2021 in Review: 5 Key Takeaways for the New Year

Whew… we made it through 2021.  The many challenges that 2021 brought to organizations across the globe, we can all agree that our project planning efforts for the year ahead are going to better account for operational variability.

With this in mind, it’s important to reflect on the five key takeaways that we at BDM Squared believe are crucial for the new year ahead in 2022, especially if you are making your operations and project planning more robust. 

Not only were we challenged with the adoption of new technologies to better us all, the pandemic certainly showed us that it is important to adapt, understand, and take charge. 

Use the following key points in your new year project planning to guide you and your team. Let’s reflect on this year and look forward to what 2022 brings us as project professionals.

  1. Emotional intelligence as a leader is vital for managing project teams.
    It’s true that, as a project manager, it’s your role to oversee the scope, deadlines, and budget. But, more important than ever, it goes beyond this: you also need to better handle and understand how to manage people as well.

    And, that means leveraging your astute emotional intelligence. An emotionally-intelligent management style means understanding the art of emotions and how to ensure each member on your team feels respected and empathized with.

    Having solid emotional intelligence means leaders are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy.

    As Sharon Kennedy-Vickers, CIO at City of Saint Paul, states, emotional intelligence is “knowing your purpose–and helping others find theirs.” And, “the better you can recognize your own triggers and motivators, the better you can manage difficult scenarios and inspire others.”

    You can try these 7 award-winning CIO tips for working on your emotional intelligence here.
  2. External partnerships can be the door to better organizational adaptability.
    Earlier in the year, we discussed in a separate article “Why to Consider Project Management as a Service in the New Normal,” in which we highlighted the importance external partnerships have in moving past the pandemic.

    External partnerships have more effectiveness in overall project delivery and success for mid to large organizations alike. This can be true for cross industries and organizational units.

    External partnerships are going to become more utilized as a direct result of the pandemic pressuring global organizations alike to shift the traditional ways of doing business and think directly outside of the box at all times–in other words, a “backup plan” mentality.

    An external partnership gives you an external lense and hence, more diverse business approaches.

    If you take a look at the manufacturing industry, for instance, global companies were stressed with countless supply chain shortages and resources in order to effectively deliver their product.
  3. Utilizing a hybrid project management approach can lead to increased productivity and success.
    We can all agree that not every project is the same and not every team can use one approach to tackle it. It is without surprise that project managers are increasingly using more than one approach, such is the case with hybrid project management. 

A hybrid project management method combines approaches from the waterfall project management methodologies with an agile approach. By combining two different kinds of methodologies, project managers can better ensure that their projects are handled in an effective and efficient way to ensure the success of their project and that it is delivered on time. In addition, using a traditional and an agile approach accounts for team members’ preferences so that they can work productively. 

  1. Honing your soft skills is more important than ever.
    The need for soft skills has always been indispensable in the project management space, but now that businesses use artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the project management industry, soft skills have become even more important than they once were. The work and time being freed up by AI is shifting project managers’ focus to other tasks that require them to use their soft skills.

As a result, it is essential that project managers dedicate their time to enhancing their overall soft skills. These include skills such as communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, stakeholder engagement, team building, and decision-making. By improving these skills, project managers can be more well-rounded and thereby productive leaders.

  1. Advanced project management tools and solutions are key to optimizing your team and projects’ success.
    Project management tools have become increasingly important in today’s digital landscape. They help both project managers and teams in effectively planning, organizing, and managing their projects and tasks, so that they can be sure to deliver it on time and within budget. According to PWC’s research, 77% of projects that operate at a high-performing level use project management software.

At BDM Squared, we can help you manage your waterfall, agile and hybrid projects to ensure the continuation of your organization’s project success and strategic alignment.

We have been offering on-site and remote office solutions long before the global pandemic, so we know how to adapt to your unique work model needs. As a result, we supply our project management professional staff to your team for remote or onsite project governance and oversight.

Our flexible approach to managing projects allows us to adapt to your work dynamics to ensure the delivery of optimal outcomes for project success. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can deliver your next successful project with a PMaaS solution, and discover how we can be your next external partner in the new normal.