In 2022, we learned that the world has been changing more than ever before. PMI actively monitors technological dynamics, demographic shifts and the increasing globalization that are reshaping our world. From this, six megatrends stand out based on their impact and the implications for projects across the world. In this article we will explore each of these six trends individually.
Digital Transformation requires a shift in terms of products and services around new digital capabilities. Project Managers are important for an organisation on the tactical level during this period of digital disruption. The pandemic caused digital technologies to emerge greatly, especially online collaboration tools to facilitate remote work and online shopping.
Organisations will continue to invest in AI to improve skills like decision-making, risk management, data analysis and knowledge management. The digital disruption landscape is ever-changing. However, technology isn’t enough if the business model is no longer fit for purpose. In certain industries, a mobile-first strategy can help to drive digital product development and cut down costs. For example: a multinational food delivery company in the US allows customers to order food not only on their mobile apps but also via SMS, Twitter, messaging platforms and other means of communication. In changing their business model completely, their attempt in digital transformation was successful.
After a temporary decrease in Carbon dioxide emission due to the “Great Lockdown,” there is “no sign we are growing back greener,” according to the World Meteorological Organisation, which found rising concentrations of major greenhouse gases in 2020 and the first half of 2021. To help turn the tide of the growing climate crisis, businesses must take on more responsibility.
The role of the Project Manager will be to integrate emissions targets into key performance indicators. Secondly, the PM will have to translate emissions management into common ways of working and engage with all stakeholders involved about realistic practices for increased sustainability. In addition to organizational and financial support, obtaining the right skills is crucial for enabling change.
PMI’s 2021 Talent Gap report, a forecast of employment trends for the next decade, predicts that globally our economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030. The workforce is aging, and companies are recognizing the technological opportunities arising from this.
In many developed economies there is a rise in the effective retirement age. This has consequences for rethinking workspaces to accommodate older employees. However, working more years won’t balance out the overall decline in working-age populations. The need for skilled Project Managers and other changemakers is only going to increase as industries will be more and more project-based.
Also read: Demographic Shifts in Project Management: definition, causes and solutions
The stresses created by the pandemic have led to chaos in our supply chain and made us rethink globalization. It’s a complex matter. Rebuilding domestic supply chains is a long-term project and leads to economic shifts.
Taking the demographic shifts that we spoke about earlier into consideration, the question where talent will come from in countries that abandoned traditional manufacturing capabilities, arises. PMI research shows there are big gaps between current and expected jobs in Project Management-oriented employment, mainly in the global manufacturing and construction sector. Training will take time and resources, just as rebuilding domestic supply chains.
An exodus of employees and a loss of institutional knowledge is causing labor shortages around the world. The workplace is shaking like never before.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which includes 38 member countries, found that 20 million fewer people are working now compared to before the pandemic with a slow rebound predicted. Organisations are actively looking to hire more employees. In this process, many women are facing challenges resuming or starting new career paths. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) reports that women’s labor force participation was only 57.3% in October 2021, which is the lowest number since 1988.
With 25 million new project professionals needed by 2030, according to PMI’s 2021 Talent Gap report, these labor shortages will only create more challenges in terms of timely project delivery. Also the project budget and customer expectations are at risk. In the near-term at least, many companies may face delays as employees leave for new opportunities.
Civil, Civic and Equality Movements
Despite ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social protests continued in 2021. It’s expected that this movement stays alive as social unrest is raised by the economic effects and increasing inequalities intensified by the pandemic.
Although some recent studies have elaborated on the importance of DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) for business success, at higher corporate levels, women and ethnic minorities remain underrepresented and underpaid. A particular challenge will be embedding DE&I in every function, process and decision throughout the value chain. PMI anticipates that it will be key to involve engaging Project Managers in creating policies and setting goals that incorporate DE&I in training and help to establish employee resource groups.
Increasingly, boardrooms, office suites and project sites will transform into the environment for real change and collaboration in response to civil, civic and equality movements.
Also read: Diversity Management: definition and importance
The COVID19 pandemic has challenged our world in many ways. We are now finding new ways to deal with challenges coming from digital disruption, climate changes, demographic and economic shifts, as well as the resulting labor shortage and civil movements.
For project professionals, this means drawing upon an entire toolkit of capabilities. Changemakers employ new ways of working, including technological savvy and technical Project Management skills, as well as power skills like communication and empathy. They need to understand the context of their projects within the macro environment and their organisation’s strategic goals.
Would you like to learn more about Project Management? QRP International offers courses in PRINCE2, AgilePM and PMP. Would you like to know more? Have a look at our website or write to us for more information!
Source: PMI Megatrends 2022