What we want from project management tools in 2022

Even though I don’t wear watches very often, I do like the watch and it has real hands. It’s not a smartwatch. It was surprising to see how many of my colleagues receive WhatsApp messages on the wrists. Although it’s not something I would desire, I love the simplicity of it.
Then, I log into my PM software and suddenly, all the simplicity that exists elsewhere vanishes.
Here are my 2022 hopes for the PM industry.
1. Give us more data
Projects can produce a lot of data. We have budgets, forecasts, timesheets, and budgets. We also have databases that contain lessons learned, risks, and issues.
However, the majority of what we know comes from our experiences. It can be difficult to find historical project data and relevant information. With the help of big data, artificial intelligence, it should be much easier.
Imagine looking at the estimates of the project team. The software prompts you to enter the estimated effort required for each task. Claire’s estimates are 20% lower that her five previous projects. Would you like to increase the estimate by 20%? Well, yes. Yes.
I would like project management software to make it easy to make data-driven decisions based on relevant corporate information. This is the kind of information that is lost when a project manager moves to a new job.
It is important to record it and present it project managers so that they can learn from it and adapt to a more successful project delivery.
2. Make it usable
My five-year old can use Alexa commands to get the joke or song he desires. I want project management tools that make it as simple as possible. Tools that are simple to use and require little learning.
I get that it can be difficult to do the right thing.
This is evident in the number and variety of icons and menu options on an enterprise tool. I want all the features, but I also want usability and mobile app integrations, voice commands, contextual help, and context-based guidance when I’m not sure what I should do next.
I need the details to do my job efficiently. I also need an interface that allows stakeholders to see the overall status.
3. Give ustime
Managers of projects want to spend more time with those who are important to the project.
Companies are successful because their culture and leadership is strong. It is impossible for a team to motivate and engage stakeholders. Project managers need to spend time on things that will drive successful delivery. This is not about entering data into software.
Software that supports project teams can help save hours by automating what is possible, making decisions simple and surfacing information when needed.
There are many tech tools that can help project management tools advance in leaps, bounds. We often see improvements in consumer products, such as Alexa, before they make it to the average workplace.
I hope we will soon see these amazing AI initiatives in our tools for delivering projects. Because our project environments are becoming more complex, I could benefit from any time-saving, intelligent assistance that I can get.
This article was published in Business & Industry, 2019, for the first time.