3 Ways To Future-Proof Your Business With Project Management

Long gone are the days of static job responsibilities.

Thanks to emerging technologies and evolving employee expectations, organizations are rethinking their approach to how they manage and monitor projects. And not a moment too soon: In 2019, organizations will lose almost 12% of their investments because of poor project performance, according to Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Pulse of the Profession report, which was based on a global survey of more than 3,000 project management professionals.

Clearly, it’s time for change. As projects multiply and become more exploratory, there will be an increasing need for new approaches, new methodologies, out-of-the-box management styles, cutting-edge skills and disruptive technologies. Even the way companies recruit is changing as demand for project professionals grows to 88 million globally by 2027

“We’re moving from organizations hiring specific roles with specific job descriptions to looking for individuals that can manage projects and lead projects, and execute projects,” says Michael DePrisco, vice president of global solutions at PMI. “In this way, we’re becoming more and more a project economy.” 

So how should members of the C-suite be thinking about project management today, and what changes should they be making to ensure success?

To future-proof their organization, senior leaders should be focusing on three areas: Culture, talent and technology.



It takes more than the latest tools and technologies to prepare for new ways of working. A strong project management culture is essential to supporting strategy. On the one hand, organizations must create a culture that supports the pillars of project management, such as the relationship between project managers and executive sponsors. PMI’s Pulse survey reveals that creating a culture that values project management is considered a high priority among more than a third—37%—of project, program and portfolio managers.  

But a company’s culture must also possess the elasticity to evolve with new and innovative workflows, even if that means thinking outside the box and pivoting when needed. “Many organizations need to reinvent some of the products or markets that they may already be in,” says PMI's Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, Murat Bicak. “In order for that to happen, a team needs to be able to be creative. They need to be able to start a problem with a hypothesis, test it, prototype it—and if it doesn’t work, kill it.”

The good news is that more than a third of survey respondents already place a high priority on creating a culture that is receptive to change (35%), values project management (37%) and invests in technology (39%). This agility allows teams to support the twists and turns of technology while still reinforcing the right project management standards and tools.



As chatbots and IoT-enabled devices increasingly do the work of employees, organizations must build digital-age teams. This starts with recruiting and retaining project professionals with expertise in some of today’s most innovative technologies. After all, project managers play an important role in leveraging technology to yield a successful digital transformation.

But while hiring and developing tech-savvy workers can prepare an organization for the future, these workers must also be able to keep pace with emerging trends and adapt their skills accordingly. “[As a project leader], you need to be multi-purpose, you need to have improved leadership skills and you need to have an improved way of learning,” says Michael O’Connor, director of strategy and project management for Medtronic. “It’s not just about one aspect.”

Organizations must do their part by offering employees training opportunities, encouraging them to adapt their skills. After all, says Jim Boland, leader of the Project Management Global Centre of Excellence at IBM: “Unless you create that continuous learning environment and continue challenging your employees, your employees are not going to hang around. They’re going to go down the road and go work for a company that creates that safe environment and has that continuous learning environment.”

In addition to investing in employee development, project management leaders and HR managers must work together to create career paths and incentive programs that reward employees with a blend of project management expertise and technology know-how. According to PMI’s Pulse report, 69% of PMTQ Innovators—those companies that put a high priority on digital skills and knowledge but couple it with a commitment to a strong project management culture—report having a defined career path for project managers, while only 17% of laggards in this area do.

Seventy-four percent of PMTQ Innovators also have a formal recognition process for when staff members meet their milestones, whereas only 29% of the laggards do. This kind of interorganizational support is important because as bots increasingly take over mundane tasks, senior leaders must shift focus from managing talent to building a workforce that knows how to manage disruptive technology and leverage it.




Digital disruption in the workplace is inevitable. But there are ways to maximize the benefit of emerging technologies and accelerate human-driven innovation. The answer: Harness your workforce’s technology know-how. 

First, the C-suite must provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities. Eighty-one percent of PMTQ Innovators provide ongoing project management training to employees, compared with 34% of laggards. Initiatives may range from seminars and online courses to mentorship programs that familiarize employees with the basics of a particular technology and how it can benefit the organization.

Next, senior leaders must shift the way they think about the PMO from a project center to a place where employees can simultaneously serve as technician, mentor and project delivery expert. According to PMI’s Pulse report, PMTQ Innovators report using agile methods 57% of the time, whereas for laggards, it’s only 22% of the time. As bots become increasingly mainstream, roles are blurring, turning project managers and change management authorities into more well-rounded workers with greater digital fluency.  

And finally, organizations must look beyond technology prowess to build up their brain trust. That means valuing their employees’ emotional intelligence qualities, like empathy, self-awareness and motivation, as much as their digital skills.


Disruptive technologies such as IoT and blockchain are forever changing the way customers interact, products are developed and services are sold. But they’re also creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for project leaders. Says DePrisco:



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Thanks to emerging technologies and evolving employee expectations, organizations are rethinking their approach to how they manage and monitor projects. And not a moment too soon: In 2019, organizations will lose almost 12% of their investments because of poor project performance, according to Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Pulse of the Profession report, which was based on a global survey of more than 3,000 project management professionals.

Clearly, it’s time for change. As projects multiply and become more exploratory, there will be an increasing need for new approaches, new methodologies, out-of-the-box management styles, cutting-edge skills and disruptive technologies. Even the way companies recruit is changing as demand for project professionals grows to 88 million globally by 2027

“We’re moving from organizations hiring specific roles with specific job descriptions to looking for individuals that can manage projects and lead projects, and execute projects,” says Michael DePrisco, vice president of global solutions at PMI. “In this way, we’re becoming more and more a project economy.” 

So how should members of the C-suite be thinking about project management today, and what changes should they be making to ensure success?

To future-proof their organization, senior leaders should be focusing on three areas: Culture, talent and technology.



It takes more than the latest tools and technologies to prepare for new ways of working. A strong project management culture is essential to supporting strategy. On the one hand, organizations must create a culture that supports the pillars of project management, such as the relationship between project managers and executive sponsors. PMI’s Pulse survey reveals that creating a culture that values project management is considered a high priority among more than a third—37%—of project, program and portfolio managers.  

But a company’s culture must also possess the elasticity to evolve with new and innovative workflows, even if that means thinking outside the box and pivoting when needed. “Many organizations need to reinvent some of the products or markets that they may already be in,” says PMI's Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, Murat Bicak. “In order for that to happen, a team needs to be able to be creative. They need to be able to start a problem with a hypothesis, test it, prototype it—and if it doesn’t work, kill it.”

The good news is that more than a third of survey respondents already place a high priority on creating a culture that is receptive to change (35%), values project management (37%) and invests in technology (39%). This agility allows teams to support the twists and turns of technology while still reinforcing the right project management standards and tools.



As chatbots and IoT-enabled devices increasingly do the work of employees, organizations must build digital-age teams. This starts with recruiting and retaining project professionals with expertise in some of today’s most innovative technologies. After all, project managers play an important role in leveraging technology to yield a successful digital transformation.

But while hiring and developing tech-savvy workers can prepare an organization for the future, these workers must also be able to keep pace with emerging trends and adapt their skills accordingly. “[As a project leader], you need to be multi-purpose, you need to have improved leadership skills and you need to have an improved way of learning,” says Michael O’Connor, director of strategy and project management for Medtronic. “It’s not just about one aspect.”

Organizations must do their part by offering employees training opportunities, encouraging them to adapt their skills. After all, says Jim Boland, leader of the Project Management Global Centre of Excellence at IBM: “Unless you create that continuous learning environment and continue challenging your employees, your employees are not going to hang around. They’re going to go down the road and go work for a company that creates that safe environment and has that continuous learning environment.”

In addition to investing in employee development, project management leaders and HR managers must work together to create career paths and incentive programs that reward employees with a blend of project management expertise and technology know-how. According to PMI’s Pulse report, 69% of PMTQ Innovators—those companies that put a high priority on digital skills and knowledge but couple it with a commitment to a strong project management culture—report having a defined career path for project managers, while only 17% of laggards in this area do.

Seventy-four percent of PMTQ Innovators also have a formal recognition process for when staff members meet their milestones, whereas only 29% of the laggards do. This kind of interorganizational support is important because as bots increasingly take over mundane tasks, senior leaders must shift focus from managing talent to building a workforce that knows how to manage disruptive technology and leverage it.




Digital disruption in the workplace is inevitable. But there are ways to maximize the benefit of emerging technologies and accelerate human-driven innovation. The answer: Harness your workforce’s technology know-how. 

First, the C-suite must provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities. Eighty-one percent of PMTQ Innovators provide ongoing project management training to employees, compared with 34% of laggards. Initiatives may range from seminars and online courses to mentorship programs that familiarize employees with the basics of a particular technology and how it can benefit the organization.

Next, senior leaders must shift the way they think about the PMO from a project center to a place where employees can simultaneously serve as technician, mentor and project delivery expert. According to PMI’s Pulse report, PMTQ Innovators report using agile methods 57% of the time, whereas for laggards, it’s only 22% of the time. As bots become increasingly mainstream, roles are blurring, turning project managers and change management authorities into more well-rounded workers with greater digital fluency.  

And finally, organizations must look beyond technology prowess to build up their brain trust. That means valuing their employees’ emotional intelligence qualities, like empathy, self-awareness and motivation, as much as their digital skills.


Disruptive technologies such as IoT and blockchain are forever changing the way customers interact, products are developed and services are sold. But they’re also creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for project leaders. Says DePrisco:



CREDIT: WestendCourtesy of PMI;

Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world's leading association for those who consider project, program or portfolio management their profession. Founded in 1969, ...