What does the future of project management look like?
As we begin to find a new balance of normality in our working lives, it’s certain to say that COVID-19 still provides barriers to returning to the old way of project management. Is this such a bad thing though?
For Project Managers leading large-scale frameworks, extensive travel to and from site; into head office for formal reviews and out and about seeing suppliers; means interacting with lots of different people, in lots of different locations. As COVID-19 began to impact businesses one of the first practices put in place was to minimise business travel – meaning using video technology instead to virtually meet and manage projects. Did this lack of face-to-face interaction incur project delays though? Did relationships suffer because of it? Where client-supplier relationships had already been built, this technology allowed Project Managers to continue to deliver services to the same high level – on-time and without any significant repercussions.
“Recent events have highlighted the need to have agile processes, backed up by technology that can autonomously manage workflow.”
– Natalie Baines, Linx Operations Manager
Whilst strong communication skills should always be high up on the list of skills organisations look for in Project Managers, this new virtual way of working needs to encompass more than just being able to manage a team remotely.
To ensure adequate staffing levels, the Project Manager may also need to engage contingent labour remotely. Utilising video technology to support the temporary labour hire process can work side-by-side with an application tracking system (ATS) or vendor management system (VMS) – ensuring contractors can be sourced and onboarded quickly and efficiently.
Whilst the focus for Project Managers is often identifying agile ways of working to deliver projects on-time and in-cost; this focus on refining the finer details must also transfer to back of house processes such as recruitment and supply chain management if organisations are to remain responsive enough to deliver the same high quality projects regardless of working restrictions.