The 4 Most Impactful Project Management Trends You Need to Know About This Year
by Martijn van der Hoeden on March 28, 2023
Think about how you were working 10 years ago.
Perhaps you weren’t in the project management space, but if you were, you can attest that business as usual in 2013 was drastically different from the way we work today.
Now think about how you were working even 5 years ago.
Before COVID, remote work was the exception, not the norm. It was reserved for dreamy creatives, independently wealthy contractors, etc. Many people did not even consider the fact that they could potentially work from home, from anywhere, without sacrificing quality of deliverables nor productivity.
In these days of old, when people needed to share information and collaborate, they would physically gather in an office, hold meetings, and check the file cabinets to find what was needed. Things that seem pretty antiquated to us just a few years later.
Today, we are already well into 2023, and even compared to last year, we’re seeing trends in project management that have the potential to shake things up.
The Top 4 Project Management Trends of 2023
- Artificial intelligence
- All-in-one software tools
- Value-based pricing
- More empathetic company cultures
Of everything we are currently keeping our eye on, here are what we consider to be the top 4 trends in project management that will have the most impact on how organizations operate day-to-day. Check out our list and judge for yourself whether or not you think these new movements will gain steam or fizzle out.
1. Increased use and normalization of artificial intelligence
Ever heard of a little tool called ChatGPT? Open AI’s new way of searching the web is based on a language model that can make content creation and even medical diagnosis an easy feat, due to its large data store the likes of which we’ve never seen. ChatGPT has potential use cases and consequences for managing projects that are already being worked out, but it’s not the only game in town.
Project management software solutions are now incorporating more self-driving features that use automation and self-learning to help teams maximize efficiency during the project lifecycle. Using project management platforms with artificial intelligence built-in, for example, teams in 2023 can now track their time automatically and more accurately predict statistically when projects will go off rail.
2. All-in-one project management solutions
Popular software tools like Asana and Trello used to focus primarily on task management versus everything project managers really need to close the loop. So much so, lots of small service organizations and entrepreneurs actually confused the two –task management and project management– thinking they were the same thing, only to find out later that they needed additional software tools to effectively manage their projects.
Now, small agencies and consulting firms have wised up. It’s not enough to provide task boards and Gantt charts while expecting users to go to other platforms for resource management. And people are now demanding integrations to keep their workloads more streamlined.
What we’re seeing now are the former, more simplistic project management platforms branching out into holistic, all-in-one environments. Now, instead of just featuring task management and project planning, for example, project management tools are including contract management, resource management, and invoicing under the same umbrella to stay competitive and satisfy their users.
Ultimately, this is really good news for service businesses because they can often drop other siloed tools (and superfluous licensing costs) in favor of one, affordable project management tool that does it all.
3. Value-based pricing models are on the rise
The age-old argument of hours-based versus project-based pricing is becoming less and less relevant. That’s because we are seeing a significant increase, especially with small service firms, in value-based pricing models.
Value-based pricing is a model that prices out goods and services based on how much value the customer places on them. Instead of equating time and expense and an included markup, value-based pricing works backwards. First, you determine how much the customer is willing to pay, and then you charge at or below that price.
Some clients don’t care how long the deliverables take. And some projects might not require that much time because of automation, efficient workflows, etc, but they’re highly valuable and set your business apart. In a lot of these situations, value-based pricing levels the playing field, and we think this trend will continue for service businesses well into the future.
4. Increased importance on empathy
When COVID pushed project management into the remote working environment, the outset was exciting. People could spend more time with their families, travel more often, and benefit from asynchronous working schedules, i.e. putting in their hours when it suited them best.
But then the pendulum began to swing the other way. Many remote workers have experienced profound isolation, and a lack of face-to-face socialization has negatively impacted many creative teams who perhaps weren’t able to flow together as easily as in the past.
The response in the project management space at-large has been an increased importance on empathy in company culture. Promoting empathy among remote teams can help prevent burnout and keep people motivated to stay productive. And while it wasn’t necessarily a talking point five years ago, empathy in the workplace today is critical to keep your team happy and thus, producing great results for clients.
Future Project Management Trends
Change is constant, and the same holds true for the future of project management. The blending of artificial intelligence with human oversight will be interesting to watch play out in the field. As far as project management software is concerned, there’s an obvious movement toward all-in-one functionality as teams now want to consolidate their tech stacks in the interest of productivity and saving money on licenses. Value-based pricing continues to grow in popularity among service businesses, many of whom feel these models are superior to traditional hours-based and project-based pricing that often, don’t quite reflect what the deliverables are really ‘worth’. And finally, empathy among company cultures in the project management space is a pivotal value that’s here to stay. Happier teams who feel they’re understood individually produce better results.