2011: Mobility, outsourcing and virtual team management for project teams
By Neil Stolovitsky, Genius Inside: Feedback from 550 customers about what did and didn’t work in 2010, and where future needs lie revealed another year of ho-hum economics will force project-centric organizations to decentralize and outsource in 2011, bringing in the people they need to meet higher stakeholder expectations. Our project management predictions fall into six areas:
- The management of fragmented project teams – With slimmer margins and increased global competition, project-centric organizations are forced to look outside of their markets to outsource project functions with teams dispersed over different locations. This is true with IT groups outsourcing services to other parts of the world, manufacturers that have increasingly fragmented supply chains, and service groups that run projects remotely with multiple teams in different locations.
- Increased expectations from stakeholders – Instant access to information over the Internet makes customers expect more visibility and quicker response from their project teams. This means project teams need to provide more transparency and access to project information to manage stakeholder expectations.
- Performance management – Because of the economic crisis, internal and external stakeholders are placing a heavy emphasis on better metrics to evaluate project, budget and resource performance. Accountability has become paramount. With stakeholders constantly monitoring metrics, project teams must respond quickly to bottlenecks.
- Better and quicker collaboration (social, mobile, e-mail) – Better collaboration is a key differentiator for today’s project professionals. As knowledge workers, project management professionals are always looking for better ways to access their project data through their mobile devices, via the Web, and through social media tools to maintain their competitive edge and better serve their stakeholders.
- Phased approach to the deployment of project management technologies – Project-centric organizations are recognizing that the project management maturity of their organization may vary from one business unit to the other or is in general limited. With this realization, organizations will take a phased approach to the deployment of new project management technology, beginning with a single test group and full roll outs.
- Better understanding of unique business needs – Increasingly, project-centric organizations are looking for project management solutions and tools to address their specific needs. They are seeking solutions that better address their project management environments by easily/quickly adapting to their industry language, mapping to their unique requirements and applying best practices specific to their organization and market.
After almost two years of little or no growth and no strong recovery on the horizon, higher expectations and strict cost controls are the bedrock principles in project management. One of the most pervasive cost control measures, putting a hold on hiring, will send project teams looking beyond their traditional boundaries for necessary skills and experience. That means decentralized management, collaboration through social media, and growth in mobile communications.