Project Management Predictions For 2013

Project Management Predictions For 2013

Its a new year and the future of project management is looking fantastic. But what does the future hold for project management? Well to begin that discussion, here are my predictions for project management in 2013 as a project management consultant.

Project Management Expands Into New Sectors

Project management has traditionally been found in construction where projects where highly constrained by cost and time in order to be profitable. As they say, time is in money in the construction industry and project management was a way to control both the time and the budget.

Project management then started to move into information & technology projects and became known as IT project management, IT project management has taken on many variations over the last 30 years, the most popular being the Agile and lean approaches to software and IT projects.

One of the newest industries to adopt project management in 2012 was the Legal profession, coining the term Legal Project Management or LPM. This trend will continue and project management will continue its expansion into new market segments. These new sectors will require project management consulting firms and consultants to help develop suitable project management tools and frameworks for use in these non traditional project management professions.

Project Management Skills Shortage Continues

Finding suitably qualified project managers is becoming increasingly difficult. We are at an interesting point for the project management profession, which is made up of essentially two categories of project managers:

  1. Aspirational project managers – Are those that want to be project managers, they are or have studied project management at University as a core degree.
  2. Accidental project managers – Are those that fell into project management from other traditional professions. They usually don’t hold higher degrees in Project Management, but have learnt by trial and error.

We are now at a challenging time for project management, on one hand we are finding the accidental project managers are starting to retire and the increasing complexity of projects are pushing projects beyond their capability.

The aspirational project managers on the other hand are entering the workforce with a strong theoretical understanding of project management, but they are lacking in real world experience that the accidental project managers have gained over their careers.

This combined with more and more business adopting project management delivery frameworks, we are seeing more projects with higher budgets and growing each year. This is creating the perfect storm for project management, which is resulting in a real skills shortage that will continue throughout 2013.

Project Management Software Demand Increases

As companies increase the number and complexity of their projects, so to will their demand for project management software increase. For many organisation adopting projects  as a delivery mechanism, they lack the organisational project management maturity for managing project sponsors and project teams. Project management software provides a solution to these issues in many cases.

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Increased Demand For Certified Project Managers

Certified Projet Managers will start to be mandated by organisations  looking to fill project management positions and contracts. This will be a vast difference over the past few years where project management certification were largely a bonus for a candidate to hold. Certified project managers are proven to understand sufficient depth, breadth and hold real project experience.

As businesses strive to grow and outperform their competition in 2013, it will be critical they can deliver on their commitments, saving time and money, engaging highly qualified and certified project managers will reduce the risk of failure considerably.

PMBoK Continues To Outgrow Prince 2

Of the traditional waterfall project management disciplines, which states that a certain amount of full project planning needs to occur before a project can proceed through the various stages are the PMBoK and Prince 2. Prince 2 is really popular throughout the United Kingdom and Australia, it has very little take-up throughout the rest of the world. The PMBoK however has seen increased usage across the western and eastern world is will continue to be the largest and most widely used project management framework.

Agile Continues To Grow In Niche Industries

For the non traditional projects where sufficient detailed upfront planning is not viable, some companies choose to take an Agile approach. Although Agile project management is fraught with danger, if it is controlled and done well, it can be a rapid delivery mechanism that is highly dynamic and flexible to change.

Agile will continue to grow in popularity in niche tech startups and software projects, which for many who follow the lean startup, Agile offers a unique companion project management framework to the lean startup movement.

Product Development And Project Management Will Begin To Merge

Product development is arguably the closest disciple to project management, product development and project management share many commonalities and processes. I argue that project management offers organisations an improved framework for product delivery. I believe the next step for project management is to be an over arching discipline for many of these subsets.

I predict that product development will begin to become a subset of project management and this will offer organisations and improved delivery mechanism for which they can develop and release new products to market.

What Is Your Prediction?

Do you have a prediction on your own? I would love to hear it! Let me know in the comments below if you have a prediction of your own or is you disagree with any of my predictions. Also don’t forget to follow us ↓


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Who Wrote This Article? ...(It was: Chris O'Halloran)

I'm "Chris O". I've managed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects since the inception of my career. I love helping others figure out the intricacies of project management on any scale. Come find me on twitter or google+

Comments That Have Been Left So Far:

  1. Thanks for the article. It would be helpful if you linked “PMBoK” to a description of what it means. I haven’t come across that project management methodology, and would have appreciated a link to a Wikipedia article, or an article on your own site about it.

    • @ajax, thanks for the feedback. I will go and make some edits as per your suggestion. But to answer you directly, PMBoK is put out by the Project Management Institute (PMI) a link can be found here

    • PMBoK is NOT a project management methodology, but an attempt to compile and codify the task areas of project management. If anything it is a syllabus. So if you have a methodology, such as Prince 2, it is still useful to understand the PM task areas as delineated in PMBoK; in fact, because P2 is ONLY a methodology, you’d better get an understanding of the task areas and PMBoK is one route to take.

      • Hi Davyd,

        Honestly, I don’t follow the argument that the PMBoK is NOT a methodology. Sure the purists out there will always argue the case that Prince2 is the only true project management methodology. But as you have said, good luck trying to follow Prince2 with no understanding of the PMBoK principles!

        Thanks for your comments.

  2. Great points Chris. I do believe that product development and project management will begin to merge. But I feel it will merge in the opposite direction, project management will become a subset of product development, rather than the other way round.

    Samir Penkar

    • Hi Samir, thanks for your comments. Interesting thought regarding the Product/Project Management merging, there is also another school of thought that believes we will all become a subset of Change Management… What ever way it goes, consolidation in the space will only be beneficial for the industry.

  3. Chris,

    Loved the article and your take on the trends for 2013. We are a very new Education provider in a range of disciplines including P.M. and thought your predictions were insightful. It would be great to keep in touch…


    Francis Peoples

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