Top 5 Trends for 2017 You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Are you ready for 2017? Not if you plan on doing everything like you did in 2016. Generational shifts changing the workforce and the digitization of every industry has created an ever increasing pace of innovation … and disruption. What does that mean for organizations? The rules are different. The work place has changed. You can’t do things the way you’ve always done them. And that’s actually great news for everyone.   

1. You don’t need a plan, you need scenarios (and probably more than you think).

The name of the game is adaptability, not predictability. If 2016 has taught us nothing else, there is little you can truly control. Change is the only constant as the pace of innovation in all industries increases, technology continues to proliferate and the workforce continues to diversify. While most of us will still build an annual plan, you also need to be thinking about a continuous, rolling plan fueled by scenarios that can be put into action as fast as you need them to. If you are constantly thinking and modeling in scenarios, your plan will move as fast as you need it to. 

2. What does the “P” in PMO stand for? Maybe it should be Program.

Projects are a core part of how work gets done in any organization, but they are just the start. Today’s PMOs are at the center of the project universe, a universe that continues to spin and become more complex. Although managing projects is still critical, for many organizations the Program is becoming the lifeblood of driving change. The forces at work in today’s world are simply too big to change with a project. Programs are where it is at. PMOs need to shift the mix to make programs happen.   

3. IT becomes PT (Product Technology). Change one letter, change your world.

How much would the change to one letter make in the way organizations run and think about themselves. In the world of digital transformation, technology is not just about “information” and is definitely not locked in the “back office.” Technology is infused in every part of every business, it’s part of every product and service that any market leader brings to its customers. And if PMOs think about P as in product, how does product change and drive your portfolio? Throw out IT, think PT. It’s today’s reality anyway. 

4. Work and projects are not the same thing.

Completing a project is not always the end-goal. Projects are a core part of how work gets done in any organization, but they are just the start. Work is about cranking it out, getting stuff done, no matter how you do it. It’s the difference between being busy and being productive. But how do you do that with a diverse, global, virtual workforce? Work methods like lean, stage-gate and Agile that originated in the software development community are becoming more common in other industries. Competitive companies will incorporate the best practices from their tech peers to become organizations that bend and flex as required. 

5. If you’re in a stovepipe, get a ladder (or a rope). 

Everything is interconnected. Stovepipes are out of place in the connected, flat world. And they are holding you back. Products and services are increasingly smart, organizations are increasingly virtual, workforces and teams are increasingly global – and everything is moving faster than ever.  You have to make the effort (get a ladder) to get up and out of your stovepipe. Connect and collaborate with the rest of the organization, the business, the marketplace. This goes for everyone but is especially true for project managers, EAs, and PMOs - move beyond the boundaries of your job title. The world is converging and now is the time to get in the game. 

Global forces, generations, technology and resources are all coming together and it is changing the way you work. 2017 is going to look a lot different. In the maelstrom of all this change there is tremendous opportunity for organizations, teams and individuals to remake themselves and have a bigger impact than ever. The game has changed. It’s your move. 

Patrick Tickle, Chief Product Officer, Planview  

Image Credit: Zaozaa19 / Shutterstock