8 Emerging Trends in Project Management for 2019
Scoro works with many marketing agencies from all over the world and Marketing Week Live in London was a great chance to get insight into the newest marketing trends and obstacles that specialists are facing. More importantly, it was an excellent opportunity to share our knowledge of the most interesting trends in project management. In case you missed it, this 10-minute read will get you right up to speed with the latest trends.
This article will give you a great overview of:
- How to stay focused on what’s important when we are always running around;
- How Scoro could help you prioritize and work more efficiently;
- How automation and machine learning can help you achieve all your goals.
1. Catching up with the speeding of time
There is this shared understanding among people that we are living in the era of speeding time. Our life is arguably made simpler by machines and services allowing us to do everything more efficiently. However, it still feels that we never get everything done. Quite the contrary in fact. Our to-do lists are longer, and the number of tasks seems endless. Think about it – when was the last time you realized absolutely every single item on your to-do list is done? What about the last time you had an entire day when you didn’t have to rush anywhere?
Yet, we have more time managing tools and theories than ever before. Some say this paradox dates back to the days of the industrial revolution. At the time, people believed in a very simple concept of efficiency: producing faster enables you to produce more. Many decades later we face a new realization that efficiency alone might not be the key to human productivity, because people’s cognitive and emotional boundaries are much more complex than just an endless loop of “producing more things faster”.
In addition, the speed of providing services has also increased immensely. We don’t have the luxury anymore to develop and execute amazing ideas. Working with creative agencies daily has shown me that the period of providing services has in many cases come down to as little as two weeks. Not to mention the speeding market changes that service companies must now deal with. Working in Scoro has made me understand that the best and perhaps the only way to catch up with the speeding of time and changes is a great all-in-one work management solution.
2. Striving from Fragmentation to Consolidation
Nowadays, there is software available for every small aspect of our work. We keep our contacts in one software and compile proposals in another. We have a calendar and a separate tool for time-logging. We’ve got different solutions for project management, invoicing and reporting. According to a report from the Winterberry Group, marketers are using more than 12 different tools on average. And this is without all the internal tools, such as time tracking, calendar and project management tools.
Several issues are caused by using a lot of different tools to manage all internal business processes:
- Our work is fragmented and constantly interrupted by switching between various tools.
- Inserting the same data multiple times to different tools is inefficient and increases the risk of making errors.
- Information is scattered, and it’s nearly impossible to get a quick overview of everything in one place.
Scoro has solved the problem of fragmented work for hundreds of service companies. Most of our clients replace on average 5-10 different tools with just Scoro. And consolidating work into one end-to-end management software has many benefits: better team collaboration, improved data quality, standardization of work, faster decision-making and saving time thanks to task automation, to mention just a few.
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3. A great project management solution makes a better working experience
My recruiter friends like to say: “The war for talent is over and the talent have won”. I am sure we can all agree that great employees are hard to find, and talented specialists are more likely than ever to move from one company to another. Besides that, employers must also accommodate a lot of flexibility, as employees are working more often from different places and times.
Based on our experience in Scoro, competition for talent means two things:
- First, agencies need good project management and collaboration solution to manage teams that are working from different locations at different times. A great solution helps to work towards the goals in a unified and effective way.
- Second, a better solution is needed for better work design. The software and tools we use comprise a big part of our working experience. A good solution helps people to have better control over their work and avoid frustration and delays.
4. Tracking time is as important as tracking money
Businesses pay close attention to how their money is spent. Sensible, considering they have to be able to know and prove how every single pound is spent. Which makes it all the more surprising that these same businesses have no overview on how they are spending something even more valuable than money – their time.
Why is tracking time so important? Let’s say you work in an agency of 50 people and on average, the cost of your time is £100/hour. If there is no overview of how the time is spent, then as a business, there is also no control over how time worth of £200,000 in a week is spent. In a month, this adds up to £850,000. Annually, we’re talking about time that is worth almost 10 million pounds.
The first thing that tends to happen for our clients when they start using Scoro is realization. Different questions become apparent: “How are we spending so much time on THIS?” “How come we allocate roughly the same time effort for our very small and very big clients?”
And very soon after they start to reap the rewards of tracking their time. Firstly, their time estimations start to improve. They get better at estimating and telling clients, how much time something is actually going to take. This, in turn, helps with resource planning, as well as managing pricing and client expectations. After a while, they are also in a position to start thinking about process improvements. When there is a clear understanding of where time and money is lost, it’s easier to dive in and deal with possible bottlenecks and address apparent shortcomings.
5. The only way to do reports is in real-time and automated way
Businesses will benefit immensely from real-time reports. The most obvious benefit: nobody has to wait until the end of the month, or even worse, the end of the quarter to see how they are doing.
We have also proven it doesn’t take hours and a special business intelligence software to compile reports. We have created a system in Scoro which gives you a detailed understanding of how your business is doing at any given moment. Moreover, real-time reports give you the chance to compare and control the leading indicators against the lagging indicators. This means that with a good overview of the input (e.g., how much work someone is scheduled to do), you will be able to control the output better.
6. Access to data should not be a management privilege
We get it – strictly confidential information should remain strictly confidential. But there is a lot of data which could be used to boost performance or increase transparency. Furthermore, sharing company performance data with all your employees will lead to observations you might have been missing out in management meetings. Different specialists might notice something and come up with ideas that you have simply not thought of before. As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one”.
In Scoro, we have also seen how every employee can and will benefit from a great work management solution that allows them to have an overview of all the data. This is the best possible way for them to see how they are spending their time at work. It also gives them the chance to have an understanding of how they could improve their work. All in all, individual efficiency gains add up and change the way the whole team and company work.
7. Task automation is a necessary investment for future time-savings
Rory Vaden, New York Times bestselling author of the book “Take the Stairs” says that his second-best piece of advice for managing time is to automate tasks. In case you were wondering, his first advice is – if possible, don’t do the task. Therefore, if you still have to do the task, find ways to automate it.
“Every moment that passes that you don’t automate something that could be, you are exponentially losing future time. And anything that wastes your time is a waste of your money.” – Rory Vaden
Naturally, automation might seem time-consuming at first. Who has time to choose and set up a new solution, transfer all the data and get the team on board? In reality, it might not pay off in the first week or month, but the payoff is greater in the long run. To put it in perspective, everything you don’t have to exclusively spend time on tomorrow wins you extra time and therefore money. It can be compared to investing money – one has to take the step and invest to be able to collect interest later on.
8. Learning machines become proactive management coaches
We have noticed that all front-runner business management solutions work heavily on their machine-learning. The goal is to develop solutions in a way that they are going to be able to give proactive management advice. For example, the systems will be able to provide recommendations for best use your productivity peaks and warn you before time and budget overruns. Machine learning will also enable prioritization recommendations and better task automation solutions.
The end goal is achieving control and peace of mind
At the end of the day, it is incredibly difficult to have control over the business and projects when we are constantly scattered between different tasks, running around with endless to-do lists and worrying about the important things we might have forgotten. But we can assure you that with a good end-to-end business management tool, just like Scoro is, you can easily overcome this obstacle.