The evolution of the Project Management Office (PMO) over the past 20 years has been astounding. Innovations like project management technology and increasingly intelligent project management methodologies have reshaped the scope of project management. So, with that in mind we’d like to look ahead and see what project management trends are going to define 2019.

1.    Remote working will continue to increase

IWG found that 70% of the world’s workers work remotely at least once a week. Remote working is becoming more and more commonplace, so we expect to see project managers (PMs) adopt it in greater numbers in 2019. Although project management offices (PMOs) will continue to grow in popularity, it’s very likely they won’t all be physical offices. Not being tethered to a workplace, either as a permanent employee or a contractor, helps workers become more adaptable and blend their work and home lives together in a way that suits them.

PMs will benefit from having access to a much wider resource pool without having to manage offices abroad or travel frequently. Having the freedom to hire around the world will require PMs to maintain high standards of visibility and communication for resources. The role of PM will become more flexible and remote working will become more widely adopted.

While a team of curated staff is ideal, if that team operate in different time zones or languages, this can cause issues. A great deal of scheduling and performance tracking is needed to keep a project on track when that project is dispersed around the globe. While project managers will be able to enjoy more flexibility around their location, they’ll need to ensure their resource management processes are as structured and thorough as possible. With the help of resource management software, remote working will enable PMs to communicate effectively with teams around the globe.

2.    More varied roles

Businesses are changing rapidly and their PMOs along with them. Traditional business structures are changing in a way that allows traditional office-based roles to become more flexible. In pursuit of increased productivity, businesses are choosing to change the structure of their teams in order to best suit their projects. A PM would expect resources with skillsets in multiple areas to be capable of duties in multiple capacities. For example, a copywriter with experience of web design might be assigned to both tasks within a project to best optimize the resource. In the same way, PMs should expect their businesses to assign them duties outside of their usual remit.

In order to keep up with evolving business models, businesses will expect their PMs to work more closely with their projects and perform different duties than they previously have. They may be expected to take on complete financial management of a project or overseeing software licensing. PMs will need to adapt to different approaches to project management – different industries will favor different diverse skills.

3.    Agile and Kanban methodologies

As the roles of PMs evolve, so too will their methodologies. It’s likely that aspects of different methodologies will be adopted to create a new school of project management that best serves PMs. In 2019 processes initially created for developers will be just as handy for PMs to adopt. As the PPM landscape becomes more dispersed and more workers become remote, PMs are going to need to find new processes to help them adapt to a less traditional workflow. In order to become as flexible as they can, PMs will need to be able to follow processes that are less rigid and more goal oriented.

Agile is a set of principles that help developers adapt to change quickly and embrace a flexible approach than a traditional waterfall rigid structure. The Agile Manifesto highlights the need to prioritize individuals over process – this could become a very useful principle for PMs who work with human resources. Giving PMs free rein over their projects will allow them to make faster and better decisions.

Kanban is a more visual and workflow-based methodology, originally developed by Toyota to assign workloads using a card system. This methodology prioritizes small daily deliveries, focusing on what a worker can achieve in a day. Kanban is a methodology that guarantees small goals are achieved every day, which means progress is easily measurable, so it’s a useful methodology for PMs to explore.

4.    Automation

Cutting-edge technology like AI has made its way into project management, specifically through software. PMs have historically been reliant on software like Microsoft Excel for data entry and analysis and Microsoft Project for project management. However, better tools have become available. Repetitive tasks can be automated, increasing efficiency and allowing workers to dedicate more time elsewhere to higher value work.

Optimizing resources will become much easier with the opportunity to let the software create resource models, while PMs can take a more top-level strategizing position. Automation will become an indispensable project management trend, as it allows PMs to increase their productivity and reduce their workload. In future, automation will become a PM’s strongest asset.

5.    Project management software

PMs need higher quality tools than ever, since they’re now expected to get more done with less – while budgets are falling, companies are expecting PMs to take on more projects. Expectations are rising but resources aren’t, which leaves PMs needing to optimize as much as they possibly can.

By improving the quality of the software they’re using, PMs will have access to valuable project insights that they can use to make data-driven decisions. Resource management software can support PMs with AI driven insights, showing PMs how resources are performing across multiple projects. Automatic heatmaps and cool maps can be generated, giving visibility to both projects and individuals. To continue delivering high-quality work and making accurate data-driven decisions, PMs will increasingly adopt new software in 2019.

How will these project management trends affect you?

2019 is going to be the year of the digital and agile PMO. Offices will step away from rigid workflow structures and explore new methodologies. More businesses will embrace AI and automation so that PMs will have the chance to manage projects much more effectively.

Tempus Resource is a tool that PMs can use to create their own workflows, adapting to business needs and increasing visibility of resources down to the individual skills and workload. Implementing intelligent AI driven insights based on real-time data will mean that PMs in 2019 are equipped to face new industry expectations and challenges. You can implement Tempus Resource into your business today to stay ahead of your competitors and embrace the future.

Get in touch with ProSymmetry today to find out how Tempus Resource can keep your business ahead of the curve with code-free workflows, AI driven insights and intelligent resource planning and modelling.