Project Management

What Is the Future of Project Management?

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By Mario Trentim

Various organizations and individuals have made great contributions to advance the project management profession over the past few decades. And as standards and methodologies continue to evolve, new tools and techniques are used to plan and manage all kinds of initiatives.

However, myriad approaches can take a toll on productivity and collaboration, since it’s hard to maintain consistency and a common language across frameworks.

Is project management evolving too fast?


The Project Management Revolution

“One size fits all” does not apply to project management. It’s common sense. So why was project management standardized in the past? Taking into consideration that project management initially was applied to large technical projects in their early stages, a command and control approach was the norm. Planning and management were centralized. The management style favored hierarchy and disincentivized creativity. A waterfall approach made sense, as the context of project management existed outside of the uncertainty and volatility that many projects face today.


Figure 1: “Traditional” projects based on past versions of the PMBOK® Guide (Microsoft Project template)


Things shifted as enterprise environmental factors changed. Agile approaches were developed to allow for shorter execution cycles and more frequent feedback. Individuals and teams started voicing their opinions, discussing best practices with a lean mentality to improve their work and results.


Figure 2: Agile projects (Microsoft Project template)


The project management revolution spread like wildfire. Project management is currently used in education, marketing projects, event planning, human resources initiatives, infrastructure megaprojects, and much more. It is part of daily operations in various industries, private companies, nonprofits, and the governmental sector.

As a result, a variety of approaches and methodologies were created to keep projects on target. Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult to define project management today.


Embracing Modern Project Management

Digital transformation and technology are catalyzing changes in organizational structures and enabling new capabilities by empowering individuals and teams. 

To keep pace with the changes, modern project management evolved into a broad and general principle-based approach.



Figure 3: Disciplined Agile Principles



Principle-based approaches enable individuals and teams to choose what is best for their project according to its characteristics. From the perspective of processes, tools, and techniques, modern project management embraces hybrid combinations, which are powered by modern tools.

Modern project management must be supported by contemporary collaboration tools, intuitive and flexible task management, virtual workspaces, and more.

Figure 4: Collaboration hub and intuitive task management

Spurred by the global pandemic, organizations have recently taken remote work to another level. And individuals and teams must become more tech-savvy than ever to keep up.


How do you see project management evolving in the near future and how do you keep up with its changes?


Posted by Mario Trentim on: July 06, 2020 12:55 PM | Permalink

Comments (11)

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All concepts are requested to be applied to keep the projects. Otherwise, the knowledge will pass through your fingers like water. To the future, the experience that happened now must stay like water on the dam.

Thanks for Sharing !

PM seem to be going more toward a "solutions driver" that is revolutionizing the reality of business. There is a lot of potential yet there is alot of uncertainty as to where it could end up...with new technologies, climate change, the current pandemic, plus a new generation of younger people with a whole different perspective of life. Its interesting what the future is going to be!!
Thanks for sharing

project management standardized provide a orientation of project management and a general method, but it didn't limit any creation or revolution which is useful to individual project.

In my organization, PMs are being leaned on heavily to not only drive the project forward, but they are also being relied on to develop strategies, and even be decision makers.

Good article, thank you for sharing.

For me the future of PM is the to become the dream maker, an active and leader for the transformation of organizations.

Regarding the future of project management, there's nothing to fear. There have always been projects to be managed and there will always be projects. For any who believes in the existence of an Almighty Creator, it is clear that He is the author of project management. My careful analysis of the Genesis' account about the creation of the planet earth and the creatures in it tells me that there was an initiation of that gigantic project, that it was uniquely planned with the the elements of activity listing, sequencing, WBS arrangements and scope management flawlessly done before execution began. I've no doubts at all that God worked in quality assurance, in fact, total quality management, in ensuring that what He created met his preset quality standard. Hence, upon the completion of the great project of creating the earth, God himself declared all he had created "very good." In other words, He carried out scope validation and quality control, and nothing was missing. The more I explore the marvels and wonders of creation, the more I see the science of project management and the more I grow in my appreciation for the project management profession. It is a profession that predated most of the mainstream profession. Therefore, all of us in the project management profession should just continue to adapt to the changing needs of projects. There is no new project that will not require the input of the talent triangle. Interestingly, we have a professional organization that keeps growing in dynamism and that will never allow anyone or any other institution to displace its unrivalled position in project management!

Good article. Thanks for sharing!

Very good article. Thank you.

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