Project managers (PMs) each year face challenges to bring projects through to a successful completion. The year 2015 will be no different from in years past as far as this is concerned. Trends for this year within this field will include a continuation of some of the same tools popular in 2014, but with a bit more emphasis on other tools and innovations. Project managers as usual will need to be flexible enough to embrace these trends where necessary to improve their success rate. We provide you with some of the trends we see being important in the following information.

#1. Project Management Will Increase the Use of Agile Practices

Businesses will continue to incorporate Agile practices into their project management efforts. In the past, companies implemented these practices, though, without enough planning. Issues came up because of this. We predict that in 2015 businesses will solve these issues through a smoother implementation of Agile practices by performing in-depth planning. Agile is highly cost effective and is ideal for all companies ranging from small businesses up to major corporations.

#2. An Increase in Remote Projects

An increase in remote projects will take place in 2015 with the help of cloud based and other online software for project management operations. Project managers will need to utilise this software to assist their teams out in the field complete their tasks. These teams will be in locations throughout the country and at times, across the world. Teams will include virtual employees, contractors on top of any outsourced personnel. Tools in the software will allow for effective communication, and this will bring about successful collaboration on projects in a convenient fashion. In addition, PMs will be able to share information when necessary and perform scheduling tasks efficiently using this same software. Gone are the days where all teams can always meet in person with the project manager in the office. Nationwide and global projects also will keep increasing over the coming years.

#3. Additional Focus on Risk Management

PMs will need to place additional focus on risk management in 2015 due to the increase use of Agile. Project managers do have the benefit of software assistance to aid them in identifying risks that could affect their projects. However, they must also be able to analyse how these risks will affect the project’s budget and overall success to maintain control over their projects. They will need to sharpen their risk management skills and not completely rely on the software for answers.

#4. Increase Use of the Cloud

Project managers will be less dependent on their desktop software this year, as companies increase use of the cloud opportunities available today. PMs will be able to effectively schedule, manage and track their projects through cloud applications. In addition, teams will be able to access the information they need from the cloud when they are out in the field making this a win-win deal for all. Upper management even will be able to keep track of how a project is progressing remotely without any hassles.

#5. Increase Importance of Mobile Collaboration

In 2015, mobile collaboration will increase in importance as project managers oversee teams that will be telecommuting, working in remote locations and toiling at all hours of the day and night in some cases. Collaborating effectively through mobile devices and apps will be crucial to the successful outcome of projects.

#6. Big Data Analytics Will Play a Larger Role

With an increase of cloud software available for project managers, big data will play a larger role in 2015 in project management operations. The software will produce a large amount of crucial data that in turn upper management and project managers will analyse to enable both to make better decisions with the projects and in other areas of the business.

#7. Increase Use of Independent Consultants and Contractors

Throughout 2015, there will be an increase need for companies to bring independent consultants and contractors to work in conjunction with project managers and their teams. When careful planning goes into this, these people can bring in new ideas and approaches to the projects.

#8. Application Programming Interfaces in More Demand

Companies will have a higher demand and need for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in 2015, with the additional use of project management software. APIs will allow project managers to integrate their efforts with sales. The most effective project management happens when is begins with sales instead of at the start of the project. APIs allow for smoother interaction between development and sales personnel.

We are sure these are not the only trends for 2015. What trends does your company expect?