Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2011: Project Managers Are Gaining Influence within Their Organizations This Year, as Employers Recognize Their Critical Role in Driving Operational Efficiencies

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Citing leadership among the abilities a project manager (PM) should possess, a panel of consultants and senior executives formed by ESI International identified 10 top trends that will influence project management in 2011 in its annual "Top 10 Global Project Management Trends for 2011" report. Among these are greater use of informal and experiential training methods, partnership with "change agents," and a focus on talent management and retention strategies.

In an effort to capture more informal learning opportunities, organizations will continue to use social media tools such as blogs, social networking sites, wikis, and webcasts. The influx of Millennials into the workforce will translate to more effective leveraging of these technologies, making social learning a fixture in workplace learning for PMs in 2011. Other popular methods of informal learning will include mentoring and communities of practice.

Experiential learning will also enable professional development for PMs. Training providers must equip PMs with applicable skills as training methods shift from classroom settings to reality-based and on-the-job training. Universities offering project management degrees will design their courses around the growing conviction that the lecture mode is dead, and students must be equipped with more pragmatic skills.

The growing discipline of change management will also align closely with project management this year. Because PMs often initiate change within their organizations by delivering a new product or service, the skills needed to facilitate change are more sought after than ever. …