Why Agile and Project Management Skills are In-Demand in the Modern Information Economy

Across a wide variety of industries, problem-solving has become more complex. This is due in part to an increasingly complex global information environment – a worldwide system comprised of organizations, human resources, and technology-enabled information exchange. As technology evolves, organizations have had to evolve too, to make sense of the interconnected platforms, databases, and applications at the center of the modern information economy. Further, managing complex systems also involves managing large and diverse teams – a challenge even for established companies.  

Effective project management strategies are the key behind solving complex problems and delivering value to consumers. Project managers use specific skills, tools, and techniques to manage human resources, inspire and lead organizational teams, and create innovative solutions to all kinds of problems – from developing software applications to building new city infrastructure. A well-trained project manager is often the difference between meeting a deadline and delivering a product that customers need and failing to get a project off the ground completely.  

Because project managers bring a lot of value to the organizations they work for, demand for project management skills is on the rise. According to the Project Management Institute®, the project management workforce is expected to grow by 33% through 2027, adding approximately 22 million new jobs. The demand for project management expertise is warranted – research shows that project managers have a significant impact on enterprise productivity, in addition to providing other kinds of value in the form of increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction.  

There is a demand for project management expertise in dozens of industries, including technology, engineering, healthcare, construction, and finance. According to Susan Vaughn, a project management expert and instructor for Purdue University’s Project Management Essentials course project management is a skill that stays relevant even as the world changes.  

“The thing I love about project management is that it is just as relevant today as it was when I started doing it over 30 years ago,” said Vaughn. “The main project management concepts I learned back then are still very similar today. This consistency allows project managers and their organizations to develop concepts, processes, templates, and so forth that will stand the test of time.”  

Agile Project Management  

Professionals looking to increase their project management acumen can train in various kinds of project management methods suited to different tasks and industries. One of the most in-demand project management methods is Agile, which is used frequently in the technology and engineering industries but is broadly applicable in almost any field. Agile project management breaks complex projects down into small cycles called sprints, incorporating collaboration and feedback into each cycle. Rather than waiting to workshop a product at the end of its development, Agile practitioners work in iterations – analyzing and critiquing every stage of the project for stronger results and a more flexible process.  

Agile project management is particularly suited to help teams manage and overcome complex problems, making it an ideal method for navigating today’s multifaceted information environment. Agile has many applications – from helping teams who work from home stay on task to improving collaboration across time and space on global teams. Regardless of the challenge, Agile can be adapted and utilized over and over again.  

"Changes happen,” said Rachel Lamb, a Project Management Professional and Instructor for Purdue’s Project Management Essentials course. “An Agile project management approach enables the team to quickly adapt to changing requirements while delivering successful results.” 

Another benefit of the Agile approach is the way it handles change. In today’s technology-driven market change happens very quickly, and being able to manage change is essential to organizational success. Many organizations struggle to embrace change while completing large projects, but Agile project management can help teams thrive in moments of uncertainty. This makes Agile an important asset to organizations that want to create dynamic solutions suited for an ever-changing world.  

“Often when projects are initiated, there is a great deal of uncertainty,” said Lamb. “Learning agile approaches and methodologies strengthens the capability of team members to manage risks and respond to changing needs effectively. These approaches also foster a culture of continuous improvement that can benefit a team even after a project has been completed.” 

To learn more about how to earn valuable credentials in Agile and project management from one of the country’s most innovative universities, please visit Purdue’s 100% online Agile Project Management Certification Course webpage. Purdue also offers an online Project Management Essentials certification that fulfills the education requirement for taking the PMP® exam.