Top 12 PM Trends in 2020

by Gregory Chapman
1.    More Advanced Process Automation Solutions
Tools for automation have long been an integral part of the development process, but it is expected that in 2020, project management tools will also contain features for automating tasks.

2.    More projects will be AI-powered.
In general, they will be used in the same way as, for example, in retail – for analyzing big data, identifying patterns and more accurately assessing risks and costs.

3.    More Data Analysis for Planning
This trend is a logical consequence of the previous. If the software is based on artificial intelligence, then it does not make sense without data. It is expected that in 2020 the entire amount of data that will be generated during the development of projects will be used as a resource for analytics and the search for further insights.

4.    More Business Metrics Applicable in Project Management
There is an opinion that this year, project managers will use more classic business metrics to assess the success of the project. For example, it will be such metrics as portfolio health, portfolio value achieved, strategic alignment of projects and others. Obviously, the ability to get these metrics into your arsenal will become available thanks to data and analysis using artificial intelligence.

5.    More Emotional Intelligence and Human Interaction
The trend is that people, developers, team members are becoming increasingly important. Each of the team members is gradually perceived as the center of a mini-universe. And the project manager will have to adapt from one universe to another. Experts believe that the project manager of 2020 is a specialist in human relations, a leader and a technical specialist in one person. We specifically put human relations in the first place, since there is reason to believe that the emotional atmosphere in the team will gradually come to the fore.

6.    More Remote Interaction
The remote work model began to gain momentum a long time ago, back in 2012. Previously, experts made predictions that 2020 will be the year of a freelancer and a remote employee, not yet knowing that these would be forced measures. At the moment, those companies that have never considered the possibility of remote collaboration have switched to this model, even if it was against their will. As for project management, in this case, this is most likely a perfect match. In general, most developers and managers were already ready to switch to remote work. Lockdown simply forced them to do this in the shortest possible time.

7.    More Freelancers
More remote work means more freelancers. And in this case, this is again a trend that perfectly coincided with the need. It is much easier and more economical to hire a freelancer than a new member of the team – many companies have understood this for a long time. In 2020, it is expected that development teams will be supplemented by freelancers more and more often, to perform those tasks that, firstly, can be performed remotely, and secondly, must be performed one-time or occasionally.

8.    More Diverse Team Members
In turn, more freelancers and more remote interaction also mean that development teams will become the most important. Freelance and remote work will be able to unite people of different ages, different backgrounds, different types of thinking, culture, and mentality in one project, and this can give a really cool experience.’ What does this mean for project managers? Firstly, it is necessary to begin to learn how to manage remote teams now (although it would be much more correct to do this a couple of years ago), plus it would not be superfluous to begin to learn a new language – not for programming, but for effective communication.

9.    More Popularity of Scrum and Kanban
You can ask a reasonable question – what is the novelty of this trend? You are right, there is no novelty here. But already proven, reliable and beloved Scrum and Kanban will remain in demand and will become even more popular. Firstly, because they have already proven their effectiveness in creating and managing online to-do lists. Secondly, because these are ideal tools for remote work – and this trend will only intensify, regardless of the influence of the lockdown.

10.    More Predictable Agile, More Flexible Waterfall
Industry experts say that in 2020 project managers will increasingly apply a mix of two traditional approaches.  That is, we get the predictability, consistency, and structure of the Waterfall methodology and Agile’s flexibility, creativity, and adaptability in one bottle. What will this give us in practice? Obviously, this will be something interesting and most likely effective, of course, subject to the careful analysis of the data. The only way to know for sure is to check how it works in reality.

11.    More Competition and Development Requirements
Competition is growing both in the market for released products and in the market of IT vendors. And customers at this time are becoming more demanding and technically savvy. Like customers from any other industry, in 2020 they will want more for less money, and the project manager will have to look for ways to do this, either by cutting the team, or by gathering freelance teams, or by finding the middle ground between a budget and the possibilities of a particular technology.

12.    More Demand for Project Management Skills
And finally, here is one of the best news for project managers. In 2020, the labor market will still need you. Of course, this is not a reason to relax and stop honing your managerial skills, but this is definitely a reason to be more balanced in this period of unpredictability.