Look to 2018: Trends in Project Management


By Yu Yanjuan, Journalist

Project Management Review Magazine



Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Project Management Review in China in January 2018. “Project Management Review” Magazine is sponsored by State Grid Yingda Media Investment Group. The magazine provides an all-dimensional multi-perspective introduction to latest domestic and international project management research advances and application cases. Main columns: Cover Articles, Top Interview, Foresight, Chief Viewpoint, International Perspective, Special Research, Career Pulse, PM+, etc. For more information, please visit: http://www.pmreview.com.cn/  or contact us at [email protected]

Stacy Goff: past President of IPMA-USA / 2015 IPMA Honorary Fellow / ProjectExperts CEO / Speaker / Author / Consultant 曾任IPMA美国分会主席、IPMA荣誉会员、CEO、作者、演讲者

Chinese way of managing projects. In December 2014, a monumental IPMA Research event, in Tianjin, covered a range of interesting topics that asserted the following: China has five major literary foundations, going back over 2,000 years, for a Chinese way of managing projects, that, while including Western approaches, is rich with more advanced ways of integrating China’s strengths. This is potentially, greater than a trend!

More focus on application rather than certification only. In too many countries, the majority of training in project management for the last 20 years has focused on exam preparation. Because the half-life of learning-not-applied is cited as 2-6 weeks, most of this has little performance improvement in projects. Knowledge alone is inadequate for project performance. Skill (applied knowledge) and mentored application (experience, with coaching), resulting in true competence, is the performance advantage for those who use their learning funding wisely. Smart organizations understand this.

Emphasis on soft skills. While project and program processes (and methods, a subset) are important, their effective delivery depends on the “soft side”. Leadership, interpersonal skills, and team-building have much more to do with project success and business success with projects than all processes and methods. And the smartest organizations not only understand this, but it is their competitive advantage, as they use projects and programs as their change agents to deliver their strategic plans.

Reinhard Wagner: IPMA 2018 Chairman of the Council IPMA2018年主席

Change. The world is changing rapidly, which increases the pressure on organizations to change. Change is performed through projects and programs. The management of a change project means to organise change activities, plan them in regards of time, cost and resources and monitor and control the success of its implementation. Change management activities make sure that the people actually understand the reason for change and what’s in for them, to overcome potential resistance to change through collaboration, communication and coordination between all stakeholders involved.

Agile. A second key trend is the need for agile management, which does not mean a new methodology, but a mindset, which means changing the way of thinking and acting. The governance framework allows the project teams to be more flexible and adaptive to the context of their activities.

Mark Dickson: Chairman of PMI board of Directors PMI 2017年度董事会主席

Project management trends depend to some extent on the industry.

Rise of mega projects. In the infrastructure or construction industries the most significant trend has been the rise of the mega project. Mega projects require more sophisticated project control systems and broader management and leadership skills from the project managers. Project managers can no longer rely on their specialist technical skills and need to be able to understand and communicate across disciplines and even industries and lead large teams.

Rise of agile methodologies. In the information systems and particularly in the software industry the most significant trend has been the rise of agile methodologies.


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