How millennials are changing project management

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While there are tried, tested, and true aspects of project management, millennials are bringing fresh perspectives — leveraging technological advancements and placing additional focus in areas like economic, ecological, and social factors.

Alex Shootman, COO at Workfront, a cloud-based enterprise work and project management solution provider, shared his experience working with millennials. He says he was in London last month at an event and was the only COO whose company population is 84% millennial. So what, you might say? Shootman said learning to work with millennials is key since “digital natives now rule, and will increase in power and influence over the next several years.”

“Just like any immigrant and native in a society, there are differences, and those differences will change the workplace,” said Shootman. “Differences include that digital natives view the workplace as egalitarian vs. hierarchical, they prefer telecommuting and flexible hours and the opportunity to make up work remotely, (i.e., from a café on a weekend or while on vacation).”

“Natives like multitasking or task switching and prefer to learn ‘just-in-time’ and only what is minimally necessary.” Shootman says millennials “interact and network simultaneously with many, even hundreds of others. Egalitarian, flexible, task switching, just-in-time skills and highly networked. This is not the current work environment.”

SEE: Millennials are twice as bored at work as baby boomers, report says

Why the focus on the role of millennials in projects?

“By 2020, millennials will make up half the global labor force, and by 2030, they’ll account for 75%. Millennials’ aversion to hidden agendas, rigid corporate structures and information silos coupled with a willingness to explore new opportunities will fundamentally change the nature of work or severely cost businesses,” said Eric Bergman, vice president of product management at Changepoint, a professional services automation company. “Gallup estimates millennial turnover costs the US economy $30.5 billion annually.” Bergman believes organizations will focus more extensively on employees and their needs in order to address the negative impact of churn on productivity, quality, and service.

What does this mean for project activities that support business goals?

Bergman said that last year, businesses realized their survival hinged on embracing digital transformation. Now, adapting to shifting expectations means delivering IT capabilities that complement business priorities. Even the most agile, tech-forward businesses are rewriting their playbook in the face of evolving expectations.”

Marianne Crann, director, human resources at Changepoint adds “Millennials are disrupting traditional business models. We’ve seen this in HR for years. But now, everyday processes must be updated to accommodate new generations of talent. They work differently and have different expectations. Businesses that find that sweet spot—the one that attracts talent without detracting from the success of the business—will gain happier staff and happier stakeholders, regardless of the generation.” Changepoint has even gone into greater detail on millennials and project management in their new 2017 trends report.

At GlassSKY, a company dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of women, founder Robyn Tingley believes millennials differ in their

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