Now that the holidays are over and things are back to normal, what does 2013 have in store for project managers and project management in general? There are many technological and industry challenges that we face as companies and organizations, as a country and nation, and as professional project managers. So what will 2013 focus on for the upcoming year?
- Strong Leadership – While project managers and project management teams seem to have always focused on teamwork and leadership, 2013 promises to focus on leadership of projects and programs.So while project managers have certainly been proactive in managing teams and talent, now we will be expected to take ownership of specific projects and programs. These may involve special side projects, or technical program development, or even managing a particular program, client, or niche of the business.
- Investments and Training – Companies and organizations are focusing their money and efforts on investing and training. By training project managers and other team members in additional skills, companies and organizations are investing in their staff and resources.One particular crucial area of training is vendor management. If we manage our vendors better, then we have better products, which ultimately lead to improved product deliverables. In addition, in effort to streamline costs, since most production work is outsourced to vendors, that means more and more project managers need to step up to the task of proper vendor management.
- Budgets and Stricter Portfolios – Recurring and stagnant trends that companies, organizations, and project managers and teams saw last year and even the year before are budget crunches and cuts. Unfortunately, this isn’t lightening up anytime soon: 2013 began with a hike in taxes and the fiscal cliffs still loom over our heads threatening larger tax increases for businesses and smaller paychecks for employees.While no one involved is happy about this, it definitely impacts project managers’ roles and responsibilities and the scope of project management as a whole. This most likely means budgets will remain tight, or perhaps will be cut further. Companies are forced to cut costs in order to meet stricter portfolio demands. This is mainly so companies can still keep a strong market presence and look good for their stakeholders.
- Advanced Career Paths – While project managers are certainly going to encounter challenges for 2013, the demand for project management jobs is said to increase. Project management is said to increase in demand, particularly for government positions. As a result, there will be a large push for PMP certified project managers.So if you are a project manager, regardless of how long you have been one, and you are not PMP certified, maybe 2013 is the year you consider spending some of your time on professional development and become certified.
Finally, while 2013 has a lot of skills training, a push for leadership, and even PMP certifications, it’s no secret that 2013 will have some challenges for project managers to overcome as well.