Project Management in 2020

New skills are in demand as we enter the third decade of the 21st century. Bringing new workers into the fold, training them, and constantly upgrading their skillset is the wave of the future, the future of work. Too often, however, technology is used as a substitute for management training and the result can be failure of the company’s overall investments.
According to Project Management Institute’s new report,  Ahead of the Curve: Forging a Future-Focused Culture, an average 11.4% of an organization’s investment is wasted due to poor project performance. Also, organizations that undervalues project management as a strategic competency for driving change report an average of 67% of their projects fail outright.
This year’s report takes a close look at the fundamentals that can make—or break—an organizational success. The positive news is that more than half (53%) of the organizations’ surveyed say they place a high priority on building a culture receptive to change. And when it comes to change, the three areas executive leaders identified as the most important to achieve success in the future were organizational agility (35%); choosing the right technologies to invest in (32%); and securing relevant skills (31%).
Organizational agility means being nimble and open to change to better address uncertainty and deliver results. It also means that organizations need to be ready to learn quickly and pivot to what’s next in order to be best positioned for the future.
In the area of technology, disruptive technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning are only as smart as the people behind them. Executives and project leaders must have the training, processes, and talent to get the job done right. Data shows that approximately six in 10 (61%) of respondents report their organizations provide project management training and about half (47%) have a defined career path for project professionals. More than half (51%) require project professionals to hold certification for their role.
With so much change happening, executives are increasingly turning to project leaders to help them turn ideas into reality. Today’s project managers have a mix of technical, leadership, business, and digital skills to assess progress, review deliverables, and advocate for the customer. In the coming project-based economy, project managers will need to break down silos between an organization’s functional areas to lead multidisciplinary teams of people.