It’s always fun this time of year to try to predict what trends we are likely to see in different areas. Will concerns and changes be related to budgets, resources, and skill sets, reporting, new technology, or possibly even a new pandemic variant? We are living in some strange times, indeed.
But pandemic issues aside let’s consider other potential trends and changes that come to mind.
Though on any given day I find artificial intelligence (AI) a bit troublesome and even dangerous, there is no doubt that it is going to play a huge role in our tech advances in the next 1-5 years – including project portfolio management (PPM) tools. Where and how? A few focused areas come to mind: Estimating, risk assessment, status reporting, project selection, and prioritization.
The options list will only get longer with time. Right now the technology exists and has been implemented for AI to listen in on 911 dispatch calls and recognize signs of cardiac arrest in potential call-in victims. Amazing, yes, and if it can do that for saving lives, then it can be trained to listen in on project status calls and detect confident and concerned tones in both the customer team and the project delivery team.
The perfect PPM tool that combines managing projects along with managing the entire project portfolio within an organization in one tool is probably the way to go. However, changes are probably going to have to happen in order to get us to that near-perfect tool that will do the job while keeping organizations focused on prioritizing and selecting the projects that align the best with the company’s overall goals and mission.
As mentioned above, reporting should be improved with the increased involvement of AI in the process. But here let’s forget AI specifically and look at ways we can assume reporting will just become better and better over time in the next year.
Ideally, reporting can be done directly within the PPM tool. It would be a customized dashboard that has all the data you normally would have to pull from various sources and is built within a PowerPort report. It would contain all of the relevant data: task and financial performance across all active projects, current resource disbursement, a predictable vision of resource needs in the next 3-6 months, and revenue forecasts for that same time period. Personalizable as well, so that the right information can go out to the right stakeholders, including 3rd party vendors or customer base, who may also need to view a high-level status of information of their own projects.
Picky customers who know what they want or at least what they don’t want
Our customers are going to become more opinionated and perhaps less flexible. They will not want to go with standard reporting. Nor will they want the customized reporting to be too difficult to administrate. See easy, complex, short learning curve, useful – those are the criteria they are going to be caring the most about in their PPM tools for 2022. And affordable as budgets get tighter or go away, as I will discuss next.
As with 2020 and 2021, 2022 may still be a year of tight IT budgets. As financial belts tighten, your organization may need to ask itself if it’s worth compromising in software quality or features. Many times, compromising on important or time-saving features, end up costing you more in the long run, so be sure to understand what is non-negotiable to leave out.
Finding the right resources may be an issue
Although the Corona Era is not entirely behind us, there is already a different worker outlook as to working from home or office, and perhaps a different worker availability. The right skill set may be harder to find since many people sat on the sidelines during 2020 and 2021 by choice or by force and became “rusty.” Organizations may find themselves “settling” for employees that need a break back into the workforce, and therefore, need to consider allowing for deadlines to be pushed back every now and again.
There are probably easily 50 more trends we could cover here, but more AI, improved reporting, picky customers, tighter budgets, and finding the right human resources are the five that stand out to us most. Brace yourself and your company in all ways possible, if you haven’t done so already. Readers, what are your thoughts? Consider your wishlist for PPM tools because if you need it or want it, many others likely do as well. Please share your thoughts and let’s discuss.
Want to gain control of your project portfolio?