While it’s not possible to predict what’s going to happen in the future, it’s pretty easy to predict the trends in the field of project management. How? Here’s the secret. We can forecast the project management trends with a moderate level of confidence based on what has happened in the previous year and based on recent survey results. Let’s see that now.
The following trends are the high level summary of the recent trends based on recent management study reports and a few survey reports.
Customer Trends – Middle class people are increasingly making use of the Internet to buy products and services and they expect best of the best in every purchase.
Economics Trends – China’s GDP is growing at an average of 9% this year; India’s GDP is growing at an average of 7.5% and both the Europe’s & US GDP are growing at an average of 3%. Both China and India progress have been remarkable in this year.
Business Trends – Great business practices are emerging. To name a few, cloud computing and virtualization are gaining momentum. Outsourcing is growing and E-commerce has gone social now. Also, businesses want to sit next to the customer when developing products and services for better feedback.
Social Trends – The number of Social Networking Sites (SNS) have nearly doubled since 2008. People all around the world are started to use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter to share their experience.
Now, let us look at few recent survey results.
The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986 and found that Sales remain the largest problem for small firms. The BNI Business Index was created by BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. It was created to gauge the economic state of business worldwide based on global survey results of retailers, service companies, and manufacturing companies all around the world. According to the BNI survey participants, 70.4% of the respondents believe that business is growing (58.1%) or growing substantially (12.3%) compared to this time last year. Only 5.4% felt that business was declining (4.6%) or declining substantially (.8%) compared to this time last year.
The Gartner 2011 CIO Survey reveals that almost half of all CIOs expect to operate their applications and infrastructures via cloud technologies within the next five years. The Harvey Nash CIO 2011 Survey result shows that Cyber Security is a growing concern for CIOs. The 2011 IBM Global CIO study results uncover that both CEOs and CIOs focuses over the next 5 years are in Insight and Intelligence, Client intimacy, people skills, Risk Management, Enterprise model changes, Industry model changes and Revenue model changes. Also, the survey result reveals that Business intelligence and analytics is of utmost importance as CIOs’ top visionary plan to increase competitiveness over the next three to five years.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, 13 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations between 2004 and 2014 are related to health care. Home health aides, medical assistants and physician assistants are in the top five. The 14TH Annual Global CEO survey results show that CEOs plan to shift their sourcing to China, India, Germany and Brazil and want to partner on projects with other firms to be significant on a global scale. Also, the survey reveals that Risk Management is increasingly high on their agenda. Besides, the CEOs think that Cloud computing can enable companies to manage their business processes more efficiently.
A survey by IT staffing company, Robert Half Technology of 1400 CIOs across the United States found that more than half are predicting that real-time collaboration technologies such as Jive and SharePoint will surpass email as the chief form of internal communications in the next 5 years. The 2011 Global Retail CIO Survey results show that the companies prioritize technologies that enable them to get closer to their customers across channels over promotions. The CIO Magazine IT Economic Impact results shows that IT investments remain stable despite the recent events affecting the economic recovery; however, participants are being cautious when making these decisions.
The CIO Tech Poll in July 2011 shows that Top areas for investments include cloud computing services (62%), BI & analytics (57%), hardware infrastructure: tablets (55%) and mobile/wireless (54%). The top technologies that are actively being researched are cloud computing services, business process management, desktop PC virtualization and enterprise data management.
The 2011 second quarter Deloitte Chief Financial Officer Survey shows that corporate revenues are likely to slow over the next 12 months. The CFO Survey 2011 3rd quarter results shows that capital & Technology spending will increase; Outsourced employment will increase in all places including Europe, United States, Asia and China. The Association of Government Accountants’ Annual CFO Survey by Grant Thornton founds that the Risk Management is getting more attention.
Now, let us try to forecast the trends based on the above mentioned survey results and trends. The 14TH Annual Global CEO survey results show that Risk Management is increasingly high on their agenda. The 2011 IBM Global CIO study shows that one of the key areas the CIOs concentrate more on for next five years is Risk Management. Similar findings reported in CFO survey by Grant Thornton. This shows that greater emphasis on Risk Management will take place in 2012. I’m sure you know how to co-relate survey results with future trends. Let’s try to predict one more trend now. If we look at the 14TH Annual Global CEO survey results, the CEOs plan to shift their sourcing to China, India, Germany and Brazil and it is similar to the CFO Survey finding. If that is true, as a project manager you will be managing more virtual multi-cultural teams in 2012. In this way, one can predict future trends of management. Based on the survey results, I would think that the following project management trends would take place in 2012:
Curb on “nice to have” requirements and processes
Cloud will be seen more
Great emphasis on supplier Management
Managing more virtual multi-cultural teams
More utilization of collaboration tools
Greater emphasis on leadership and good people management practices
Greater emphasis on Risk Management
Greater emphasis Client Management
More use of free-wares, open source software and collaboration tools
Predicting the future is not an easy task because it has lot of complex uncertainty components and these predictions are based what happened in the previous year and recent survey results.
If you think I have missed out on any trends which you think might happen in 2012, please share your views.