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5 Project Management Trends for 2022

It would be an understatement to say a lot has changed over the last couple of years. But as well as bringing challenges, these changes have created a great many opportunities for improvement.

We’ve had to adapt and evolve our project management processes and how we work together as a team, wherever we are. Now we’ve settled into our new normal, it’s the perfect time to look ahead to 2022, the trends that are likely to emerge, and how they will affect our projects.

1. Hybrid working will prevail

In our recent productivity survey, nearly half of respondents (44%) said they’d prefer to work in a hybrid of home and office, which is backed up by the massive surge in hybrid working we’ve seen already.

Hybrid working has a significant impact on how teams manage projects, with considerations needing to be made when deciding on tools, processes, and communication. There are fewer opportunities for overhearing colleagues in the office or having ad-hoc conversations about tasks you’re working on, so it’s vital your projects are set up to facilitate other ways of collaborating.

Therefore, you should take advantage of tools and techniques that make it easier to work together, no matter where your team members are working.

2. ‘No-meeting days’ will gain a foothold in the work calendar

In a recent survey, more than two-thirds (67%) of employees said spending too much time in meetings hinders their productivity. This isn’t surprising given how disruptive meetings can be to the working day. To combat this, we’re seeing more and more companies, including Facebook and HubSpot, implementing ‘no-meeting days’, where employees are banned from booking any meetings on designated days.

This can have massive benefits for productivity, but it can also create problems for project managers who already struggle to identify times when everyone is available for meetings. Therefore, it will become even more important to prioritize meetings and make sure you’re getting as much value out of them in the time you do have.

3. AI will drive efficiency

As we all know, far from the dystopian notion of AI – think Terminator, Space Odyssey, The Matrix – today, machine-learning algorithms can be used to automate various everyday tasks and increase efficiency in the workplace. There has been a considerable increase in these tools over recent years, and in 2022 we’re going to see more AI available in the project management space to help automate risk assessments, resource management, and KPI analysis.

These may be available as standalone products, but more likely, we’re going to see AI added to existing project management tools to expand their offering and improve the user experience.

4. Hybrid methodologies will give teams more flexibility

If you were to suggest trialing a Waterfall approach, some of your team might react as if you’d proposed switching from Slack to carrier pigeon for team communication. Agile is seen as the default methodology nowadays, but is that the reality? Capterra recently found less than a fifth (17%) of project managers rely only on an Agile approach, and a hybrid approach combining Agile and Waterfall was actually more popular (21%).

This sounds surprising at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Many companies require a balance between up-front planning and adaptability, and this is why they add some Waterfall techniques into the mix. The key takeaway from this is to avoid shackling yourself to one approach or another, and instead, look at your project and team, then decide what will work best for you.

5. Consolidating tools will streamline workflows

The rise of remote and hybrid working has led to an increase in the number of different tools we use, as we seek to fill the gaps that have emerged in our processes and communication. A lot of these tools are effective at enabling teams to collaborate, but adding these new tools also creates work.

Beezy recently reported that over two-fifths (41%) of employees surveyed said they felt overwhelmed by the number of tools and technologies they are required to use, with more than one in ten (12%) saying they are extremely overwhelmed.

The result is ‘app fatigue’, where technology users feel the number of apps and tools they use is actually having a detrimental effect on their productivity. This highlights the importance of finding tools that can provide a holistic solution to your project management, so it can be treated as the single source of truth. This will mean your team will spend less time switching between tools, and more time collaborating.

Both hybrid working, and hybrid methodologies, will provide flexibility to how we work, and AI, meeting-free days, and consolidating the tools we use will give us the ability to focus on what matters most. So, as we head into 2022, there really is a lot to be excited about, when we look at how we manage our projects.

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