2010 trends in project management


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2010 trends in project management

  1. 1. 2010 Trends in Project ManagementWRITTEN BY DONNA A. REEDTUESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2010 10:40 2010 brings with it multiple trends for Project Management. It is not surprisingthat many of these trends will help mature the world of project management as we know it today. Just as businessesmust be flexible with market conditions - Project Management professionals and organizations must also adaptaccordingly.In talking to industry leaders in Project Management - several trends stand out.Economic conditions have changed - Companies are changing - and project managers must understand thesechanges to be the leaders needed in 2010.Trend 1 - Enterprises continue to look for Efficiencies in Process & Technology Companies will continue to look for ways to become more efficient and save money in boththe short & long run. They will do this by re-evaluating their processes and technology. Lean Thinking will takeprecedence in influencing how this happens."Clients are asking themselves a few key questions:Are we doing things the most efficient way possible?How can we improve our utilization of people, process and technology?"said Michele Frank at Tryton Solutions (a consulting company that specializes in optimizing technology solutions).We will see Lean-Kanban approaches emerge in management processes and projects as companies take a look at"where they are today" and determine where it makes sense to optimize work flows and limit the amount of work inprocess to achieve the improvement results desired.Richard Leavitt, EVP of worldwide marketing at Rally Software adds to this by saying, "Emerging IT managementpractices will incorporate and be measured on Lean Principles such as:
  2. 2. Smaller batch sizes of work, Watching queue sizes of work, Limiting actual work in process (WIP), and a More continuous "flow of value" to customers."From a technology standpoint, organizations are taking a step back to look at their IT portfolio (hardware &applications). "Data warehouses, architectures and infrastructure upgrades are just not happening like a few yearsago," said Michelle Frank from Tryton Solutions. Instead they are incrementally improving the technology theyalready have.Enterprises will be in search of PMs that have a broad range of technology and process improvement experience.Especially PMs with knowledge in tuning and making legacy technology perform to its highest ability for customersatisfaction and to meet customer SLAs. As well as PMs that understand business processes well enough to applyLean Thinking to them - making them more efficient and effective for quicker results.Trend 2 - Agile and Lean Processes are overtaking Waterfall With the need to do more with less, the demand by executives for "predictability" in projects andcustomers needing valuable deliverables produced quicker - Agile and Lean processes will become much more thenorm rather than the exception in projects during 2010.Rallys founder and CTO, Ryan Martens, said that "2010 continues the evolution from traditional phased, stage gatesto iterative & incremental program reviews.""Agile and Lean processes passed the tipping point in 2009 and Waterfall/RUP is in decline. In 2010, project andportfolio management (PPM) must bridge the gap between Agile planning and progress metrics (e.g. velocity, points,etc) and traditional financial measures of hours and dollars", adds Richard Leavitt, EVP of worldwide marketing atRally Software.“In 2009, PMI and SEI recognized the appropriateness of Agile PMs within their space. In 2010, both of thosecommunities will experience a dramatic change. I’m in a unique position to see what people are planning, and I cansay with certainty that Agile will be talked about by people who have never heard of it before. There will be droves ofnewcomers finding it awkward to discuss a modern approach to management. But, there will also be experts whohave to confront the trend of their niche becoming commonplace," adds Jesse Fewell, co-Founder of PMIs AgileCommunity of Practice. TRAINING will be needed.....Companies are already trying to transition to Agile, but when we look under the covers we see they are really just
  3. 3. doing waterfall in short iterations. So without proper training on how to do this transition, a concern will continue togrow regarding project managers ability to deal with a new Agile world."Unfortunately there are still many project managers who are far more comfortable with a traditional world ofcommand and control that will struggle in this transition to more of an Agile world," said James Christie, a CharteredIT Professional from IBM."Larger companies have a mandate to go to Scrum, but theyre not adding the engineering practices, theyre notgetting training (especially product owners), so theyre having trouble," said Johanna Rothman, CEO and AgileConsultant/Trainer from Rothman Consulting Group)Its like building that jungle gym playground and not reading the directions. What it built right? Will it stand up? Whatare these extra parts for?Look for training and certifications in Agile and Lean project management to emerge to development projectmanagement leaders so they can successfully "build those jungle gyms" and assist companies in their transition toAgile.The need for Agile and Lean coaching will be in more demand as well. By companies bringing "experts" in to teach,model and coach teams in the use of Agile and Lean practices that work "for them" - since every environment isdifferent - one size doesn’t always fit all. This will catapult companys transition to Agile.Individual consultants will be sought out to share their experience from many types of projects and environments thatthey have exposure to over the employee that stays at the same company for years. The mentoring concept is back.Trend 3 - PMs are becoming Independent Consultants Project Management jobs are starting to open up as we slowly move out of this economicrecession. Companies have been trying to cut expenses and save money, so new projects have been rather sparsein 2009, as multiple PMI Chapter Board members have shared with me recently."It will take companies a while to start up new, large projects. And theres a good possibility that they will look to usecontractors to supplement the staff that they were forced to let go last year," said PMI Chapter Board Members.When I talked to professional recruiters around the country that specialize in placing PMs and BAs - I heard over andover that "few new projects started in 2009". But there is good news for 2010."...more projects will be approved this year over last year, as confidence builds throughout the year. Pessimism isquickly turning into optimism. More projects means more jobs and more spend in the economy. So it should be anexciting year to come," said Jason Westland, CEO of Method123.com | MPMM.com | ProjectManager.com |ProjectPlan.com.We will see more and more PMs venture out on their own to become independent contractors (ICs). The largercompanies seem to be especially interested in hiring ICs - hiring them for the length of a specific project or tocomplete projects started by previous staff that were let go in 2009.
  4. 4. With the trend of 3 to 6 month contracts for PMs, we will also see ICs building trusting relationships with companiesthat will call on them to "get the job done" - and not have to always train up new PMs. It certainly benefits companiesto utilize PM ICs that understand their environment, culture and processes already - where they hit the groundrunning on projects - there is not a long ramp up and learning phase.As this year progresses, IC contracts will be renewed and extended as new projects are approved. Keeping the PMsaround that are trusted and know the culture and business processes are also a cost savings that companies arerealizing.Trend 4 - Virtual & Independent Teams will be more Prevalent Virtual project teams are increasing in 2010 as well. Instead of companies maintaining all the skillsinternally or in one location - they are leveraging skills needed for projects where ever the skills reside. And moreand more companies are going green - allowing their staff & ICs to work from home.Independent Teams are increasing as well. We mentioned this in Trend 3 above. These teams are assembled fromemployees, contractors, consultants, outsourcing resources, and others for a specific project and only that project."As a result, we are seeing a move toward a world that we discussed only as a theory about 10 years ago - ”a worldwhere project teams are assembled, executed, and then disappear", says Matt Heusser, founder of Software, Test &Performance Collaborative.Virtual teams have their challenges & require skills…they are not challenge-free.Development, implementation and management of this type of transition from traditional business model oforganizational operations to a virtual geographically-dispersed mode require: Exceptional interpersonal skills, Strong leadership abilities and The ability to communicate with diverse cultures.These are all "soft skills" needed by PMs....so look for more training and coaching in this area as well.Trend 5 - Social Media will become a Norm Communication is a critical element to the success of every project. And with the increase ofvirtual/distributed teams comes the need for better communication and collaboration mechanisms. Even teams thatare in the same location are considered virtual if you have to get up from your desk to go talk to them.The traditional tool of Email is not fulfilling this need. We see collaboration tools such as IM-ing, web conferencing,Wikis, Sharepoint, and other tools being used to help bridge the communication gap. Especially with mobile and
  5. 5. virtual teams growing."The need to communicate will increase our reliance on social networks - both outside the business using tools suchas Facebook, LinkedIN and Twitter, and inside the business using tools such as Sharepoint and Socialtext," said MattHeusser.Jesse Fewell, from PMI Agiles Community of Practice, adds,""Social media will become more of an expectation and less of a novelty. From Twitter to blogging, more and morepeople will try using these tools, with mixed results".The need to communicate - as well as capturing that communication so it is accessible to team members that couldntmake that meeting - is desperately needed & growing. Social media tools will be leveraged individually to fill thecommunication gap.... until we see integrated collaboration tools start emerging in 2010.Trend 6 - PM & BA Roles are Converging The need for efficiencies and doing more with less is also driving the convergence of ProjectManagement and Business Analyst roles. For example, who should gather requirements? The PM or BA? Theanswer emerges with Agile & Lean practices overtaking the traditional project management practices.As each company and project determines what is the best fit for them. Some will require specialists and others willleverage generalists to lead the way. Just look at Product Managers who have been able to lead the entire SDLCfrom market research, requirement definition to development onto product launch for years because they have thebigger picture in mind. The need for PMs to be more of a Product Owner that owns the definition and delivery of thesolution will continue to emerge.Ryan Martens, founder and CTO of Rally Software, says that 2010 will see a "continued move of ProjectManagement professionals from the role of Project Management to Release, Scrum or Product Management" andwith it the "continued evolution of the Program Management office (PMO) into a Scrum of Scrums office".PMs that can step back to see the bigger picture by understanding the business - market and technology needs, being the liaison between the customer/business and the development team, and leading (not managing) the project team from concept/initiation to launch/close,...they will be in great demand.We are not saying that PMs or BAs are being replaced - these are just titles. What will continue to happen is theredefinition of their roles on the team as Agile and Lean practices overtake the traditional ways of doing projects.Leaders are needed - not more managers.
  6. 6. 2010 will be a very exciting year for project management...