Mudassir Iqbal

A Glimpse Into Our PM Future

In today’s world where we are experiencing massive changes in all facets of life (the largest ever after the third industrial revolution), project management has become quite pervasive. In this era of Industry 4.0, the methodologies we learn in this field are being used in almost every other industry around the world. It’s thought-provoking to consider the upcoming demand for project management—and in turn, project managers—in this fast-changing world where:

  • innovation cycles are becoming shorter and shorter
  • AI and robotics are threatening many jobs (or at least functions within a job)
  • job roles are becoming more competitive and have started to encompass functions that are/were not directly part of the position
  • outsourcing is threatening job functions that are not value-added
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With my current assignment, I am experiencing outsourced project management, with some of the project managers’ usual functions handed over to operations teams.


Let’s have a look at the future of project management from my perspective—including the challenges I am facing to keep myself valuable…

1. Projectification of societies: Projectification refers to the extent to which project management diffuses to all divisions of societies. The indicators of this pattern are primarily the time and money invested in projects, along with certain financial, ethnic and social gains and losses as a result of these projects. With increasing sub-divisions of societies, there will be an increase in demand for project management methodologies to be implemented for sorting out complicated tasks.

2. Coping with complexity: The intricacy of projects is typically compelled by the size and volume of projects. Also, it involves the stakeholders and the uncertainty of their expectations. To better handle these situations (especially in the field of ICT agile methods), it’s necessary to develop hybrid techniques that integrate the definitive processes with agile concepts.

Some other predictions:

  • Two-way approaches will increase.
  • Regulation, modularization and assimilating tools will multiply.
  • Big data, recreation and statistical study tools will expand.
  • Systemic tactics will increase in demand.

3. Show me the excellence: A few years ago, we used to formulate out the widget, write code, design a process and then test it. It is strongly believed that in the upcoming years, we will be mainly practising technical performance measurement (TPM). Metrics for failure prevention will be considered and evaluated during project planning and application points, which helps address the issues in the design phase. This makes it less expensive to make fixes during the process.

4. More focus on softer skills or emotional intelligence (EI): Besides PM certification and technical training, the significance of learning soft skills and effective communication will increase. An important part of project management is to influence by communicating with other individuals. Skills such as the capability to resolve conflicts, deal with vagueness, negotiate and respect confidentiality are essential qualities for project managers to effectively deal with language and cultural barriers.

Project managers need to develop positive and constructive ways to address a number of issues. Though many PMs don’t focus enough on this today, these skills will become more popular and in high demand in the future.

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5. Remote work, PM tools and security: With every passing day, the workforce is becoming more dispersed and mobile, therefore increasing the demand for remote project management tools and labor. With the appropriate technology, one can efficiently regulate project schedules, budgets and overall success. As remote project management is increasing in popularity and demand, security policies and procedures need to be developed and employed to keep client data secure—particularly when employees use their own mobile devices.

When you look at all these predictions as a whole, the future of project management seems to be bright. That’s especially true for those who are adapting with changing trends—and increasing their knowledge of new tools and techniques through pursuing certification, which helps PMs successfully run their industry-specific projects.


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