Next Practices: 5 New Future Ways of Working in Project Management

Madeleine Gritzbach, Wednesday 12 September 2018 | Reading time: unknown

At any given time, there are several disruptive trends and technologies that change the way organizations work. Ideally, organizations view these disruptions as opportunities instead of challenges.

Our ways of working in project management have continuously changed over time and keep on changing. We know exactly how we work today, but how will we work in the future? What will be important? How can we keep on delivering the best results?

The key will basically be to be able not only to keep up with disruptive trends but to anticipate them and see them as an opportunity for innovation. In the '5 New Ways of Working' report, the Project Management Institute (PMI) identifies 5 developments in project management which will help us to do so.

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is about really understanding what your customers want. That means empathizing with your customers on a deep level. Find out what challenges they face in their daily work and solve these challenges with solutions that integrate in their businesses.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help automate simple tasks like creating budgets and developing schedules by, for example, analyzing massive amounts of historical data and concluding new, project specific data from it. This will speed up projects and reduce costs. It will also allow project managers to focus on areas where AI falls short, such as people skills and team building and to expand their role as strategic advisor, thought leader, innovator, communicator, and versatile manager. 

Organizational Agility at Scale

Keep your organization's agility up by drawing on proven techniques like multidisciplinary teams and co-working spaces. Cross-functional self-organizing teams with end-to-end responsibilities for their products have proven to be effective. Autonomy over every decision seems to motivate teams and facilitate efficient decision making. One challenge organizations face is that agility at scale requires a lot of trust on part of the organization's leadership. 


By implementing a delivery approach called DevOps, you shift your organization toward more collaborative and leaner solutions. Like agility, it delivers business value quickly but also enables teams to discover and solve problems earlier and faster.

Cognitive Computing

Cognitive computing can bring the role of the project manager to a more strategic level. Letting machines take over time-consuming processes will empower project managers to focus on analytical and judgmental tasks that machines aren't able to complete. 

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