4 Project Management Trends for 2018

We might look back at 2017 as a benchmark for project management. The 2017 Pulse of the Profession by PMI showed that organizations spent 20% less on projects in 2017 than they did in 2016. How can the industry capitalize on this success and address its weaknesses? Here are four trends you should be on the lookout for.
Accentuate soft skills

For a long time, emotional intelligence was overlooked. How long? This question was addressed in 1918 by A Study of Engineering Education. It lists the personal characteristics that engineers value on page 106. These were:
Common sense
Understanding men

These qualities were universally recognized as being essential to professional engineers. However, the report points out that engineering schools tend to emphasize scientific knowledge and practice. 100 years ago, teachers encouraged many standards but not soft skills.
This sounds familiar? It seems like project management is also facing this problem. Although best practices have been developed, the human interaction aspect of project management is still considered an afterthought. This is a problem because project management is all about teamwork. This problem has been around for at least 100 years. Don’t expect a solution by 2018. However, we will likely see more companies working to improve emotional intelligence.
Mixed methods

PMI’s 2017 Pulse Of The Profession surveyed five percent of projects that used an agile approach. This is not surprising given the popularity of agile. Surprisingly, another fifth used a hybrid/blended approach. More companies are tailoring their methodologies to find the best fit.
This is what PMI and other standards organizations have been preaching for years. The PMBOK Guide is not designed to promote projects but rather improve them. The dogmatists have always outperformed project managers who adapt to the workplace. Managers will hopefully recognize the importance of blending. Change for the sake “hybrid” can lead to disruption in work environments that use PMBOK Guide terms or processes.
Investment in Project Management Offices, (PMOs),

In its 2017 Pulse of the Profession, PMI examined PMOs. Organizations with a PMO have seen a 10% increase in their productivity over the past 10 years. We are also seeing an increase in enterprise-wide project management office (EPMOs). Each year, the recognition of EPMOs and PMOs grows. Managers recognize the value of standardizing how they manage projects. These are the benefits that companies can reap from aligning their EPMO with company strategies, according to PMI.
38% more projects achieve their original goals and business intentions
33% fewer projects are deemed to be failures

EPMOs can codify terminology, documents, or processes. Although it might seem rigid, the opposite is often true. It’s actually easier to make changes to the PMBOK Guide if you have a complete view of how everyone works. EPMOs provide consistency. This can be stagnation or effective change. EPMOs can make the difference between adopting agile methods and trying to be agile half-heartedly.
More job openings

PMI projected that there would be 15.7 million new roles in project management by 2020. This projection was significantly increased in 2017. They now estimate that 11 countries will require 87.7 millions project managers by 2027. This is great news for both current and future project managers. However, the downside is that supply will be outstripping demand. They could lose $207.9 million in GDP if there is a shortage of talent.
Talent that is PMP-qualified and CAPM-qualified is in high demand already. The demand is expected to continue growing in 2018 and beyond. These skills are essential for rapidly developing economies like India and China. This is true even for superpowers like the US. The US’s healthcare industry saw a 17% increase in projects in 2017.