Top 5 Project Management Trends in 2023

Businesses are in for some interesting shifts in 2023, which will ultimately affect project management in surprising ways. While some changes will prove to be exciting (AI!), others may require readjusting to new norms or planning for long-term changes to how work will be done. 

As we look at trends that will set the general tone for the rest of the year (and beyond), we’re seeing a significant shift away from more traditional assumptions about how businesses should be run and what makes a project successful. More than ever, with the coming changes, project managers must be flexible and ready to embrace new approaches to handling projects that may involve reaching towards new technological tools. The good news: the latest technological trends are designed to make things easier even as work and team structure, in general, becomes more complex. 

With that in mind, check out the top five trends we’re watching in project management this year.

Expansion of Automation and Wide-Scale Adoption of AI

While ChatGPT captured headlines across the glove early into Q1, AI has impacted organizations significantly. 2023 will see this trend accelerate as businesses learn to love AI. AI, in the coming months, will begin to be mainstreamed for companies looking to:

  • Build insights related to performance
  • Streamline decision-making processes
  • Optimize the scheduling of resources
  • Visualizing data
  • And more

And, like AI, automation will continue to expand in importance, especially for project managers who likely will be tasked to handle more responsibility with less time.

Luckily, many platforms already have automation already built in such redundant tasks that admin work can more seamlessly become automated and removed from the plates of many project managers. As a result, everything from time to calendar to task management can largely be automated, shaving minutes to hours off a project manager’s schedule – leaving them open for more vital tasks.

Remote Work Continues to Gain Ground

While we may be entirely out of dealing with Covid shutdowns or varying levels of quarantine, remote work isn’t going anywhere. In fact, remote work will continue to grow in the startup ecosystem out of general popularity – and necessity. With loans and funding being harder to come by, many smaller to medium-sized organizations (and even larger firms) may continue to look at the cost of rent as a non-starter. Why throw money at real-estate expenses when you can put that investment behind human capital?

There are also a lot of upsides to remote work – for workers and companies. While workers save hours a week on commuting and generally like the flexibility that remote work has to offer, companies save money on infrastructural overhead (like office space and laptops). They also don’t have to choose from the “best and brightest” within a particular geographical area. The possibility of remote work means that they have an international stable of professionals to select from, making team-building that much easier.

Once again, technology is allowing remote work to thrive. Platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams make communication easy. Google Docs make document sharing a breeze. Jira and Asana can streamline project and task management, and solutions like Miro make ideation – even across time zones – more manageable than ever.

Data Remains King

So much data is created on any given day – even from the smallest startups. Project managers in 2023 will learn a lot about how to streamline their projects by leaning into data-driven project management approaches as more visualization tools become commonplace. With more data-driven analysis, project managers can ditch gut-based decision-making and back up their calls via automated reporting that can be shared with stakeholders and management. 

Project Management Takes on a Hybrid Approach

One-size-fits-all rarely applies to anything these days, and methodologies will begin to see a shakeup in 2023. Many are already starting to experiment by cherry-picking approaches from a variety of methodologies. By choosing specific attributes from agile, lean, or scrum techniques, a project manager can build their own “secret sauce” that works within their niche, organization, team, or project.

By embracing flexibility and experimentation and layering it over platforms that can analyze everything from success rates to employee engagement, companies can begin to build proprietary project management strategies to help them better manage increasingly complex projects or unique challenges. 

Cybersecurity Measures Become Ever-More Critical 

Cybercrime is on the rise, and nothing can derail a project or, indeed, an entire organization like a ransomware attack. Also, with the increase in remote work, data security has become more of a concern as workers spread out across the globe, accessing, sharing, and, yes, sometimes revealing sensitive data along the way.

Therefore, 2023 will see more organizations reflect on how they are handling their data and how they are protecting both it and its users from cyber criminals and the wholesale theft of proprietary information. As a project manager, expect more emphasis on data security, especially when managing remote teams.

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