Here are the top 10 project management issues expected to play out this year, as outlined by training provider ESI International.
Soft Skills Undervalued
Even as organizations continually assert that project managers lack skills with communication, negotiations and customer relations, their focus will remain on the “hard skills” related to project targets. According to ESI: “Organizations will need to seek out alternatives to develop leadership skills because waiting for the ideal program will only result in perpetuating the existing unsatisfactory situation.”
Agile Methods Seen as Failure
In 2013, many organizations will fall short of the promises of agile methods. More than anything, this is an indictment of the professionals assigned to agile projects and a culture unprepared to “embrace its principles,” according to ESI. The training firm recommended an expanded understanding of agile to developers, testers, product owners and, in particular, executives.
More Need for “Project Managers”
A market shift over the last two decades has led thousands of employees to achieve project management certification. Still, for project success that spans the enterprise, more leaders in separate business units will have to take up PM roles.
Project Size Matters
Huge projects, like those that run into the multimillion-dollar range, can get hung up with the additional layers and obstacles that come from downsizing and outsourcing. ESI expects more organizations to increase their levels of in-house expertise to better guarantee project quality and the work of those hired by the enterprise.
PMOs Must Continually Prove Worth
According to ESI: “Gone are the days when just implementing a methodology and creating a project dashboard convinced corporate executives that the PMO was pulling its weight. More organizations are conducting PMO ‘audits’ to identify areas where the PMO can accelerate its evolution and provide higher levels of value to the organization.” Expect an increase in the use of metrics tapped into project stages and processes.
Feds Upgrade PM Certification
As scrutiny over the value of training involved in certification mounts, ESI anticipates the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to “bolster the quality of the PM certification.” Along with fortified project management qualifications, this would give higher esteem to certified project managers in the U.S.
Outsourcing Exacerbates Other Problems
As outsourcing benefits chip away at unclear requirements and misguided assignments, some organizations will bring in third parties to clearly assess project guidelines and outsourcing relationships in the year ahead, according to ESI.
Short Life Span for PMOs
The average life span of a PMO already stands at approximately four years, but ESI predicts that number will continue to drop. More and more, project management leaders will take the brunt of executive displeasure on overall project performance and execution.
Portfolio Management Gets the Attention, Funds
ESI sees more companies directing tight budgets toward IT and process improvement via portfolio management to get a handle on enterprise project possibilities. While there is uncertainty over certification levels on portfolio management in 2013, the principles and practices are coming regardless, according to the training firm.
Agile Methods Require Dose of Reality
According to ESI: “Even though accelerating time to market is not number one in outcomes, there’s still plenty of evidence agile can do what its proponents claim it does. With more and more organizations adopting agile, their expectations will simply need to be in line with reality.”
For more on project management ...
To access ESI’s project management trends report, click here. For more on the best approaches on project management and leadership, read the regular blogs from management guru Art Petty. All photos used with permission from ThinkStock.