Categories: Best Practices
By Dave Wakeman
I never like to miss a trend, so since 2020 is just around the corner, I thought I would put together a few of the ideas I’m going to be exploring in the coming year. My hope is that you all will reply in the comments section with some of your own ideas and areas of focus.
We can call it a prediction post, without predictions. Here are the three things that I’ll be focusing on in 2020:
As I’m writing this, the United Kingdom is holding an election to try to clarify what they will or won’t do about Brexit. And I likely don’t have to tell you there’s an election in the United States in 2020.
Alone, these two things mean little to most project managers, but underlying these elections is a sense of economic uncertainty due to some of the issues that are driving them.
This is a big idea to pay attention to because the U.S. and the U.K. are two of the largest economies in the world. All of us have to pay attention because potential ripple effects could sideline our projects, cut our budgets, or just cause a general sense of uncertainty to seep into our work.
I’ll be checking the economic pulse constantly in 2020 because uncertainty of any kind can have a big impact on business, the economy and our jobs.
I’m back from Australia, and while I was there New South Wales was dealing with severe brush fires. Some have attributed the fires to the impact of climate change.
Whether climate change is an attributed factor in these fires or not, the trend of weather patterns being more severe is impacting population centers around the world.
I’ll keep an eye on this because where there are challenges, there are opportunities. As project managers, the opportunity to mitigate the impact of severe weather is a huge chance to hone our skills, develop new solutions and work on things that really do have a significant, real-world impact.
For me, I’m going to look at every major weather event and ask what were the lessons learned, what could we do to handle it better, and what is the trend line for this kind of event so that I can better understand where my skills and mindset can add the most value.
Changes in Technology
We take it for granted that technology is moving fast and changing the way we approach our lives and careers. I’ve been running out the flag that technology is a tool we should be using to improve our ability to do the things that only we, as humans, can accomplish.
Maybe it will be a theme of the new year—I don’t know.
But what I will say is that technology has been a crutch for a lot of us over the last few years, and as much as it improves our ability to do things, it also jams us up or sends us down a rabbit hole of needless activity.
In 2020, I’m going to keep an eye on how we are using technology. Can we find ways to take mundane, repetitive tasks off our plates and give us the freedom to do the things that really add value?
Or, are we continuing to allow technology to drive us and make us a tool of technology’s use?
From my point of view, keeping an eye on technology likely means spending more time focusing on the outcomes I need to achieve and thinking through how technology supports them, instead of getting lost in all the cool features that a solution has to offer.
But enough about me. Where are you going to focus your attention in 2020?