6 Project Management Trends to Look Out For in 2020


The project management (PM) field has changed drastically over the last decade. Things have changed tremendously with a shift from smaller teams, fewer methodologies and tools, and simpler projects.  Today, most organizations leverage complex project management tools and have teams spread across the globe.

As a project management professional, you have to stay abreast of the changes in the PM landscape. The PM industry continues growing both in size and sophistication.  A recent survey projected CAGR of 10.17% from 2020 to 2025.Reports show 77% of high-performing projects utilize PM software.

By learning the trends in the industry, you can prepare your team for upcoming changes and invest in the appropriate technology. Below are some of the project management trends that you should look out for in 2020.

Growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) might have sounded like futuristic technology a decade ago but it is now mainstream. AI has created a buzz across many industries and a Gartner Survey says 37% of organizations have implemented AI in some form.

In project management, many companies now use AI to perform daily tasks that would normally require human effort. From scheduling to data visualization, there are many tasks that a project manager can perform using AI technology. You may also need a good content manager to work on your content and communicate your mission.

Some systems such as Knowledge-based expert systems (KBES) and ANNs (Artificial Neural Networks) now leverage AI technology. These systems are used for estimating and reducing risks in project management. Overall, AI will take over in data collection, data analysis, tracking, resource management and delivering reports.

Hybrid Projects

One-size-fits-all systems no longer work in project management are long gone. As a project manager, you have to integrate different technologies and systems to boost efficiency in your work.

You should take conventional waterfall methodologies and integrate modern strategies to complete different aspects of your projects. The hybrid approach entails using a different methodology for problem-solving. This is a trend that started some years back and will dominate project management in 2020.

Focus on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is now a big topic across all industries. In project management, there are concerns over the security of project data online. Teams have to share data over networks and this makes data security an important issue.

Many companies have suffered data breaches with accompanying financial devastation. While the Internet of Things is one of the tactics to boost security, it is still weak and even poses security threats of its own. Other techniques such as better encryption protocols, strong authentication, and better security updates are also in place.

In 2020, there will be more focus on the role of blockchain in project management to boost security and the impact of cryptosystems.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is already a growing concept in the corporate world but still new in project management. EQ is one of the strongest predictors of performance in any job making it important in project management tasks.

Project managers have to understand team members’ emotions for effective team management. While project managers mostly focus on technical skills, soft skills are now more in focus as there’s more success where they are involved.

With effective EQ capability, a project manager can easily deal with people of diverse cultural backgrounds. When hiring project managers, there will be more focus on emotional intelligence in the industry.

Focus on Data Analytics and Numbers

Big data is no longer a buzzword but a reality across all industries. There’s more generation of data in every industry and this includes project management. From project planning, quality management to risk estimation, there’s more focus on data analysis than ever before.

Generating large volumes of data isn’t important if such data is not put into use. This calls for cutting-edge data analysis technologies in project management. Whether you’re in the construction industry, manufacturing or planning to have a great ecommerce site, managing data is key.

Data analysis will help the project a manager determine how to form teams, size of their team, where to position team members, determining skill sets needed for project management and much more. Project managers will rely on the latest project management analytic tools to get the insight they need.

IoT (Internet of Things)

IoT (Internet of Things) has become a buzzword over the last decade and finally, the concept has taken off. This concept entails a global network of devices communicating over the internet and with the end-user.

Such tools will come handy for project management teams in tasks such as data collection and team collaboration. These devices require minimal human intervention which boosts seamless communication, increased efficiency and reduced costs in project management.

IoT allows hyper-speed reporting, an overall process and monitoring control and deep data analytics.

Final Thoughts

By understanding these emerging trends in project management, professionals in this industry can start preparing early. It helps you align your project management team with the latest technologies and trends you foresee in the industry. You will not be caught off-guard when these PM trends become the norm, and this can save you a lot of money. By acknowledging these new technologies, you can also become a trendsetter which gives you the edge over the competition.


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