Shot of a young businessman and businesswoman using a computer during a brainstorming session in a modern office

The next big thing in project management

The world is more global, digitally focussed and moving faster than ever – here’s how project managers can up-skill for success 

If someone had asked you in the spring of 2019 what the future held for you personally, and your industry more widely, what answer would you have given? Chances are, it is redundant in this (almost) post-covid, new normal we currently inhabit. So much has changed in the past two years, and our working environments are almost unrecognisable in many ways.  

 Stride forward with hybrid approaches

‘Agile’ was a buzz word long before ‘lockdown’, and the need to keep pivoting during the pandemic means many project managers will have already naturally acquired some of the skills (and the tenacity) needed for hybrid approaches to be a success. Think about traditional project management approaches that were the go-to 5 to 10 years ago: planning your strategy, understanding the goal, testing and executing it in the open market. Now think about agile strategies that emerged in the years before Covid; you have a vision, you begin working toward it in broad directional ways, you adapt to the new challenges presented without losing sight of the vision. Without getting hung up on the target, you continue to adjust as you are hit by different waves of change. Imagine combining those two approaches, and the people or teams suited to those approaches, for brilliant, well-crafted project management results.  

Analyse your analytics  

Big data has been the next big thing for a while, but Covid has fragmented our world, and our individual experience, into ever smaller pieces. Big data can still offer us clarity with the big picture, allowing an astute project manager to put together a team of the appropriate size, skill and interest for the job. But within that team, while the project is in motion, the devil is in the detail, and you need to pin it down. Engage software to harvest your stats for high level, detailed reports that will help you understand engagement and need much better.  

Be available – remotely  

Remote working, at least some of the time, is here to stay – and it is worth embracing from a project efficiency perspective. Remote working offers project managers and their team flexibility, diversity in the talent pool, a reduction in office costs, and improved mental health. But it takes some planning. Make sure you have regular online catch ups booked in with your whole team, sub-groups and individuals for mentoring. There are an array of software options to manage goals and assign roles. Make sure everyone is clear on what needs to be achieved. Trust in your team to deliver, and learn to support them through the process rather than micromanage. 

Get the right tools for the job  

One of the best things to come out of the global pandemic has been software advancements for group working. Existing packages have been tweaked and new programmes tailored. Whatever you need, there is a solution for you – and a lot of them are free – so that you can tweak task lists, or use multiple project management methodologies.  

Consolidate your skills with training

Of course, great project management skills come from a proactive approach to learning. Modelling lifelong learning is also a great leadership skill, so don’t be shy about not knowing the answer to everything. IMNZ’s specialist project management course, can be used as a stepping stone to other beneficial courses that will help keep your both management and leadership skills in top form – from stakeholder management and conflict resolution, to communications, finances and leadership. 

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