5 Key Project Management Trend Predictions for 2016

5 Key Project Management Trend Predictions for 2016This time of year it’s always fun to take a shot at what you might consider to be key trends or areas of change in the work that you do or the industry you’re in. Project management is no different. I realize there isn’t lots of room – or possibly even need – for rapid change in project management…overall it’s a fairly static discipline. But I’ve racked my brain a bit and these are some of the changes in focus that I’m going to predict for this coming year. It will be interesting to check back in December or January in about 12 months and see how accurate these predictions were. For now, let’s consider these top 5 project management trends for 2016…

Cybersecurity as a major consideration. Without a doubt cybercrime and cybersecurity will be project concerns in the coming year. Only the most foolish project managers will skip risk management and risk planning in 2016 and only most uninformed of those won’t consider cybercrime possibilities on every project to at least some degree. Hackers are getting smarter daily and everything – yes, everything – can be hacked. If you are leading a project with sensitive data, you’re crazy not to consider the possibility of cybercrime as you consider risks on your project. We like to stay one step ahead of hackers in this world…but the truth is we are always one step behind, reacting to whatever they throw at us next. Consider what cybercrime against your next project might mean to your data, your profitability, and your customer’s confidence and satisfaction if it’s their data that may get hacked. Don’t leave this to chance.

C-level oversight of project management. This is an interesting one. I feel that every organization that is serious about project management and doing it right should have C-level representation for the project management infrastructure going forward. And by that I mean preferably a Chief Project Officer (CPO). Of course it depends on the size of the organization as to whether this is truly a dedicated C position or just the PM lead reporting to, say, the CIO. But I feel that the time is now for the CPO – especially in larger companies – and the time may have been yesterday for dedicated full-time leadership-only project management office (PMO) directors.

Agile everything. Waterfall is still needed and practiced and probably a default for experience needs, but every posting is going to ask for agile or scrum type experience. Trust me, 95+% of postings will want this by the end of 2016.

More hands on requirements of project managers. More and more postings for project managers are asking for hands on experience in the field or industry they are hiring for. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact I know it’s a good thing though maybe not an actual requirement as much as it is a “nice to have.” So, if you’re “coming up” background is in the field you are PM’ing in, you’ll have an edge. If not, good luck.

Everything is a contract. Fewer and fewer organizations are looking to hire permanent project managers. Most are looking for contract workers – asking for 3-6 month commitments and some going as long as 12 months. I not sure if this is a trend in all fields…there are only a few I monitor and none as close as PM opportunities, but clearly that seems to be the movement and I only see it increasing. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all, just a noticeable trend for the coming year.

Summary / call for input

There you go. I put myself on the line, and we will see as 2016 progresses how right these trend predictions are. Nothing is all that earth-shattering, and I picked these because they are growing trends that I’ve been noticing for the past few months.

How about our readers? Do you feel these are good picks? What would you add or change? Let’s discuss.

Brad Egeland
Brad Egeland

Noteworthy accomplishments:
*20 year provider of successful technical project management leadership for clients across nearly every industry imaginable
*Author of more than 4,000 expert professional project management and business strategy articles, eBooks and videos over the past decade
*Articles/professional content receives over 40,000 page views monthly
*Named #1 in the 100 Most Inspiring People in Project Management
*Named a Top 10 Project Management Influencer to Follow in 2016
*The most read author of expert project management content on Project Times/BA Times for 2015
*Named most prolific provider of project management content over the past 5 years
*Noted for successful project management and financial oversight for $50 million Dept. of Education financial contract/program
*Chosen by the Dept of Defense as a subject matter expert (SME) to help select IWMS software provider for the largest IWMS implementation ever awarded

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