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From time to time we like to share our thoughts about major trends we see in the PM market. While the demand on project managers to deliver on time and on budget is never going to go away, we hope our insight into PM trends will help make your job just a little easier.

Agile – There’s a Time and a Place

Whether we like it or not, Agile in IT development and even Agile in PM is here to stay. In fact, most organizations today—from the smallest firms to Fortune Global 500 juggernauts — acknowledge that their organizations are at least dabbling with Agile if not fully embracing it. In fact, a 2019 survey of software development organizations by CollabNet VersionOne found that 97% of the 1,300 respondents were practicing some level of Agile development. 11% percent of respondents were PMs.

We can all agree that businesses and organizations need to be become inherently agile, adopting a flatter team-driven organization where collaboration tools allow seamless communication and 360-degree insight into projects and team resources.

Yet, some in the PM universe still view Agile as a buzzword or catchphrase that their clients are fond of using or invoking. Their clients want to be agile, but they don’t know how.

Agile methodologies work well in consulting practices. With the right tools, Agile is highly collaborative and efficient. It allows PMs to break projects down into workstreams that allow team members to focus on the most important tasks in an iterative fashion.

Agile project management may not be applicable in all situations, such as certain large infrastructure projects where the Agile methodology may be “too loose” to be effective—think hydroelectric dam or the latest world record skyscraper.

Data Analytics, Access and Reporting

According to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey, less than a third of CEOs regard the data they receive on ‘critical’ or ‘important’ matters as sufficiently comprehensive. CEOs point to the ‘lack of analytical talent’, ‘data siloing’ (see “How to Rescue PM Teams from Silo Hell”) , and ‘poor data reliability’ as the primary reasons the data they receive is inadequate.

One of the biggest challenges faced by PMs is having and providing access to robust project data. A key hurdle is integrating disparate data and the resulting distrust of available data by senior stakeholders.

Data consolidation is an evolving journey that is rarely as simple as integrating data sources to a single tool, but instead requires PMs to constantly adapt and refine data over time.

Remote Work – Has Its Place

Remote workers and project teams are rapidly becoming a fact of life for businesses around the world.

According to a 2019 global study — The State of Remote Work — by software firm Buffer, 99% of respondents (N. America, Europe, Asia-Pacific) said they would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. The biggest benefits of remote work noted by respondents were flexible schedule (40%), work from any location (30%), time with family (14%), and work from home (13%).

In our own informal studies, we have found that many of those in industry believe that remote work dislodges traditional business culture. Most agreed remote work was suitable for certain scenarios, but believed that the need to work face-to-face in a team—in person—“will always be” crucial at various stages of a project.

A Final Word

While many in the PM universe acknowledge the prevalence of Agile software development within many of their organizations, they seemed uncertain about the applicability of the Agile methodology in their PM lives.

Despite this general uncertainty about Agile in PM, a 2019 survey by KPMG, Agile Transformation, conducted throughout Europe, Asia and South America, found that respondents believe that Agile methodologies will rapidly extend beyond its IT genesis to the greater business enterprise over the next three years.

According to the KPMG survey, the main drivers for the move to adopt Agile methodologies include:

  • Faster product delivery adjusted to changing customer needs – 68%
  • Increased flexibility – 45%
  • Solve silos between Business and IT – 45%
  • Fast and continuous improvement of customer satisfaction – 42%
  • Needed for digital agenda – 26%
Increase your business agility with Clarizen’s project management software

The survey made it clear that that adopting Agile values and principles beyond the team level requires a cultural shift. This is emphasised by 59% of respondents mentioning culture and performance management as their key challenge in their shift towards agility. A full 39% of respondents stated that availability of resources with Agile delivery is an important challenge.

Clarizen users who strive to achieve Agile project management nirvana are already supported by the solution’s deep visual reporting capabilities and 360-degree view of project data and status. Reports and dashboards can provide real-time insight to any member of a project team, including senior stakeholders. Clarizen Go, for example, is optimized for hybrid and agile environments and helps break down silos by eliminating many manual updates and other time-wasting chores, while improving collaboration and providing the project visibility that team members and managers crave.

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