Generation Z and Project Management: Trends and Changes

Millennials will be giving way to Generation Z in just a few years. Generation Z is defined as the cohort born between 1994 and 2010, and the older ones are graduating from college. By 2020, Generation Z will make up 20% of the workforce. And they’ll be bringing massive changes along with them. Here’s the three main changes we will see with Generation Z and project management.

Born With Technology

Generation Z is the first generation that will have grown up with tech as a first language. “There’s an app for that” might be a mantra. It certainly will be an area where change will occur in project management. Usage of project management software will climb. The influence of Generation Z will be felt in the project management SaaS space, too. The staid spreadsheet-feel software won’t make inroads among Generation Z, who prefer intuitive apps with easy navigation. Generation Z has a symbiotic relationship with technology, and the sky is the limit when it comes to their potential for tech disruption and innovation. With Generation Z and project management, technology is going to increase in importance.

technology

Agile as A Way of Life

Generation Z is comfortable with failure as a learning tool. Perhaps because they’ve watched this in the software space, Gen Z knows that innovation comes with failure, and often from it – and they’re not afraid to try, fail, learn, and repeat. Generation Z loves flexibility and the freedom to innovate. Gen Z prioritizes an open mind and curiosity over specific skill sets.  This attitude makes them a natural fit for agile methodology, and fits well with the current trend for agile use in the workplace. Look for the agile trend to continue with Generation Z and project management.

Communication

Generation Z is going to have some different terminology than their forebears; this is understandable, seeing how differently they grew up. They also may be used to near-instant communication, thanks to the wired world. Detailed responses and information gathering practices may, at first, seem foreign to them. But Gen Z are quick studies, and with the proper coaching, will get on board in no time. You may need to set communication protocols at first, but that is a good practice anyways.

communication

Takeaway

Generation Z is coming. As part of your multi-generational workplace, make sure you know the strengths and weaknesses of the newest cohort to the workforce, and be prepared. Do this right, and you’ll unlock powerful forces of innovation and introduce new skills and abilities to the team. Do it wrong, and you’ll miss out on all Gen Z has to offer.