As we’ve stepped into 2024, it’s high time to learn what trends in project management are expected to shape the domain in the near future. In the era of constant transformation, project managers and business leaders should stay informed of the tendencies that will impact the way they work on projects. So, let’s take a closer look at how project management trends are expected to evolve in 2024.
Diverse Applications of Artificial Intelligence
The application of artificial intelligence (we also include here machine learning, automation, predictive analytics, and generative AI) is gaining momentum in the project management landscape, revolutionizing the ways projects are planned and managed. In a nutshell, AI automates repetitive tasks and makes predictions thereby increasing efficiency, streamlining the workflow, and improving decision-making. Project managers can utilize the power of AI by leveraging project/resource management tools where the technology is incorporated.
Let’s now review the most common applications of the technology in more detail.
Forecasting and decision-making
Thanks to predictive analytics, PM tools analyze historical data along with current project metrics to predict how the project environment will change. You can forecast project delays, resource bottlenecks, budget overrun, project performance, etc. But most importantly, predictive analytics helps perform scenario analysis that allows you to find an optimum way to prevent future bottlenecks and risks. As a result, project managers can make informed decisions, identify and mitigate risks, and achieve better project outcomes.
AI makes resource management much more effective, especially for large organizations where hundreds/thousands of employees are involved in projects. First, it assists in resource allocation: it analyzes the data on each employee’s skills, capacity, previous experience, location, or other essential parameters to quickly find the right person to assign to a task. Second, AI helps plan resources’ capacity, which is critically important for smooth workflows in multi-project environments with a shared resources pool. Third, as we noted earlier, predictive analytics makes it possible to detect improper workload which becomes the source of resource bottlenecks.
Automating routine tasks
AI can automate a number of project manager’s tasks, especially those that require work with large amounts of data, e.g., creating schedules and generating reports. In addition, AI-powered virtual assistants can send reminders and notifications to team members. How does this help? Project managers have more time for strategic tasks and initiatives, and the possibility of human errors decreases.
Virtual assistants are software applications that employ AI technologies like natural language processing, machine learning, and sometimes voice recognition to provide users with interactive support. In project management, they can be used to improve communication between a project manager and the team, assist the team members in their tasks, help quickly obtain necessary information (status updates, project metrics, etc.), notify a project manager of potential risks or upcoming bottlenecks, and more.
AI is revolutionizing project management, remaining one of the leading future trends in project management in 2024 and beyond. It’s also important to note that the technology isn’t going to replace project managers — AI is only an assistant that must be combined with human intelligence to achieve desired outcomes. 
Watch the webinar to gain more insights into AI applications in project management: Utilizing AI on Different Levels of Multi-Project and Resource Management
Leveraging Data Analytics
Along with the adoption of AI, project managers are increasingly relying on data in their work — when making decisions, forecasts, analyzing performance, etc. Though data analytics is primarily associated with data-driven decision-making, here are some more reasons why it is a must in project management:
- It increases decision accuracy and objectivity;
- It enables the monitoring of project progress and resource performance;
- It reduces uncertainty;
- It allows for forecasting risks and bottlenecks;
- It eliminates the effect of office politics;
- It facilitates more effective resource utilization thanks to identifying inefficiencies.
Therefore, all these factors create opportunities for detecting problems, making corresponding adjustments, and improving project outcomes. So, we anticipate the focus on data analytics and data-driven decision-making to rank high among future project management trends. 
New Competencies: Soft and Digital Skills
The latest trends in project management require developing specific competencies by PM professionals to be able to effectively implement these innovations in their work. Here are some of the most essential ones.
In the era of increased automation of “technical” tasks, leveraging PM software and AI, a project manager’s soft skills gain particular importance. This is confirmed by the recent PMI Pulse of the Profession report — they’ve found that companies that give particular importance to soft skills (or how they call them “power skills”) achieve better project outcomes and have higher levels of project management maturity and organizational agility . According to the report, power skills involve:
- collaborative leadership,
- and strategic thinking.
Project Management Institute emphasizes the need for prioritizing these skills in organizations in the years ahead.
Let’s take a look at some more essential soft skills.
Emotional intelligence involves the ability to understand and interpret one’s own emotions, express and control them as well as understand other people’s emotions and behavioral motives. Emotional intelligence allows for much more effective interaction of a project manager with the team members, customers, and a company’s management — resolving conflicts, establishing relationships and communication, promoting more effective collaboration, creating a supportive atmosphere within a team, etc.
Being able to quickly adapt to changes is becoming rather a necessity in the present-day dynamic world, and the project management domain, which is also transforming, is no exception. Projects are often subject to changes and market volatility, affected by external factors or implementation of new technologies; and a project manager’s adaptability implies that they will be able to quickly adjust their approach or make non-standard decisions which will help them keep the projects on track and navigate volatile business environments. 
In response to the active implementation of technologies and data analytics, project managers also require developed digital skills that should be regularly updated. The idea isn’t new but is expected to remain relevant in 2024 and beyond. The need for developing digital skills is also emphasized by the PMI; they distinguish the following ones:
- Data science skills (data management, analytics, big data);
- Innovative mindset;
- The ability to make data-driven decisions;
- Collaborative leadership;
- Legal and regulatory compliance knowledge;
- Security and privacy knowledge. 
Therefore, 2024 will still be marked by the need for embracing these skills by project managers who strive to succeed in their careers and address the complexities of the modern project management landscape.
Employing Hybrid Project Management Approaches
More and more organizations recognize the importance of applying flexible PM methodology rather than sticking to solely Agile, Waterfall, or any traditional method. Projects are becoming more and more complex, so it becomes difficult and ineffective to address their complex needs with the only PM methodology. So, the list of recent trends in project management cannot but include the application of hybrid PM approaches. As a rule, they combine the traditional structured framework and predictability of Waterfall methodology with the flexibility and customization of Agile principles. In a great number of cases, project managers have already used hybrid approaches intuitively, as they helped work on projects more effectively. In 2024 and beyond, we anticipate this trend to become more and more common. 
Sustainability and ESG Practices
Sustainability has been one of the leading trends in all industries, so it cannot but affect project management. Businesses are implementing sustainable practices in their work, e.g., reducing emissions and waste, optimizing supply chains, reasonable resource utilization, etc. But how can project management contribute to sustainability? The answer is implementing ESG (environmental, social, and governance) practices and ensuring a positive impact on society, the environment, and corporate governance practices, for example:
- Creating opportunities for training and apprenticeship;
- Facilitating local employment or buying from local businesses;
- Promoting environmental protection;
- Reducing consumption of energy and materials;
- Minimizing waste and environmental pollution;
- Enhancing physical and mental well-being;
- Supporting disadvantaged groups;
- Facilitating equality, diversity, and inclusion. 
These are the ways project management can deliver value to the people involved in it, society, and the environment. So, PM professionals along with companies’ management are expected to make efforts to incorporate these practices in their work to be in line with emerging trends in project management.
Increased Use of Project Management Software
Leveraging PM software remains among the latest project management trends in 2024. Project management software serves as an all-in-one solution that addresses a great number of PM needs. The variety of these solutions on the market is huge — from simple task management tools to comprehensive solutions embracing resource and project portfolio management functionality. As the complexity of projects is increasing, leveraging PM software becomes more and more common in the project management practice, especially when dealing with multi-project environments.
Let’s take a quick look at the example of Epicflow, a comprehensive solution for managing multiple projects, resources, and project portfolios. Based on CCPM principles, its distinctive approach helps optimize shared resources, prevents people from overwork, and allows for consistent workflow and the successful completion of each project running in a company.
Epicflow offers a robust set of features, including but not limited to the following ones:
- Automatic prioritization of tasks throughout the entire project environment;
- Resource allocation based on employees’ skills, availability, and capacity;
- Forecasting resources’ capacity and workload;
- Conducting simulations with What-if Analysis;
- Presenting real-time data on project progress;
- The capability to analyze resource performance;
- Virtual assistant Epica interacts with project managers and the team and keeps them updated regarding the state of a multi-project environment.
Organizations employing Epicflow utilize their available resources efficiently, maintain balanced workloads, make data-driven decisions, and have a comprehensive view of the whole project environment. Contact our experts to learn more about our solution and how it can address your business needs.
2024 will be marked by further evolvement of recent years’ trends. The project management domain will continue embracing and employing new technologies — AI, automation, data analytics, predictive analytics, virtual assistants, generative AI, etc. Along with industries’ trend for sustainability, the PM sector will be looking for ways to deliver value to society, the environment, and corporate governance (e.g., reducing energy consumption, supporting local communities, enhancing physical and mental well-being, etc.). Hybrid project management methodologies will also remain relevant instead of focusing on Agile for every kind of projects. Finally, project managers are expected to require highly developed soft and digital skills to help them navigate the dynamic PM landscape and be ready to embrace new trends in project management in the years ahead.
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- Davis, Kevin D. (2023). Top 10 Project Management Trends Emerging in 2024. KnowledgeHut.
- Power Skills: Redefining the Project Success. Pulse of the Profession 2023. PMI.
- Wells, R. (2023). 3 Skills Every Project Manager Needs To Succeed In 2024. Forbes.
- The Project Manager of the Future. Developing Digital-Age Project Management Skills to Thrive in the Disruptive Times. (2018). Pulse of the Profession: In-Depth Report. PMI.
- Harrin, E. (2023). What’s The Future of Project Management in 2024 and beyond? Rebel’s Guide to Project Management.
- Clayton, Mike. (2023). What’s New? Top 5 Project Management Trends for 2024. OnlinePMCouses.