Project Management Trends To Prepare For in 2020

As many business professionals know, project management has played an integral role in the development of organisations across a wide array of professional fields. Some of these fields include science, technology, law, education and marketing. Irrespective of the specific field, the sphere of project management is subject to ongoing change. This is especially the case given the role that perpetual shifts in technology play in shaping the way individuals and organisations do business. Here are some of the project management trends to watch in 2020.


1. Are You Ready For Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

One of the biggest shifts in the technological world is the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). According to many industry experts, AI is now leading us to an industrial revolution. This revolution involves AI algorithms being appropriated to make changes to a corporate organisation’s services and products to adjust to the current conditions and requirements of the market. These changes can be made in real-time, and this shift can dramatically impact a company’s ability to appeal to clients in a manner that generates profits and product-loyalty. With these realities in mind, project managers must begin to factor the shift towards an autonomous climate into the equation when they interact with clients.

Another reason that project managers must remain cognisant of this project management trend pertains to the fact that this area impacts how the project-development process will unfold. Specifically, AI impacts things such as task automation, including data visualisation and scheduling. With the rise of AI-powered bots, project managers have a source through which to determine which projects should be pursued immediately. They can then allocate resources for the project that has been prioritised. As AI gains precedence, project managers must remain aware of the fact that real-time scheduling enables organisations to instantly adapt to new developments in client needs and/or employee availability.

Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. William Pollard

2. Why Soft Skills Matter?

While one might think that the rise of technology in the corporate sector would lead to decreased importance being placed on how effectively professionals interact with clients and prospects, nothing could be further from the truth. Many business executives forecast that the effective acquisition and use of soft skills will be more important than ever in the upcoming year. This may be the case due to the rise of AI leaving many individuals thirsty for real, live interactions that promote connection and community. Essentially, a great deal of us still want to experience various aspects of ‘being human’, such as shaking hands, eye-to-eye contact and having pleasant, casual conversations. These components of interaction are integral to the development of soft skills like negotiation and teaching. As such, project managers who want to attain optimal levels of success in 2020 will have to learn how to balance the acquisition of new technical skills with the continual development of their social skills.


3. The Rise of the Gig Economy

The way people work is changing. Specifically, 1 out of 3 individuals no longer hold traditional 9 to 5 jobs in which they work out of a corporate office for a third of their lives. These days, many individuals work remotely, meaning that they can complete their job assignments from the privacy of their home or while sipping caramel-flavoured lattes from the coffee shop of their choice.

Project managers need to be aware of this project management shift in the way people work for several reasons. First, the rise of the gig economy may mean that there is a smaller group of full-time employees who are working on a project. If a few or several of your project team members are working remotely, you must master the art of learning how to effectively interact with individuals who may be on different continents, in different time zones, or handling multiple tasks simultaneously. One of the best ways to effectively grapple with the rise of the gig economy is to acquire technological skills that enable you to enhance workflow automation processes.



While work as a project manager can be immensely rewarding and challenging, those who want to maintain success in this field must remain aware of how the industry is shifting. As made evident in this article, keep in mind that some of the most significant project management trends in this sector are directly related to the rise of technology within the corporate sector.

Imran Zaman

The founder of DIGITI.ORG - The Digital Transformation Magazine. Imran is a Senior Consultant who helps FTSE 500 companies develop Cloud-First Strategies, introduce Cloud Operating and Cloud Finance Models and leads international Program Management teams to deliver digital change. Imran writes about Business, Technology and Innovation.

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