2023 PMO Trends to Watch
2022 was a year when we settled into hybrid working, even though leaders were divided as to whether it was a good idea or not. Microsoft’s research showed a divide: employees keen to embrace the work-from-home lifestyle and employers worried about productivity levels for a remote workforce.
The good thing about many project management and project controls roles is that they can often be done from anywhere. With cloud software like Primavera P6 EPPM and collaboration tools, unless you need to be on a client site, you can do a lot of scheduling and other tasks from your kitchen table.
We think that hybrid is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and it’s been a way of working for many teams for so long that it’s hardly considered a trend by us in the office any more. However, there are some hot topics of discussion that we do consider trends, so without further ado, let’s dive into our top five PMO trends to watch in the coming year.
1. Accelerated transformation
Companies have been embracing digital tools for some time, but the pace of change – and the expectation of clients – is only going to accelerate.
If you think digital transformation is only for tech-driven firms like financial services and IT, then think again. The world of construction is being transformed by new technologies like modelling, drones, autonomous vehicles: all of which need serious project and change management skills to implement. These are substantive programs of work with huge budgets: all the more reason to make sure your team is adequately skilled up in project management best practice.
2. Artificial intelligence in tools
The buzz around AI in project management software has been around for a while, but it’s got louder this year. There seems to be more vendors investigating how to add data-driven insights into their tools. There also seems to have been more openness to analyze and adopt machine learning and automation solutions – not true AI but still a step towards removing some of the routing and administrative tasks from project teams.
Primavera P6 EPPM has the ability to integrate with AI tools to surface more insights and save teams some time. For example, you could add a visual schedule to your project by incorporating progress updates from photos and drone footage – it’s already happened for some construction projects, so why not yours?
3. Retaining talent
Has your company been affected by the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle or quiet quitting? The media might have labelled these workplace trends, but ultimately we feel that is a reflection of employees not being engaged.
We know that team members work best when they know why they are working on a project, how their role contributes and they feel valued for their input. Project leadership teams are essential in creating a culture on site where everyone is valued, from the most senior program leaders to each individual subject matter expert.
Employees who feel their skills are not being put to good use are 10 times more likely to be job hunting. Providing training and helping employees meet their professional goals are essential considerations for keeping staff over the long term.
4. The rise of Earned Value Management
The cost of living is rising in many parts of the world, and that’s having an impact on the resources required for program delivery too. We’re seeing shortages in the supply chain for essential parts, raw materials prices increasing and all that equates to a tighter focus on cost management.
We think that might result in more companies moving to using earned value management practices next year because it provides a brilliant, data-driven way to build out accurate schedules and manage financial performance.
EVM doesn’t have to be scary – ask our clients who are successfully using it already! EVM is simply a way of understanding the work required, baselining the schedule and budget and then reporting in an integrated fashion so that everyone can understand progress based on data instead of best guesses and inaccurate “90% complete” measures marked against too many tasks.
5. Goodbye to spreadsheets
We’ve long believed that you can’t properly manage large projects on spreadsheets… and yet many companies still seem to take that route.
Given tighter financial controls, we get that it might not seem like the time to be investing in new project management software. But the benefits gained from adopting repeatable, scalable, best practice techniques for managing projects will undoubtedly pay off.
However, you don’t have to invest in new tools when you can simply outsource project scheduling to people who can do it for you. We’ve seen the idea of outsourcing scheduling gain some traction over the last 12 months and we think that more and more companies will jump on the idea. After all, what’s not to like? You get a reliable, managed plan, updated regularly and shared with you and your clients in a format everyone can understand – without having to recruit and train schedulers or invest in software yourself.
Get your team off those spreadsheets and onto tools designed for the job with very little overhead!
We wish we had a crystal ball to predict exactly what will happen in the coming months, but none of us do. Instead, all we can do is stay aware of what’s happening in our industries and in the world more generally, and consider how that is going to impact our ability to deliver for clients. How will these PMO trends affect you?