Blog Feature

By: Jeff Collins

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July 29th, 2016

How Project Management Has Changed in the Past 10 Years

Project ManagementProject management has advanced light-years beyond what experts could have possibly predicted at the close of the 20th century. Desktop computers are virtually non-existent, and the speed of today’s simplest smartphones rivals the major processors of 1999. Meanwhile, project management has also made tremendous strides over the last 10 years, and you might be surprised at how far the industry has come.

Project Management Has Become More Mobile

Project management is no longer based on simple phone calls and hope for a good report. Those processes have been replaced by mobile dashboards and the ability to work from remote locations with ease. In some ways, the role of a physical office is obsolescent.

The Cloud Has Catalyzed the Advancement of Project Management Software

Project management software has also changed over the last decade. The days of manually updating terminal-based software have been replaced by advanced, cloud-based systems, and the storage capacity of the cloud is transforming how project managers communicate and collaborate with stakeholders, team members and skilled workers.

The Role of People and Collaboration Have Taken Priority Over Rigidity

Historically, project management has been very rigid. People were placed second over the need for absolute rigidity, but modern project management has become more agile and flexible. Having the ability to adapt to changes quickly is the hallmark of a great project manager today.

Companies Have Started Focusing More on Portfolio Planning and Management

With the financial ruin of 2008 still in the back of the public’s consciousness, more companies have started managing all their projects as a collective. As a result, project management has evolved into whole portfolio management, and collaboration has replaced mindlessly following direction, which helped companies grow and expand beyond their horizons.

Project Management Career Options Have Opened up to New People

More project management professionals have taken an interest in obtaining credentials and certifications, including the PMP exam. Consequently, companies have started looking for project managers with these credentials, and the world of project management has opened more to people from other industries.

Risk Management Has Become Proactive, Not Reactive

Risk management has changed as well. Historically, risk management was defined as how a company reacted to a problem. While this is still true to an extent, risk management has become more focused on preventing problems and identifying solutions before problems arise. Therefore, risks can be managed more effectively to reduce the likelihood of their occurrence.

Resource Management Has Become King in a “Green” World

Resource management has also taken priority in modern project management. Waste and inefficient use of resources are the charges of watchdog groups, and the role of social media has put pressures on companies to embrace energy-efficient, “green” initiatives in projects of all types.

Today’s project managers would barely recognize the project management of the 2000s, but the past is not something that should be ignored. Modern project managers need to think about how the industry has changed drastically if they hope to be prepared for the inevitable changes of the future.

Key Things to Remember

  • Mobile technologies are enabling better communication and collaboration, including increased ability to work from remote locations.

  • Project management software has become cloud-based.

  • People and working together have replaced rigidity in project management.

  • Companies are working to more effectively manage portfolios as a whole, not just individual projects.

  • More companies are looking for project managers with credentials or certifications, and career opportunities in project management have increased.

  • Project managers are managing risk proactively before risks become problems.

  • Resource management has become of the most importance to meet the demands of an increasingly eco-conscious world. 

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About Jeff Collins

Hi there, thanks for reading! As the President of IMS, I’ve just about seen it all in the project management industry. I’m happy to share my experiences to help managers and organizations improve their project performance. Please reach out to our team if you’re struggling to achieve your goals. We’d love to work with you to discover the PM solutions you need for success.

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