What Will Happen in Project Management in 20 Years?

By studying the previous and the current trends in Project Management as well as technology (especially the communication aspect), here’s some thoughts on what might happen in Project Management in 20 years (or 2030):


  • Conferencing will be made using holograms.
  • Every machine (PC) will have an integrated environment showing the progress of the project, the person’s tasks, and other related information.
  • Communicating with people in different languages will be a breeze due to instant, nearly perfect automatic translation from one language to any other language.

Multicultural Projects

  • Project teams will be less distributed, the trend of having multicultural teams across two or several countries will be reversed (although there will be no language barrier anymore, check the 3rd reason from the “Communication” list above). The reason for that is that the gap between currently weatlthy countries and poor countries will narrow so much that it will not make an economical sense to outsource fully or partially anymore.

Education and Certification

  • Experience will still help Project Managers in getting a job but there will be no need to get it to become one: universities will offer strengthened education programs for Project Management, truly preparing people to become Project Managers from day one on the job.
  • Private organizations offering certifications will become abundant until then, when they will be nearly completely overtaken by formal education (offered by universities).
  • The Project Manager’s worthiness in the market will be valued depending on the prestige of the school he graduated from.

Organizational Structures

  • Projectized organizational structures will flourish, while functional organizations will diminish greatly.
  • Program Managers will replace functional managers in most organizations due to projectized environments.
  • Project Managers will have substantially increased authority over their resources, that authority once belonged to functional managers.

Software Projects

  • The software industry will reach a certain maturity that will make managing (software) projects standardized. Software development projects will have less unknowns, more educated customers, and hence less risks and change requests, and consequently a higher percentage of success.


  • There will be a substantial increase in project success (much higher than the current 32% according to the Standish CHAOS Report). This is due to the formalization of all the processes, the enhancement of the communication means, and the perfected quality of Project Management taught at school.
  • Project Management will be eventually recognized by everyone as a profession, due to the complete adoption at schools, where it will be considered a science (like Math).
  • Program Management will infiltrate and influence governments, and a supreme Program Manager assigned by the government will oversee all the programs in all the governmental bodies.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

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