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Evolving project management terms for the new world of work

Published By Team AdaptiveWork

There are several good glossaries that define and standardize key project management terms, including versions from the PMI, APM,, and many others. However, like language itself, lexicons are dynamic and organic – which means that they shift over time to capture new thinking, and just as importantly, shed expired notions.

With that in mind, below we highlight 5 key project management terms that have evolved in the new world of work:

1. Collaboration

Evolving Project Management Terms for the New World of WorkCollaboration is no longer simply about allowing people to connect with each other – because this invariable leads to “collaboration for the sake of collaboration;” which is chaotic rather than clarifying.

In the new world of work, collaboration is defined as the ability to access focused, relevant and in-context communication supported by rich discussion groups at every level – including files, tasks and projects – ultimately allowing teams to usher work forward through its journey towards successful completion.

2. High-Performance Teams

High-performance are no longer comprised of select enterprise “All-Stars” who are assigned to the most important, profitable or prestigious projects.

In the new world of work, all teams must be high-performance teams, and comprised of resources with the right mix of skills, experience and knowledge. What’s more, high-performance teams are rapidly assembled, oriented and put in position to achieve specific business objectives – and just as efficiently disassembled and re-deployed when a project or phase is complete.

3. Resource Utilization

Resource utilization is no longer just about seeing which resources are deployed on what projects – because that is only looking at the surface, and typically leads to under or over-utilization; and hence missed deadlines, cost overruns, unfulfilled business objectives, and unhappy sponsors and customers.

In the new world of work, resource utilization is strategic rather than just logistic, and as such involves leveraging a comprehensive set of resource-related metrics and KPIs to support the reporting and decision-making needs of key roles within the organization (e.g. project managers, resource/functional managers, employees, contractors, etc.). Knowing who is where is only part the puzzle. Today’s enterprises also need to know why, why not, for how long, and for how much.

4. Transparency

In practice, transparency has traditionally and incorrectly been perceived as synonymous with visibility; which is why transparency in a meaningful sense often doesn’t exist — and why many enterprises have not yet reaped the rewards.

In the future of work, transparency (finally!) comes to life by enabling team members to see beyond their specific input and role, so they can easily grasp how their important contribution fits into the bigger picture – ultimately leading to more inspired effort, more effective teamwork. At the same time and through the same processes, transparency enables enterprises to take a much more pragmatic and profitable “sense and respond” approach to work vs. an outdated, and frankly counter-productive “command and control” approach.

5. Visibility

Historically, visibility was fundamentally about access to information – which is no longer valid, because there is simply too much information available.

In the new world of work, visibility is a verb instead of a noun because it actively adds value by delivering expanded and holistic “360 degree” insight throughout projects and across portfolios. As a result, instead of limited static snapshots of project data, project managers and teams access accurate, real-time and in-context information that is actionable across all lines of business departments, customers and partners.

Clarizen: Designed for the New World of Work

Clarizen’s award-winning project and portfolio management solution is designed from the ground-up to drive effective collaboration, high-performance teams, resource utilization, transparency, and visibility – and help enterprises thrive and lead the way in the new world of work. Learn more with a free 30-day test drive.

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Written by Team AdaptiveWork