There are 3 mega-trends steering the future of project management. At their core is the ongoing shift towards distributed project management.
Projects of the future will be delivered by a group of geographically dispersed indivdual contractors and consultants, specialising in a particular discipline. This more distributed approach will be possible because of the very recent evolution of 3 new capabilities and services;
1. Cloud-Based Collaboration
Cloud-based collaboration resources are now very cost effective. Video conferencing systems and document management applications are now available to the one-man business. Files can now be shared between many 3rd parties using secure file-sharing portals.
2. Project Control Methodologies
The statistical nature of projects, and the tasks that they contain, has long been recognized. However, it is only recently that tools have evolved to tame this complexity. These new tools can manage many complex projects using many interchangeable resources located in different geographical locations.
Agile project management methodologies also help to manage complex projects that are in a state of evolution and change right up to when they are completed.
3. Specialist Integrators
The future is about coordinating specialist skills to deliver a business outcome rather than a technology or hardware outcome. Specialist integrators will be a group of skilled consultants, internal or external to a business, who can coordinate the many competing business requirements into a well executed project solution.
With all this in mind then, the characteristics of todays vs tomorrows project management techniques are;
|Centralisation of control||Decentralisation of control|
|Top-down planning||Bottom-up planning|
|Authoritarian environment||Collaborative environment|
|Fixed structure||Emergent structure|
|Limited/restricted access to the plan||Organised/unlimited access to the plan|
|Local access to information||Global/live access to information|
|Limited communications within the team||Unlimited communications within team|
|Separate projects||Portfolio of projects|
|Overly complex tools||Tools that are powerfully simple|
|Rigidity of tools||Flexibility of tools|