As we go into the New Year 2024, Project Management is traversing a journey of its own. Project Management itself is on a journey of Agility, pivoting as per the dynamic situation and the landscape. Project Management (if we personify it) is not Agile enough, or maybe it is. One can notice that agility is one of the rapidly bubbling project management trends in 2024.
Also, Project Management has a pretty broad scope, and the application & impact are even wider and far-reaching. When you do it right, you get better dividends, which can generate increased revenue for the organization. On the other hand, when you do it wrong, it can even obliterate the organization.
In other words, project management done the right way is critical for an organization.
What path is it taking in 2024? What are the key project management trends aspirants and practitioners should be looking out for?
I have summarized my understanding of project management trends 2024, which I have garnered from many practitioners and aspirants and even the leadership & L&D in the organization.
Project Management Trends 2024:
There is no single right way of doing project management –
Well, this is not a new trend, but many leaders and practitioners try to ignore this maxim. I believe this maxim will be more pronounced in the year 2024.
Many leaders and practitioners believe there is one standard for project management, which is a proven framework or a practice, such as PMP, Scrum, or any project management methodologies. And if it is not working, they feel that they, as a team or an organization, are not just doing it right. Well, it may be the case. However, more often, the case might be that the said standard or feedback is not fit for that team or the situation. Many practitioners and experts in project management lose the macro context of things. This can be a good insight into how you should conduct effective project management.
I believe that there will be more awareness and acceptance of the fact that there is no single way or method of doing project management. I like to believe that many organizations and practitioners will start experimenting with different ways of doing projects and will be more open to accepting new ways of working in 2024.
Learning new methods and practices –
As you grow into a project management professional, you need to add new learning experiences continuously. One obviously comes from Empiricism, from the past experiences which help to grow. This hones your project manager skills and makes you more prepared for future challenges. And another comes from the theory. Theory is a good intervention for learning new things and probably practicing in your day-to-day projects. And achieve results differently than what you were doing earlier.
I think this trend of knowing more through new learnings and new theories – be it certifications or new knowledge, will be more focused than last year. As the project management profession itself grows into different styles of agility and lean project management, where many lean and agile techniques are invented, there will be more curiosity about how these can be applied to your workplace.
I definitely see many aspirants and practitioners open to new knowledge, project management best practices, and theories and the application of these in organizations. I believe this will be an expectation from the leadership in the organization as well.
Problem Solving as a Project Manager and just not Managing –
Project Management is still looked at as a “controlling” and “managing” job. As we enter 2024, I believe that the shift is gradually changing towards more “Solving Problems.” I think the demand for “Problem Solvers” and “empowering” the team will get more importance and will be recognized in the coming year. You can name them “Coach,” “Scrum Master,” “Project Manager,” or just a “manager”- the focus will be to empower the team and solve the problems for the team. The team will gain more importance in the new knowledge era, and they will make the decisions on the project. The way project management is perceived will gradually start shifting to a new paradigm. You will see the team is gaining more importance for decisions within the team, and the project manager role is shifting to a “Problem solver.”
Focusing on Agile as a Way of Thinking rather than a practice –
This is talked about more often than anything else, almost every year. And maybe we sincerely hope organizations get this sooner rather than later. Even PMP introduced Agility in their framework.
However, the easiest way for leaders to inculcate Agility in the organization is to thrust a specific practice or a framework and have the team maneuver its’ way towards Agility. I have seen organizations call their teams “Super-Agile” or “Agile Marvels,” even though they practice a waterfall model with Agile ceremonies!! The organizations announce to the world that they are practicing Agile, and the management probably believes they are practicing the current trend. And the reality is that hardly anyone measures or gauges what has improved from the old way of working.
Does an Agile framework or practice make you an Agile team?
Agile is a way of thinking. Unless you change the immutable laws and change your thinking, I do not think any best practice will work for you.
I would like to believe that this realization will start setting in, in more numbers, in 2024. Leaders and organizations will explore Agility more. Agility will not be limited as a concept to the development or IT team.
The Bottom Line
I hope 2024 brings in more awareness and application of better project management concepts and practices. Subsequently, this would give rich dividends to organizations.
I wish everyone grows and excels in the project management profession. There is a huge demand for good project managers, and will continue to be in demand.
I believe in excellence in what you choose to do, and I have taken that path. So, I hope that 2024 is the stepping stone of the year to become better than you were in 2023.
Wish you a Happy 2024!
I hope to connect on LinkedIn and in person soon!
Happy to hear your comments.