Project failures are inevitable but that still isn’t a choice for enterprises to not innovate and deliver cutting edge services. That’s the mindset ruling the markets; address proactively to the sudden increase in customer expectations. Given such increasing pressure to quickly adapt to change and master strategic growth, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine the pressures faced by those below in the hierarchy; project managers! More than just deploying senior professionals at the top of the development teams, project management has outgrown our traditional ideas and demands deeper analysis to control speculated failures. And since 80% of organizations admit to reworking on implementations, the use cases of project management software has quickly surged.
Surprisingly, one of the key factors that caused such disparity from expected end-quality is sheer ignorance from the managers. In an endeavor to achieve technical prowess, they failed to acknowledge the importance of the below non-technical vectors that equally impact a successful development.
Handling employees from diverse professional and personal backgrounds
In 2020, brace up to work in completely different work environments. So be it the team sizes getting leaner, gender disparity getting reduced, or work from homes becoming mainstream, diversity has already begun to influence the approach to management.
For example, as the acceptance for LGBTQ increased, organizations in conservative yet significant markets such as India have seen more employees from the community adorning senior roles. Not to miss, organizations backing the idea of maternity leaves for men will directly impact the availability of the workforce on the floor.
And what exactly led to this change? When new-gen technologies (such as AI, Blockchain, etc.) were introduced, service providers pushed their employees to embrace newer skill sets. However, those who have been working on the same old project models for years, working with the same people who think and act alike couldn’t address the needs of on-demand learning. On the contrary, employees, irrespective of their gender or experience, those who possessed a penchant to take up difficult roles were more valuable than others.
In a nutshell, when people around you don’t challenge you, it’s quicker for the intellect and the project to degrade. In an endeavor to bring more versatile skills on board, organizations have come out stronger in encouraging for diverse teams, irrespective of gender, orientation, experience or even academic qualification. Of course, conflicts will be there but then how else do you expect to have quality opinions on board?
The art of counseling your teams by decoding their emotional stance
Managing people within a project is as important as outlining the overall scope, making deadlines, budgeting and assuring faultless delivery to the stakeholders. This is one of the most ignored yet crucial skills that a project manager must possess. Adding up to one’s years of excellence in academics and technical knowledge, Emotional Intelligence has been realized to be the crux of managing people.
To be able to resonate with one’s emotions can not only boost the confidence and the performance of an individual but also bring down the intensity of conflicts arising out of diverse teams, as discussed above. Sometimes, despite possessing excellent technical skills, an individual is unable to deliver and looks up to the manager for assistance. Therefore, only those who have the penchant for striking a valuable conversation can produce a great workforce. It did take some time but organizations have woken up to the undeniable impact of connecting emotionally.
58% of surveyed respondents admitted that EI is an unbeatable performance predictor.
Entering 2020, EI will be regarded as one of the necessary skills for leadership profiles. Predicting project is all fine, if you have the art to manage people emotionally, the world needs you.
To be able to resolve development challenges by thinking designs outside the blueprints
One of the most impactful trends in agile project management has been the success of hybrid SDLC methodologies. Since traditional practices of going solely with one approach (Waterfall OR Agile) doesn’t address to complicated scenarios of today, managers must embrace a customized approach (Waterfall AND Agile). And that’s exactly where the difference is – the knack for contemporary design thinking.
Project management professionals need to learn how to use modern project management tools and have to possess the art of implementing newer workflows while going back to the good old wherever necessary.
This doesn’t come easy and demands a deep understanding of system behavior and the possible impacts of applying different models.
In the past 5 years, solution architects taking over management roles have positioned design thinking as an essential skill. Since project managers have to develop on-demand solutions for unconventional problems within an application, the ability to think out of the box and experiment with never tried before the approach is both innovative and impactful. Those who have a greater command over designing workflows while addressing changing expectations from the customer and the market will have an edge over others in the contest.
Although creativity has been a long lost trait in most candidates’ eyeing for management roles, few understand the importance of designing bespoke solutions and offering flexible approaches to contemporary issues in project development.
What’s ahead? Project managers in demand
As per the PMI’s job growth and talent gap report, an estimated 87.7 million professionals will be deployed in project management roles. This is huge and promising for those planning their careers. Therefore, the art to plan time schedules, project scoping, budgeting and the people involved will be rewarded. As a discipline, project management is all set to reinvent.