ProjectManager has published a new report entitled Global Trends in Project Management 2022. The report is based on a survey of 600 respondents from over 90 countries, though the largest minority was from the United States. The report is 22 pages in length and sheds light on the working practices of people managing projects. It does not, however, compare its results with any previous studies. Nor does it deliver any comparisons between different countries or regions.
The report commences with an “executive summary” from the newly appointed CEO of ProjectManager, Ryan Buma. He notes that the pandemic has changed the way many organisations approach projects. One of the trends highlighted in the report is the evolution of project teams. He states, “Hybrid teams are the future and the present.”
The summary is more an introduction than a synopsis of the findings, though. Buma identifies the purpose of the report saying, “We wanted to find out what works for them, what their frustrations are and if there’s a solution out there that can make us all work in harmony.”
The report itself has four sections that relate to the findings of the survey.
- Project Management without Borders
- There’s No ‘Right Way’ to Complete a Project
- Skill Sets of Modern Project Managers
- Managing Projects in Today’s Hybrid World
The report closes with a conclusion, details the survey demographics, and information about the ProjectManager solution.
The respondents work across different industries, the top three being active in projects for
- IT Services 28%
- Construction/Engineering 21%
- Research studies 12%
Unfortunately, the authors did not break down the findings by industry to see if there were any variances.
Project Management without Borders
This section looks out how project managers today work with people outside their team, location and country. 58% of project managers work remotely, and 48% work with multiple locations in a single country. Less than 14% work in person in a single office. One suspects this is a substantial change from two years ago, but the survey did not ask that.
Unfortunately, the survey didn’t enforce the question about where the country respondents were located. However, while the largest number of respondents that identified their location (515/ 86%) came from the US (125), the split between EMEA (31%), ASIA (27%) and Americas (27%) was fairly even. It would have been interesting to see if ProjectManager saw differences between those regions in responses.
There’s No ‘Right Way’ to Complete a Project
The section looks at the methodologies in use by project managers. Agile is becoming popular, but many (39%) are using a hybrid of both waterfall and agile. Surprisingly 17% have no formal methodology.
Gantt charts are the most popular tool, with 36% using them. While Gantt charts are popular they are not always the tool of choice. Others selected calendars, kanban boards, spreadsheets and others. The question appears to have only asked for the “preferred” tool. While the authors believe that several tools are in use, the statistics do not evidence that.
Skill Sets of Modern Project Managers
Project managers come from anywhere. 29% were not hired as project managers in the first place but regularly manage projects. Perhaps worryingly, 33% have not had any formal training as project managers. For those respondents, there is plenty of informal training available from ProjectManager and much more elsewhere.
The shortage in mature processes exacerbates that shortage in training. Only 9% recognise their PMO as a vital player in projects. Only 54% have a PMO.
Managing Projects in Today’s Hybrid World
The lack of training and processes is not the only challenge faced. The survey highlighted other challenges. The top four were:
- Poor cross-team collaboration – 26%
- Outdated processes – 15%
- Difficulty working in a remote environment – 13%
- Ineffective scheduling – 12%
The report delves deeper into collaboration challenges, which have evolved partly due to the shift to remote working. This has caused a disconnect between people and data. People prefer talking to others face to face. People also want access to the same data in real-time as everyone else. The ability to update and share data in a world of remote work means there is only one answer, cloud-based solutions.
Resource management in a hybrid world has become increasingly complex and difficult. The lack of visibility creates further issues. Tracking time is also an issue, with 47% either not tracking time or still using email and spreadsheets. This impacts project success, with the majority of projects impacted by a lack of resource visibility.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
The emergence of hybrid teams has caused or surfaced some age-old challenges around people, processes, information and technology. People need better project management skills. Processes need improving. Information should be made available securely in real-time to every relevant person, and technology needs modernising to improve efficiency. That is where the ProjectManager PPM solution can help.
Shawn Dickerson, VP of Marketing for ProjectManager, commented, “Hybrid teams – those that are spread out across many locations, using many work styles and processes – are faced with a number of challenges that traditional project management practices and tools are not equipped to address, particularly when it comes to effective collaboration. A new kind of solution is needed – something we call hybrid work management – to support these teams and provide a better way to organize, collaborate on and accelerate their work, regardless of location, work style or project management expertise.”
There are some useful insights within this survey. What is misses is a comparison to historical data. Some of the questions asked have also led to data that might not surface the full picture. For example, rather than asked for a preferred project management tool, the survey could have asked for a ranking in importance on those used. This is worth a read, but next year, the study will be much more interesting if they repeat it.