cats thinking about project management and working on gantt charts

Project Management Trends You’ll See in 2024

As we head into 2024, project management as we know it has been around for more than 100 years. It all started in the 1900s with the development of the Gantt chart, but since then project management has continued to evolve – in its career options, its methods, and its popularity. 

But we’re living in a time of uncertainty with the rise of AI, the state of the economy, and the availability of online education and remote schooling. It makes sense that project management will see adaptations and advancement like everything else. As an Atlassian Creator, I get to chat with other project management professionals across the globe. Based on the project management trends that I saw in 2023, here’s what I think you can expect in 2024. 

Project Management Trend #1: The death of the oversized tech stack

Slack is trying to be Notion, Notion is trying to be Jira, and everyone is trying to be on the frontier of AI. Tech is having a peak “if all your friends jumped off a bridge,” moment, except the bridge spans the ocean of artificial intelligence. 

Every time I see a LinkedIn announcement for another AI feature, I roll my eyes. It’s becoming white noise, and so far I’ve only seen a few apps that were able to implement AI in a way that actually added something to their platform.

ai in meme devil wears prada meme

As every app tries to be everything, we see very few apps mastering anything. The market is saturated, everyone’s trying to be competitive, but as apps start to do more and more, companies will start to need less of them. That 20-app tech stack could be whittled down by more than half, and in 2024 I think we’ll see up to a 30% decrease in companies’ tech stacks overall. 

“In an ideal state, companies would constantly reassess their tech stack and prune unneeded tools. This, however, is uncommon. Over time, groups will end up with a teetering tech stack that is hard to manage, brittle, and doesn’t fully meet a company’s needs.” – Robert Hean, Sr. Business Systems Manager @ Rippling

Robert Hean, Sr. Business Systems Manager @ Rippling

Project Management Trend #2: The rise of (and return to) basic Agile

One of my Agile trend predictions for 2024, I think we’ll see a return to basic Agile from organizations already using it. However, I think we will also start to see more organizations shift towards Agile as their project management solution. 

The numbers are already there; in the last two years, we’ve seen an increase in Agile methodologies across all flavors of Agile. The 16th Annual State of Agile Report reported that 87% of respondents use Scrum, up from 58% in the 2020 report. Kanban is up from 7% in the 2020 survey to a whopping 56%, and 27% are using the Scrumban hybrid–a smaller increase from its previous 10% in the 2020 report.

Why? The fact is, Agile works. Adaptability works. 

The tech space had a rough year in 2022 that was looking up at the beginning of 2023. But as reports of reduction in forces and layoffs continue to scatter LinkedIn homepages, it’s clear tech companies that are still standing plan to do more with less. That means they are going to seriously need to get their stuff together. VC funding won’t be enough to keep many of these companies afloat. They’ll need a good product, good marketing, and an even better team to stand out from the crowd in 2024. One way to stand out? Be a well-oiled machine. Agile can help an organization become that. 

annual state of agile report in 2023

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Project Management Trend #3: Every app thinks they can do it, but not every app can

Speaking of a crowded room, let’s talk about project management tools. Atlassian’s Jira still rules the market, with 2 in 3 of PMOs using it for Agile project management, according to the 16th Annual State of Agile Report. Because they’re so dominant, Atlassian has a huge impact on the remaining project management tools. These are largely divided up into groups that are either hitching their wagon onto Jira or trying to be the next unicorn. 

But in a market where even the big dogs are fighting for a piece of the pie, startups are having to get grittier to make a name for themselves. 

Lots of apps have every single feature known to man, but users still find themselves disappointed with the quality of the integrations, customer support, or usability. In 2024, we’ll see a culling of these apps as users try out solutions and abandon them because they’re not meeting their needs. Instead we’ll see apps, like Visor, burrowing into the available holes in the industry, offering strong, bidirectional integrations, friendly and educated support, and easy-to-use features that require little-to-no onboarding assistance. 

Looking ahead to 2024 for Project Management

As a guy on a dating app once said to me, “Tech is having a moment,” but so is project management. The increased competition in the industry will lead to some big changes, but complacency has always been the enemy of progress, and I’m excited to see the world of project management get shaken up a bit.

It’s time for some new ideas; let’s see if 2024 brings the heat!

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