribute to their employer’s success. It’s also about how they feel about their job and workplace.

Strategies to improve Employee Morale at your workplace

Strategies to improve Employee Morale at your workplace

If the employee morale is low, it may reduce motivation and efficiency. Employees with low morale produce only the bare minimum of work. As a capable leader, improving workplace morale should be one of your top priorities. According to an SHRM survey, 67 percent of employers find it challenging to maintain employee morale. However, the good news is that the following strategies can help immediately improve employee morale at your workplace.

  • Be prepared to manage change
  • Challenge your employees
  • Conduct team-building activities
  • Pay attention to your employees’ physical and mental health
  • Spend money on training and development
Tips to improve project performance at your organization

Tips to improve project performance at your organization

Revamp Project Team Performance

A combination of managerial skills and software tools are used to improve project performance. Ensure that the team understands the goal of every project, has access to open communication channels, and understands the importance of tasks. In addition, project management software can create consistent project plans and automate time tracking and billing to improve project performance. Here are some tips to improve project performance at your organization.

  • Process Orientated to People Orientated
  • Reactive Approach to Proactive Approach
  • Binary Metrics to Holistic Analysis
  • Scheduled Retros to Real-Time Pulse
  • Individual Evaluation to Team Evaluation

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Patrick Lencioni, the author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” examines why effective teams are so rare and offer specific recommendations for removing barriers that lead to dysfunctional teams. The work of Lencioni outlines the causes of team dysfunction and what can be done to overcome each one.

5 Dysfunctions of a Team

5 Dysfunctions of a Team

The five dysfunctions which have been compared with project management are:

  1. Absence of Trust – Teams that lack trust conceals flaws and mistakes, are hesitant to seek assistance, make assumptions about the intentions of others, harbor grudges, and dread meetings.
  1. Fear of Conflict – Fear of conflict results from a lack of trust. Most companies’ employees are more concerned with politics and personal risk management than problem-solving. As a result, meetings are frequently boring because contentious issues are avoided.
  1. Lack of Commitment – When teams avoid conflict, they fear failure. These teams struggle to make decisions and constantly second-guess themselves.
  1. Avoidance of Accountability – Second-guessing and a lack of common objectives lead to an inability to develop performance standards. Team members miss deadlines and produce mediocre results.
  1. Inattention to results – When teams lack focus and clear objectives, team members become stagnant, distracted, and self-centered.

High-performance teams

High-performance work teams are critical to how most organizations perform and carry out their work, resulting in superior performance and a significant competitive advantage. A high-performance team also requires the following to function effectively:

  • Uplift the quality of work.
  • Mentor guidance to increase productivity.
  • Peer-to-Peer monitoring & building a competitive environment.
  • Facilitating & enriching the team to handle emerging project delivery practices.

Nurturing the Right Culture

Building an organization’s strong project management culture opens the door to numerous benefits and improves customer service. Organizations with solid project cultures operate under a unique value system that aligns each team member with objectives and goals on a budget, time, and target. Professionals today are expected to demonstrate a wide range of skills and juggle multiple organizational tasks.

Steps to create High-Performance Culture

Steps to create High-Performance Culture

5 Steps Involved in Creating High-Performance Culture

  1. Fostering an environment to encourage innovation.
  2. Adapting to new and disruptive technology shifts.
  3. Creating a culture that views disruptive technologies as an opportunity to evolve the best practices.
  4. Encouraging project managers to take advantage of flexible practices that allow them to evolve project scope/requirements due to rapid technological changes.
  5. Expecting project managers to adapt to new opportunities and challenges to succeed in the age of digital disruption.

Conclusion

To capitalize on all opportunities created by technological disruption, the most forward-thinking organizations rely on the power of project leaders. One significant competitive advantage is where project leaders are prepared, willing, and able to assist their organizations in surviving and truly thriving in the face of massive change.

However, innovative organizations recognize that project leaders with the necessary digital-era skill sets do not appear by chance. As a result, innovators understand the importance of investing in three key areas:

  • Skills, training, and development
  • Tools and approaches
  • Culture

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

 

The Exciting Future of Project Management

The Exciting Future of Project Management

Project management “is the application of tools, knowledge, processes, and competencies to ensure the successful completion of a project.” Projects are time-bound endeavors that seek to generate value through products, services, or outcomes that meet the project’s objectives and success parameters.

Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.”

Project management is leading a team’s work to achieve all project goals within the constraints set. The primary rules are scope, time, and budget. The secondary task is to optimize the allocation of required inputs and apply them to achieve predefined goals.

Project managers are essential to a project’s success and are in high demand. They employ various skills and knowledge to engage and motivate others to achieve the project’s objectives. By 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals in project management-oriented roles as per the “Job Growth & Talent Gap 2017-2027” report.

The Future of Project Management By Harold Kerzner, Ph.D., and J. LeRoy Ward International Institute for Learning (IIL)” article discusses four new principles to determine what types of project management training we believe are available to project managers in most of today’s successful business models.

Four Principles of Project Management Training

Four Principles of Project Management Training

  • First and most importantly, project management is now viewed as a business process in which project managers are expected to make business and project-related decisions.
  • Second, project management is no longer viewed as a collection of operational or tactical activities to produce a deliverable or outcome.
  • Third, project management is now a delivery system for achieving the desired business benefits and value.
  • Fourth, project management is no longer just another career option within a company.

As more and more digitization is growing, project management has never been as exciting as it is now. The overall trend is an increase in the need for project managers. Project management is no more a job that deals with Gantt charts and ticking off a checklist.

Project management has always been a great profession to be in. It allows one to work with people, deal with risks and conflicts, and the ability to manage the outcomes for the business. It always gives you a feeling of importance and provides the opportunity to take leadership to drive the business goals. It greatly enhances your soft skills and helps you work with people to improve their capabilities along the project.

Apart from this, a project management profession helps you develop yourself and constantly provides new challenges every day. As the business grows dynamically, newer challenges and opportunities are managed by the project managers of today’s times. It provides career progression in terms of becoming a project manager, program manager, portfolio manager, and so on.

Project Management Trends 

The project management industry rapidly evolves with the latest trends, tools, and technologies as the changes in trends in project management are dynamic and unavoidable. Therefore, understanding current project management trends will help us stay on top of the profession or business.

Project Management Trends 

Project Management Trends

Trend 1: Resource planning is becoming increasingly important.

Trend 2: Knowledge sharing is increasing.

Trend 3: Agile and hybrid methods are becoming more popular.

Trend 4: Working remotely and in hybrid work, such environments are here to stay.

Trend 5: Change management is becoming increasingly important.

Trend 6: The PMO is evolving into a more strategic organization.

Trend 7: Using project management tools is becoming easier.

In a post-pandemic world, employing top project managers is more important than ever. Remote working, upskilling, and the pandemic’s lingering effects will shape the future of project management.

Increasing Emphasis on Soft Skills

Traditionally, the value of project managers was determined by their certifications and ability to implement various methodologies. However, many organizations are shifting their emphasis to soft skills. This project management trend is understandable, as AI-powered solutions have advanced to the point where they can handle the more challenging technical aspects of project management.

The Future of Jobs Report 2020

The Future of Jobs Report 2020

The Future of Jobs Report 2020 states that “Critical thinking” and “Analysis” are the two top employers’ skills in the next five years. 40% of workers will require reskilling within six months or less. 94% of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills.

Project managers must now focus on improving their soft skills in conflict resolution, stakeholder engagement, negotiation, mentoring and training, decision-making, and team building. Practicing these skills will enable project managers to add more value to their organization.

Predictions for the Future of Project Management

“Change is the only constant,” as the adage goes. Project teams are no longer smaller, and the projects are no longer more straightforward. It appears to be true in the project management industry. The project management landscape is rapidly changing with evolving technologies, tools, and the latest trends.

Unlike the olden days now, there are a lot of tools, techniques, and methods that project managers can adopt to make the job much easier and more effective. Three major factors that would impact are:

  1. The Dynamically changing technology landscape.
  2. Increasing organizational complexity with Remote & Hybrid Work.
  3. Sustainability/Ecological concerns.
Factors Impacting Future of Project Management

Factors Impacting Future of Project Management

1. The Dynamically changing Technology landscape

We will look at how the future of project management is evolving and exciting as the future holds concerning some of the changing technology components which are emerging.

a.) The growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation

According to the Project Management Institute, 81 percent of professionals believe that AI impacts their organizations. Project managers are given a chance to focus their efforts and energy on tasks that will most significantly benefit their businesses. Automation can help project managers to effect more significant change and increase the chances of each project achieving its strategic goals.

By 2030, AI will have taken over 80 percent of the work of today’s PM discipline, including data collection, tracking, and reporting (Gartner, 2019).

PMI’s Pulse of the Profession report emphasizes the importance of data science skills, an innovative mindset, security and privacy knowledge, legal and regulatory compliance knowledge, the ability to make data-driven decisions, and collaborative leadership skills.

According to PwC’s ’22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, in the next five years, 85 percent of CEOs believe AI will significantly change how they do business. Even though it is still in its early stages of development, AI can be used in project management to reduce highly complex issues and play a significant role in their success.

In recent years, organizations have adopted AI on a larger scale to ensure successful project completion in a variety of ways, including:

  • Producing performance insights
  • Assisting in decision-making processes
  • Estimating and forecasting
  • Optimizing resource allocation
  • Making data visualization possible
  • Conducting risk analysis

AI with chatbots can even be integrated for project management reports and status on tasks. Also, the status can be updated from anywhere and anytime. It can help as an intelligent project assistant. Already products like PPM Express are working in this space. In construction and engineering space, AI can be used for monitoring sites and site inspection with the help of OpenCV, Drone cameras, etc. Large enterprises are using AI for intelligent resource deployments for projects.

b.) Rise in Data Analytics Focus for Data-Driven Project Management

Every day, organizations of all sizes generate massive amounts of data as it is only logical to use that data to notify decisions. Data analytics and reporting can assist project managers in identifying early signs of scope creep, calculating project progress rates, and other tasks.

AI-powered analytics provide a comprehensive picture of the entire organization and all projects. They provide granular visibility into activities and generate custom reports to assist project managers in visualizing data as required. With these tools, project managers can make informed decisions in real time rather than making gut-based decisions based on manually compiled reports.

c.) Advanced Project and Resource Management Tools 

According to a 2020 report from Wellingtone, 54 percent of organizations lack access to real-time KPIs for their projects, and more than a third spend more than a day collecting data. This result demonstrates that project management tools can no longer be overlooked. When combined with AI-based automation capabilities, project management software can positively change how organizations manage their projects, regardless of their complexity.

Project managers of the future cannot survive without digital skills. The learning and experience on these tools will help appropriately present data and enhance decision-making with stakeholders. Current project management tools have become digital. Collaboration is seamless. For making effective decision making, the project managers need to have a good hold on the areas like the following:

  • Data analysis, analytics, and management
  • Security and data protection
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
  • Online collaboration and leadership (JIRA, Confluence, etc.,)
  • Knowledge management (Sharepoint, Google Docs, etc., )
  • Data-driven decision making. (BI Tools – Power BI, Tableau, etc.,)

Here are some examples of how the appropriate software can make a significant difference in future project management:

  • Use historical project data to improve bids and plans for future projects.
  • View resource availability, skills, and other details to make resource allocation easier.
  • AI can automatically track all time spent on tasks and projects.
  • To stay on top of finances, quickly allocate and track budgets.
  • In real-time, capture all expenses with invoices for all projects.
  • Track all projects using customizable dashboards to make better quick decisions.
  • Maintain real-time communication with all stakeholders and team members about the project’s status, progress, and changes.

d.) Internet of Things:

The Internet of things is a network of electronic sensors and actuators that can help interact with each other and exchange data for numerical applications. We already see its application in the form of Alexa, Digital watches, Smart Vending Machines, and many more. The Internet of things can provide useful real-time data and help in various ways in project management. Assuming you are working on a team or sensitive project with technical and regulatory characteristics that need real-time data with a higher speed of reporting. IoT can help improve process control and also manage the explosion of valuable data on the project from sensors and devices. Project Managers can use these IoT technologies to reduce the workload in collecting data and streamline the reporting efforts.

e.) Digital Twins:

The Internet of things has been evolving, and it has been contributing to a lot of industries in terms of monitoring, real-time analytics, etc.; Projects involving Infrastructure, Construction, and industries would need a lot of physical presence. Digital twins can work with CAD and BIM (Building Information Modeling) data sets. Projects executed on these domains also call for ensuring the safety of the stakeholders involved in the project. In such scenarios, a digital twin can provide digital replicas of the physical objects or the location, which can encompass the project’s design and engineering aspects, which should help minimize travel/physical presence at the engineering sites. This action would also greatly enhance the better visibility of the sites in digital means for faster and more responsive actions on the project, yet contributing to sustainability via fewer carbon footprints. Digital twins provide intuitive visuals of the project situation with context and help to make decisions faster.

2. Increasing organization complexity with Remote & Hybrid Work

Remote working was already popular, but it has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels in recent years. While the global pandemic forced organizations to allow employees to telecommute due to safety concerns, remote work tends to continue for the foreseeable future. This aspect presents some intriguing challenges to project managers. According to Forbes, up to 97 percent of employees are unwilling to return to their offices full-time.

There have been renewed efforts in the post-pandemic era that many organizations have begun to experiment with a hybrid approach that combines elements from two or more methodologies. It is no longer just about agile, scrum, or lean but about combining specific attributes for increased flexibility in driving project success. This approach has enabled organizations to develop distinctive approaches to particular industries and projects.

The hybrid concept extends to the development of project team structures. The Capterra report states that 37% of teams are cross-functional and led by a dedicated PM. Cross-functional teams can share their department’s best practices for the project team to decide whether they want to incorporate them into their processes.

Hybrid project management is evolving. Projects are complex with a mix of technology, domain, people, process, and tools. Many organizations are not even ready for such a change to adapt themselves. Based on recent research by IPMA(International Project Management Association), only 47% of organizations are using agile approaches. Situations like the COVID-19 Ukraine-Russia conflict are making the environment more uncertain. Geopolitical situations can put countries and global projects at risk, increasing the challenges for project managers to be dynamic and responsive.

The project managers have to address problems like the following, which could be exciting and challenging:

a) More collaboration with contractors and suppliers

b) Higher staff turnover

c) Stakeholders having competing demands and expectations

d) Need for decisions taken faster

e) Increasing complexity in regulations and governance

Due to the inherent nature of dynamic technological changes, there is a need to manage constant training/coaching for the project members involved. This context keeps the project manager and project executives current and on the learning curve. In the future, project managers will be successful if they break the typical corporate mindset. They will be the ones who work with a hybrid approach and mindset. The term “hybrid” refers to the ability of the Project Manager to take an adaptive approach to the multiple roles and provide value with cross-functional/diverse teams.

Though technology plays a central role in project management, the project managers are expected to have great levels of emotional intelligence to manage the project members. The Project Manager needs to maneuver through social skills and empathy. This move would greatly contribute to the productivity and quality of the projects.

3. Sustainability / Ecological concerns

Project managers have to become socially responsible in alignment with the organizational culture, structure, and processes, starting with environmental analysis as per the PMBOK Guide. It would be exciting for the project managers to contribute to sustainability by adding the sustainability objectives to the project charter apart from the financial business case. This action might call for additional training on aspects like sustainability LCA(Life Cycle Assessments).

From sourcing to day-to-day operations in the project, the project manager needs to consider minimizing the carbon footprint, and it’s no more a thing specific to governments. Sustainability involves balancing different concerns:

  • Environment, such as climate change
  • Society, such as community
  • Economy, such as affordability
  • Administration, such as health and safety

When these four elements are considered, we can build sustainability into projects. (Reference: APM Body of knowledge 7th Edition)

Four Elements of Sustainability

Four Elements of Sustainability

Project managers need comprehensive risk management when it also calls for transparent project communication. Especially when it comes to a project with a high level of material handling, sustainability aspects in terms of procurement from the right suppliers, verification of the sources, material origin, quality of the material, etc., would come into context. Project managers must look from all the above perspectives to make sustainable project management a reality.

Conclusion

The project management profession has come into an exciting phase as it’s more challenging and has more tools to make it easier. Only with an appropriate level of training on the tools and adoption of emerging trends would project managers be able to sustain it. The project managers’ skills move in the direction of having focus, multi-skill leadership, emotional intelligence, change management, and negotiation skills. Achieving certifications would be to have an aspect to prove your credentials and have a structured approach to your thought process complementing your experience and skills in these areas outlined in this article.

Understanding current project management trends and predicting the future of project management is critical for staying on top of the profession. Considering the predictions, the future looks bright for those who can adapt to changing trends by expanding their knowledge of new tools and techniques and pursuing accreditation for project management in their specific industries.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

Bridging the PMO Gap – Today & Tomorrow

Bridging the PMO Gap – Today & Tomorrow

A Project Management Office (PMO) is a group or department within an organization that defines and maintains project management standards. It provides project management guidelines and standards. In addition, it aids in developing measurable objectives that align with the organization’s overall vision and ensure that all targets are met. PMO will also be referred to as a program or project portfolio management office, depending on the project/program/portfolio.

The Project/Program/Portfolio office has undergone a paradigm shift during this COVID-19. This shift has also paved the way for innovative ways of its operations and leads us to the question of revisiting gaps PMOs have from the context between where we are today and how the future holds for the PMO. Project managers/portfolio managers need to embrace today’s PMO situation and be ready for transformation in the days ahead. There could be challenges and opportunities that need prioritizing. This article helps to envisage the gaps between PMOs of today and PMOs of the future.

PMO Types

PMOs are based on their degree of control and influence on projects. Of the many types, there are three distinct types of PMO.

3 Distinct Types of PMO

3 Distinct Types of PMO

  1. Supportive: A supportive PMO gathers all of an organization’s projects and provides best practices, templates, and training but with limited control.
  2. Controlling: A controlling PMO ensures that project management tools, processes, and standards are implemented in a controlled manner.
  3. Directive: Within the organization, a directive PMO maintains a high level of control over the project management process.

In 2020 according to the Wellingtone Survey, 89% of organizations reported having at least one PMO. 

Role of PMO

Project Office was the term used for aircraft development in the 1930s by the U.S. Air Corps. PMO has been widely adopted since the 1980s when it was first adopted in Construction and IT and slowly adopted in other sectors. It added value and efficiency to the projects and programs through better management. PMO was considered a central administrative office responsible for setting up standard project management methodologies, processes, guidelines, and templates for project teams.

Besides that, PMO extended the arms in training the teams involved in a project about project management practices. Essentially, they imparted knowledge on appropriate project management practices, which helped team members be on the same page on project management practices. They maintained and tracked the lessons learned risks, and project progress, integrated the data between projects, helped share common resources across projects, and ensured project alignment to the business’s strategic objectives. They have been acting more like a center of excellence for Project Management.

Steps to be taken when developing a PMO strategy

  • Clarify your company’s goals, vision, and mission.
  • Take note of the resources required for a successful operation.
  • Choose the best mode of communication.
  • Create a system for tracking progress.
  • Create a process for resolving conflicts and overcoming project bottlenecks.
Steps to be taken when developing a PMO strategy

Steps to be taken when developing a PMO strategy

Situation today

In the White Paper: The Future of PMO by Aled Laugharne, Chaucer, states that:

  • PMOs operating in the “traditional” way continue to meet stakeholder expectations in around 80% of cases and are considered critical to the program’s success.
  • Governance, reporting, planning, and exceptions are all areas where PMOs excel.
  • At present, achieving Level 2 – Foundational is sufficient to meet key stakeholder expectations. However, moving to Level 3 – Advanced increases the likelihood of PMOs being marked as “exceeding.”
  • Although employers entirely staff some PMOs, consultants and contractors continue to play an important role in PMOs.
  • The wider program community is typically less satisfied with PMO performance than key stakeholders who sit centrally.
  • In general, there is a 50:50 split between PMOs that believe they need to prioritize improvement and those that want to maintain the status quo or have other program priorities.

Current Potential positive and negative impacts of PMO

The Covid-19 pandemic was the primary driver under External Impacts. However, the consequences of the current crisis appear destined to shape the future of PMO. The following are examples of potential positive and negative consequences:

  • Cost-cutting in pandemic-affected industries has resulted in a shift in PMO resourcing to internal staff.
  • Change and transformation occur due to the pandemic’s response, increasing the demand for PMO, such as in the Life Sciences industry.
  • As a result of virtual working, the need for online collaboration tooling for PMOs is growing.
  • With co-location in the country no longer required, virtual working increases global competition for PMO services.
  • The rise of Agile PMOs is designed to respond quickly to changing external conditions.

Organizations have started looking to PMOs to optimize the management of increased projects. PMO is responsible for managing delays, cost overruns, quality, and style of the project management practices. Also, they have been involved in resource utilization and accountable for cost-overruns in the projects. It is no more just an administration or supportive role but has become pivotal in strategic and tactical operations across projects.

Today’s PMO in large organizations has an influential role to play. More than being supportive, it has become directive and controlling for compliance and alignment towards organizational objectives. In some organizations, PMOs operate at Strategic Business Unit level or Vertical in alignment with specific sectors with a key focus on Planning, Support, Monitoring, and control functions.

PMO office is involved in providing consistent templates, resources, and tools consistent across projects. Provides an integrated project management capability across the projects and facilitates collaboration in cross-department aspects to align and meet strategic business goals. The tools used and recommended by the PMO are based on Technology, Ease of adoption, price benefit, and ability to scale. Their results directly reflect upon the organization’s operational and resource challenges. Today’s PMO organization helps in who will use the tool, which will maximize benefit, impact on the PMO process, how readiness in terms of adoption, etc.,

Not to mention the problems of meeting deadlines, cost, scope, and quality. There are other areas where PMOs have to evolve; we will discuss some challenges faced by today’s PMOs.

Challenges faced by today's PMOs

Challenges faced by today’s PMOs

Communication: As an organization has become more digital, the information required by different stakeholders and different levels requires varied contexts. Communication gaps still affect the sponsors or stakeholders due to the availability of information to act on time with the right context. As businesses are so quick to change and environment is dynamic, and priorities change frequently, the PMO must align and adapt quickly.

Compliance in global business: Organizations are no more local. Small or big organizations are starting to have global access thanks to digital. Compliance with organization standards or government regulations when operated across multiple countries. Non-Compliance could turn out to be very costly. Varied and fast changes in procedures/processes would be an additional burden in implementation. Also, cultural factors/time zones would matter when the PMO office is central and not decentralized.

Training, Coaching, and Mentoring: PMOs have to do different things apart from typical training methodologies with project managers/portfolio managers and project associates. When the domain changes, Project managers struggle to cope with these situations. PMO has to help the project manager with an appropriate strategy of training. Ability to track with leading indicators of the training rather than measuring the lagging metrics.

Agile: Large enterprises and organizations are already adopting agile. Requirements are evolving, and project managers don’t have the luxury of having absolute clarity. Yet PMO needs to help the project teams to bring clarity amidst ambiguity, managing assumptions, the definition of done, prioritization, etc. The problem-solving methods have to be made simple and deliver faster decision-making.

Resource Management: Minimizing resource waste is a key function for PMOs, and nowadays, organizations have sustainability goals that will naturally transpire to the PMOs along with project goals. Better planning and coordination are required apart from minimizing risks and managing unforeseen circumstances like COVID. For example, there was a sudden spike for Laptops for resources who are expected to work from home on projects.

Infrastructure, Tools, and Methods: PMO office teams need the right infrastructure in terms of Data, Compute, and more to process data effectively. Current PMO is empowered with tools, predominantly BI and Excel. In the given context of speed of data growth, those tools may not be sufficient. Stronger tools may be required for predictive analytics. Also, the methods are evolving, and the means to collaborate effectively must happen through effective training and other means.

The PMO is evolving into a more strategic role

PMO might focus more on canceling weaker projects. A well-planned project cancellation will free up staff for higher-priority projects. In addition, it makes sense to detect failure early and take appropriate action before the damage worsens. This action contributes to the future cultural shift required for successful project failure.

What holds the future for Tomorrow’s PMO?

What holds the future for Tomorrow's PMO

What holds the future for Tomorrow’s PMO

PMO will hold the forte of what matters for the business. They will own the projects and drive results for the organization. In a world where business and IT are more intertwined, the Role of PMO will act as a glue that bonds them together well. PMO will no longer be a support function but will be infused into the business as a core strategy. They will demand that X is needed for Y to be achieved, and this will drive the business objectives and momentum.

Embrace Agile: It has been more than 20+ years since the agile manifesto was released, and the PMO will be more flexible than ever. Organizations are adopting Agile Pods (Product Oriented Delivery) which are a group of small self-organized people with varied skills focused on bringing on the results in development. PMOs will work through this pod and manage the resource pool dynamically based on the project demands with cross-functional awareness. Adopting agile methods by PMOs will result in faster delivery timelines and a more collaborative approach to satisfy stakeholders from a 360-degree perspective. This kind of approach will create a more adaptable PMO function that can be reused and adapted as the PMO function expands its horizons.

Automation: Leverage automation to enhance the speed of delivery. PMOs must identify opportunities for improvement on routine tasks that can be automated. Focus on automating report generation and automation. We need to use the means of notification based on the criticality of the issues to the respective stakeholders. Leverage AI and bots to respond to common queries on the PMO through manual means at enterprise levels. Leveraging automation and AI would help free up critical time for the PMO office to focus on the organization’s strategic goals, act as an enabler to focus on project blockers, and help mobilize resources to resolve bottlenecks in critical paths.

Going Hybrid: By leveraging the tools which can help collaborate better, all the project-related tasks, resources, and people are brought to one place. Teams with varied skills, styles, and different views work together irrespective of place to bring more stability, engagement, and efficiency. Flexible work schedules would also help attract talent and broaden the options which are boundaryless. This freedom also allows the PMO to explore all the options in engaging or onboarding resources required for bringing good results.

Data & Insights: The ability to gain insights from the data is the trend as the data volume is moving from GB to TB. There are heterogeneous data sources beyond organizations that are more external and are to be analyzed through API and SDKs with other systems for meaningful inferences. Data getting converted information and the PMOs responsibility to forecast and identify risks with the knowledge gained through insights will be crucial for the organization. Information insights have to be obtained in less time to act upon it. Integration of communication channels and making it more flexible on push/pull gives the right balance to act upon the information.

Emotional Intelligence: Projects are made of people. People are dealt with emotions daily. Beyond cost, quality and scope, the project managers have to manage the people’s vital resources in the project with care in the times of higher attrition. Striking balance between the millennials and their expectations is crucial, which can be managed through appropriate emotional intelligence management. Managing it would result in handling pressure, making better decisions, strong relationships, and positively impacting the work environment.

Although stakeholders are generally satisfied with current PMO performance, there is a sense that PMOs will need to do the following in the coming years:

  • Increase their role in strategic elements of a program, transformation, or organization while decreasing the time spent on transactional processing.
  • Increase your tooling and automation, which will allow you to de-scale and facilitate remote working in the “new normal.”
  • Organize themselves to quickly “spin up” to support transformations and change the PMO approach as needed.
  • Play a bigger role in fusing the “traditional” PMO approach with Agile working methods.
  • When establishing and changing the PMO approach, prioritize stakeholder engagement, especially for the larger stakeholder community, and plan specific change activities.

Evolution of PMO – Today & Tomorrow

The PMO’s role might keep changing, but the concept of bridging the gap between today and future PMOs is learning from failures.

  • PMOs lose sight of the strategy and become mired in tactical or administrative tasks.
  • PMOs maintain a project portfolio that contains gaps, overlaps, and other waste.
  • PMOs add processes rather than simplifying or eliminating them.
  • PMOs believe that tools will solve all of their problems – or that the flashiest tools will solve all of their problems.
  • Even when they provide value, PMOs fail to communicate it.
  • PMOs waste too much time on meaningless – or bad – reporting.
  • PMOs do not track what is essential or hold people accountable.
  • PMOs do not optimize or provide transparency into resource utilization.
  • PMOs behave more like police officers than aid workers.
  • PMOs either cannot find their place in an agile world or resist it.

As per PMI research, more than 55 percent of PMO directors say the charter for their PMO has changed in the past five years as the impact of technology on PMO is dynamic. The PMO, as part of the organization, is affected by this disruption without exception.

Some examples of the technology used in PMO and its impacts:

  1. Cloud – 66%
  2. Digitalization – 54%
  3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – 25%
  4. Internet of Things (IoT) – 24%
  5. Blockchain – 11%

Conclusion

Transformational PMO needs to learn quickly and must embrace digital disruption. The experts in the domain of PMO have to implement their tools wisely. A new generation of PMOs will be strategic enablers, bridging the gap between a company’s vision and how that vision comes to life. Future PMOs could be virtual or Hybrid. If you are setting up your PMO today, consider all the technical and digital options available on the cloud to use it best. These options would help manage Strategic, Tactical, and operational levels. Include that in your budget. This budgeting would also bring on Collaboration and Transparency. The high use of PPM-Portfolio/Program Management Tools would be crucial for larger organizations. PMO is no more an organization of assigning tasks and monitoring them; it’s well beyond boundaries.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube.

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK

 

 

Ideas to Reality : Factors Influencing Project Economy

Ideas to Reality : Factors Influencing Project Economy

Project economy is all about people having the skills and capabilities which enable organizations to turn ideas into reality. The key is these projects should deliver financial and societal value through value streams incrementally delivered through projects. The following are the key six factors identified by PMI that influence the projectification in the project economy.

Climate Change

Buildings are being modified, new products are being introduced, new policies and regulations are being applied. Climate factors are one of the biggest factors influencing global projects. Climate central report found that about 300 million people in coastal Asia would be at risk because of rising sea levels by 2050. Apart from this, people worldwide are fighting to manage droughts, flash floods, volcanic eruptions, and raging wildfires. Climatic changes are a global threat, and many young minds are asking for actions from global leaders. This kind of awareness and activism increases action at the ground level, and project leaders are responsible for those actions inducing change.

Climate Change Challenges

Climate Change Challenges

Infrastructure projects like building sustainable cities can increase green space, manage water risk, etc… These projects directly or indirectly contribute to overall sustainability as well. These complex problems are issues that require a combination of systems and design thinking. The project managers need to respond based on a big picture perspective to manage a complex environment. Nowadays, companies need to have projects on climate projection and sustainability front as a matter of compliance and corporate social responsibility.

The project manager needs to practice agile as these projects change quickly along with technology that changes rapidly. Climate change-related factors influence every sector/industry. The project manager’s mandate is to understand the project’s business case and identify the climate-related factors to deliver project value. Projects, programs, and portfolios have to be aligned to understand this and act with a more creative, front-end-oriented approach for tomorrow’s challenge. Therefore, the role of project managers and program managers is going to impact the future generation.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence adoption has just begun. The responsibility of appropriate implementation lies with project leaders mitigating societal-related risks, including ethical issues. As healthcare, consulting, and manufacturing industries have started adopting, uncertainty looms at a large adoption and transition. However, tools like RPA and AI have already started contributing to the automation of business processes at large, replacing humans doing monotonous jobs.

Impact of artificial intelligence on project management

Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Project Management

In the recent IPMA and PwC report in October 2020, AI is considered a tool, and it’s more adopted for automation to augmentation and beyond changing the future. According to this report, 56% of the organization already has digital transformation projects, including AI adoption. However, it also highlights that 77% of the project managers don’t have experience in using AI technologies in Project management, indicating that the adoption is still in its early stages. Artificial Intelligence will change project management in Integration, Documentation, Reporting, Forecasting, Budgeting, Resource Allocation, and Predictive analytics.

AI systems can help connect different Enterprise applications, including HR, Task Management Tools, repositories, etc. It can help set intelligent reminders to mitigate risks. AI tools can help in drafting documentation and can help get the data from other systems. AI can also help to organize the documentation for quick recovery through recommendation engines. Task report completion, the status of the work, and milestone tracking can be managed effectively by AI-based reporting. Adopting AI tools can help anticipate the problems early through prognosis with the help of specific indicators.

AI tools can help the project manager by helping with insightful information by analysis of Big Data or real-time stream of data. Decision-making aided by AI can be very useful for the project manager to take decisions or actions in the behavioral areas of people management, including Influence, Negotiation, Motivation, etc… Human touch is a factor that cannot be avoided, and AI can never replace it, yet it can aid. AI adoption in project management can significantly help project managers in Productivity, Decision, and Performance.

Adopting Chatbots can help provide the project’s status, follow-up reports, providing templates, project plan, and status can help human resources work on something much more productive. This initiative will enable project professionals to think more strategically and prepare well-defined, high-level plans. Analysis of the project with the help of statistical or AI models would identify and quantify the risks. This aspect would also help in what-if analysis and validate the certain hypothesis to justify the stakeholders involved. It’s expected the current adoption of AI among project professionals will move from 27% to 35% in the next three years. So, this calls for the project management professionals to invest their time in people skills which will never go away yet understanding the AI paradigm.

Globalization

The business, which is growing at a global scale in terms of people, trade of goods and service, information exchange, has taken an economic toll and countries started showing protectionist measures regarding trade policies, immigration, and work policies. Globalization will impact the future global trade, and countries will focus on inclusive growth to fuel the economy from within. Example(s): BREXIT, US-China Trade issues.

Impact of Globalization | Project Management Perspective

Impact of Globalization | Project Management Perspective

The COVID-19 situation has also added to the existing woes and has impacted global travel and trade. Apart from this, geopolitical factors, including nativism, racism, xenophobia, are impacting global projects executed by multinational, multi-ethnic, and geographically distributed teams. All these challenges are to be managed by the project managers. In addition, the increased volatility of the situation reflecting the business landscape and job market has to be managed by the project managers.

Project managers need to effectively remote work amidst geopolitical situations by collaborating, managing time zones and cultural aspects. Project leaders have to become Virtual Leaders managing lack of commitment, distractions, poor communication, low motivation, etc. This kind of change can be well managed by effective portfolio management driven at the organization level to minimize adverse impact.

Infrastructure Gap

For any investment that is capital intensive, there is a need to understand the data for decision-making. For example, the G20 global infrastructure outlook estimates that US$94 trillion is required by 2040 across 56 countries and seven sectors, but the budget falls short by US$15 trillion. The gaps exist depending on the investment required in this area concerning the current trends, which vary in different demographics.

The project managers and program managers are expected to be smart and agile for cutting costs and helping to expedite the operations faster. The infrastructure investment has been increasing for 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, Modularization, Robotics, IoT with Digital Twins for transformation. Singapore is currently working on a project to create a digital twin of the entire city-state.

The Infrastructure Investment

The Infrastructure Investment

The adoption of IoT infrastructure to collect more data is getting more attention. In addition, the advent of technology communication infrastructures such as 4G and 5G has increased cloud data streaming capabilities. As a result, operational efficiency, including an increase in productivity and extending of asset life, could be done only with the help of data and analytics.

Large megaprojects on infrastructure areas such as Dubai Solar Park and the Bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai have large complexities and challenges posing more risks. It is also about augmenting the capacity required to get on with such mega projects. These projects also need to manage or defend political and financial pressures (Example: Halted 13$ billion airport projects in Mexico) through creative means to meet societal needs. Project managers need to address fiscal prudence and transparency.

Project and program offices also need to attain the balance on leveraging local and global suppliers on Megaprojects. Portfolio managers are finding difficulty in people who have experience managing projects of massive size and complexity. The infrastructure Gap to manage these gaps must be well understood by the project professionals, who must wisely adopt the necessary tools required for these endeavors.

Cybersecurity

According to the PMI signpost 2020 report, US$3.92 million is the average cost of data breaches globally in 2019. As we grow more digital, a push is happening in business, governments, and non-profit on how they operate as they are interdependent. Organizations are managing cybercrime, information warfare, and various threats at all different new levels.

Impact of Cybersecurity on Project Management

Impact of Cybersecurity on Project Management

Project leaders need to work with cybersecurity teams as the projects are progressing to manage cybersecurity requirements while building solutions. It is essential to understand that classification of information and its sensitivity to manage the threats faced. Non-IT sectors need to gain more awareness in the cybersecurity areas, and it needs to be implemented as an integral part of the organization.

Project managers of the future need to consider the value of data regardless of their domain. They need to understand the importance of understanding data ownership and the potential impact of data loss or breach. Understanding the cost impact of protecting the data assets also has to be counted in the projectification process. Risk management must encompass Cybersecurity as part of it as well.

Shifting Demographics

Key changes are happening in the areas of overall population demographics. The youth population is on the rise, and project managers need to align their leadership styles to suit the target audience more. In addition, the urban landscape is changing globally, and villages are becoming more urbanized with the young population who may lack the necessary experience with the new world. It is also difficult to navigate the projects with them. Also, we need to manage and make the best use of the job market with many young minds available.

Underdeveloped countries are moving across. For example, many projects are going on in African countries building infrastructure for their growth. This expansion would build the future for the people, and these countries willing to participate in the projects for creating a better world would require more understanding at a strategic level.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Reinhard Wagner in YouTube

You can subscribe and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

You can subscribe to vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our certification Q&A series and student success stories using the link https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

For any questions related to Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting https://bit.ly/2SbhTOK