PMO Trends 2022
For many of us, 2021 was another odd kind of year. Many firms were forced to adjust to new ways of working and those have simply become the new normal. Like many businesses, we continued to adjust and adapt too.
One thing has stayed the same though: the annual discussion on trending topics in the world of PMO, although we’re having the debate virtually instead of in person! After the usual wrangling and negotiating, here are our top five PMO trends to watch in the coming year.
1. Blended training for remote teams
Last year we rated online training as one of the top trends, but this year the landscape feels different. We’re all tired of so much video chat time with colleagues and yet there is still the requirement for employers to make sure their staff have the skills they need to perform in their roles effectively.
Enter blended training: a mix of live online training (or live in a classroom, if you prefer that) and recorded video classes. Blended training offers the best of both worlds. You have the opportunity to interact with and learn from an experienced trainer and your peers in the class, asking and answering questions in an engaging environment. Then you have a quick reference video training course where you can easily dive into any topic – perfect if you need a refresher on a feature.
Our Primavera P6 Professional Fundamentals training is an example. Not only do delegates get two days of live, instructor-led training, they also get free access to our on-demand video course.
2. EVM certification
More PMOs will be supporting the EVM process for their teams. PMI reports that only 60% of projects in the construction industry completed on budget. Earned Value management approaches and systems are a counterbalance to struggling to hit the key success criteria for any projects. However, we all know that thinking about doing things in a structured, mature way is not the same as actually doing them in a structured, mature way.
EVM certification is a step in the right direction to being able to improve project performance and evidence to your customers that you are a safe pair of hands for their investment. Whether you’re providing the tech, construction services, engineering support or another service to your clients, being EVM certified as a business can help you win more bids and deliver better results.
3. Outsourcing scheduling
The data underpinning PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2021 report points to only 55% of projects being completed on time. Getting your project scheduling right is a big overhead for many businesses, and it goes beyond good estimating in the first place to decent schedule management and control.
That’s why we think that schedule outsourcing will become more commonplace in 2022.
We’ve worked with businesses for years to manage their schedules because it frees them up to do what they do best: offering the client their core skills. There are lots of reasons why organizations choose to outsource schedules and in a highly flexible and ever-changing business environment, we think these are only going to have more impact on businesses.
For example, making the choice to outsource project scheduling saves time when you are ramping up a new project following a successful bid. It saves recruitment and training fees for hiring a scheduler when the projects don’t warrant someone being on staff full-time. It reduces the software licensing and maintenance fees because you don’t have to install Primavera P6 Professional or another tool, unless you want to.
In these times of the Great Resignation, there are skills gaps that need to be filled, and outsourcing the parts of your business that you don’t have the time or inclination to do – like scheduling – will become the norm.
4. Learning from major projects
No one has the time to make mistakes any longer. Have we ever? Instead, we think there will be a gentle trend towards learning from major projects and implementing lessons learned. We know… lessons learned isn’t exactly new. However, many organizations still only capture lessons learned. The lessons aren’t ever put into practice on new projects because ways of working are not changed. The whole process of ‘lessons learned’ relies on individuals remembering what happened on projects they were involved with in the past and trying to do something differently.
It’s time for a more mature approach to continuous improvement. We think (and hope) that 2022 will see businesses get serious about building organizational knowledge and also learning from large, public sector projects. Reports such as those from the GAO and the UK’s National Audit Office will help you identify the key lessons from major programs and what you can take from those to improve performance on your own projects.
5. Interoperability between project management tools
We’d love to see it become easier to enable teams to work with the tools that suit them best, while allowing data to be shared seamlessly with clients and colleagues. There’s too much risk of human error if data has to be created in two systems, plus the waste of effort that creates.
We don’t think teams will all coalesce around a common tool. IT professionals and engineering and construction teams, for example, have very different needs and their tool suites have historically evolved from different requirements. And yet most construction projects need IT elements: getting a multi-disciplinary team to work effectively together is part of the role of a project manager.
Until more tools allow for interoperability, we will continue to support businesses with their needs, like our service that converts Microsoft Project files to Primavera P6 format, all while maintaining data integrity.