As I look back at this year and try to figure out if my career choice was a good one, I realize that while there will always be ups and downs, the growth prospects of being a Project Manager far outweigh minor issues one might have. That said, what’s the current state of Project Management?
This is an industry-agnostic look, but I think no matter what line of work you look at the PM role in, there will be some growth over the next few years. Here’s what I’ve found- the good and bad.
- According to Project.co, the PM position continues to proliferate. However, it’s the global market for project management software that is massive with an expected reach of $15.08 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.68% from 2022-2030. And while it’s true that you don’t need to be a certified PM to manage PM software, you do need one to make sense of the noise.
- Project.co also notes there’s a significant shortage of skilled project management professionals. Twenty-five million new project management jobs will be needed globally by 2030. In the United States, specifically, there are an estimated 426k project managers currently employed. Thus, there’s a little gap.
- The average salary for project management jobs in the US is $111,399, per the estimates of PPM.express. Project management-related positions are expected to grow the most in sectors like management/professional services, manufacturing, finance, information services, construction, and more. Just up PM jobs on LinkedIn or Indeed right now in any major city- the construction industry is the current (November 2023) winner of needing PMs.
- However, there is a downside, according to Monday.com. Project management maturity and adoption remain relatively low. Only 35% of project managers are satisfied with their organization’s project management systems. That is, many employers are still doing things the “old way” as opposed to updating their internal programs.
- To add a little salt to that, just 29% of organizations complete projects on time, and only 58% fully understand the value of project management, according to Teamstatge.
Reading the above, you’ll notice there are still some challenges that need to be overcome for the PM role to mature across ALL industries fully. Given the post-COVID expectation of remote work and more thoughtful workplaces, here are our challenges today:
- Managing hybrid teams with remote work and flexible schedules1
- Adopting new technologies like AI and automation2
- Developing soft skills like emotional intelligence and change management3
- Handling security threats and risks4
- Managing unpredictable budgets and costs5
Trends and Innovations
The best part about our career path is while it’s rooted in deep philosophical how-to, it’s also almost always on the cutting edge of the newest tech and learning methodologies. Here are a few trends and innovations from 2023 that you should be caring about.
- Hybrid project management – Combining predictive (waterfall) and adaptive (agile) approaches is becoming more common6.
- AI and automation – AI is being used more for task automation, data analysis, decision-making, and more7.
- Soft skills development – Emotional intelligence, empathy, and flexibility are increasingly important for leadership8.
- Digital transformation – Cloud-based software, mobile access, and remote collaboration tools are becoming essential9.
- Data analytics – Real-time dashboards, customizable reports, and data-driven decisions are key trends10. [This is where you should pay attention… well, this an AI. ~r]
While project management adoption is increasing, we still have many challenges to overcome. We must continue monitoring skills shortages, lack of maturity, and emerging technologies that organizations must address. Key trends include hybrid methods, AI, soft skills, digitalization, and data analytics. Overall, the industry continues to expand rapidly without slowing down.