Organizations will expect project managers to better align outcomes to business strategies this year, according to a recently published list of project management trends for 2015 from ESI International. That's because the rapid pace of business shifts and technology changes will undoubtedly accelerate, and project teams will have to quickly integrate principles of agile development and change management into their approaches. In addition, they'll face considerable staffing and leadership shortages, as the availability of existing talent can't keep up with increases in demand, and older, seasoned team members will be leaving the workforce during the next several years. That means project managers will have to deal with significant day-to-day challenges, while facing building pressure to address big-picture objectives. "All too often, people talk about strategy and execution independently," says Mark Bashrum, vice president of marketing and strategic intelligence for ESI. "In the coming year, we will see a heightened focus on managing the critical links connecting the two. … Project managers—who are typically held accountable for delivering project outcomes—will now also be responsible for how those deliverables impact the business. This will require a retooling of their skill sets, [elevating] the PM's role as a critical enabler of business strategy, and that's a very good thing for project managers who can make the jump." The following is adapted from ESI's list of project management trends.
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