We live in the 21st century and especially in the most revolutionize time as known “the digital era”. Many industries have modified their products, services, and ways of doing business in order to catch up with new technologies and respond to customers’ expectations. Digital involvement has gotten into each industry; some industries are forced to transform faster than others such as communication, media, and finance; however, some industries may be a bit slower in adopting digitalization for instance construction and agriculture.
Project management, a part of professional service industry, needs to integrate digital technology into the process and how the business is conducted. Questions around how the future of project management will be has been raised more and more due to the fact that main usage of the project management is about effective communication which surely requires supports from technical data. Not only that but also, project management will get to involve more for connecting key parties and stakeholders for better communication and success rates. In fact, there have been many project management programs developed and being enhanced all the time, which it was marketed toward being used for technical solutions. The future of the project management has been moved toward collaborative approach in order to connect key stakeholders from project owner, consultants, designers, contractors, regulators, and all related parties. Major obstacles in successfully managing projects are more from non-technical parts such as risk management, stakeholder management and communication management, which are as important as managing core technical parts of the project: scope, time, cost, and quality.
With the future of project management moves toward collaborative solutions, much more than just having technical skills, the future of project managers will have to be much better communicator and facilitator with business acumen and interpersonal skills to be able to build collaboration among all related parties; therefore, soft skills will have to come to the full front. Recommended interpersonal skills for project managers are as followed; conflict management, effective facilitation, change management, negotiation, and behavioral intelligence. Of course, prior to handling the interactive parts, data analytics and technical information must already be gathered and derived to options for solutions which then project managers will use their interpersonal skills managing and communicating among key parties for successful collaborative decisions. Besides the forthcoming skills for project managers, there will be more establishment of the project management governance body; commonly called Project Management Office (PMO), in organizations in some form. The PMO approach will be toward agile project management with much more focus on business engagement and collaboration platform. The PMO team will have to be comfortable around project management systems, tools, and new technologies in order to deal with speed, accuracy, and analytical expectation. As for digitalized project management, a few areas which can create necessary disruption in the project management profession are augmented planning and communication, instant progress reporting, smart quality control, and advance conflict resolution.
Lastly, what will happen is for the better future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enhance how project managers and project team evaluate data to better manage and control projects. The future of project management and project managers will be comprehended as more important role not only for projects but also within the organization. Project management function shall be more than just a process orientated approach or providing technical services, instead shall become a key success factor that integrates organization strategies and project strategic objectives to deliver success and be a foundation for organization sustainable growth.