As the year draws to a close it’s time to summarize its trends and findings. We have analyzed several reliable sources of information, reports, and articles to share with you our Five Agile and Kanban Trends of the outgoing year.

1. More digital transformations and hybrid roles

According to the World Economic Forum, the automation of the workforce will displace about 85 million jobs around the world by 2025. However, let`s not panic yet. The same source indicates that this technology revolution will create 97 million new jobs too. The most demanded skills by 2025 are analytical thinking, creativity, and flexibility. Data and artificial intelligence, content creation, and cloud computing are the top emerging professions.

Given the data from The 2021 Workplace Learning Trends Report by Udemy for Business, with more agile project management implementations, hybrid roles are becoming the norm as business leaders want their employees to build their expertise in more than one subject related to their job. According to this report, a lot of QA testers and developers may already be functioning in hybrid roles or at least are working closely together. The same about the IT specialists that are mastering cloud computing platforms and infrastructure, moving beyond help centers or security specializations. 

2. Increase of focus on agile methodologies in the Project Management

Forbes in its article The 8 Biggest Business Trends In 2022 highlights the trend of change from traditionally hierarchical and rigid structures of organizations to flatter and, more agile structures that allow businesses to quickly reorganize teams and respond to change. As the world has probably recognized – change is the only constant.

According to as the digital transformation increases, there is no surprise that one of the trends of Project Management is focusing more on agile methodologies. As the source mentions, being agile and flexible means adapting and responding fast to the market changes and the changes in the customers` needs. The trend we`re looking at is more scaled agile implementations across the companies. 

3. Project Leader instead of Project Manager

As for the Project Managers, they now become the Project Leaders says PM Times in their 2021 trends review. As the platform mentions, Project Managers have always been combining the roles of managers and leaders in their day-to-day work. However, now more and more organizations use the title Project Leader instead of the Project Manager. The job description didn`t change, but the need for skills like influencing, facilitating, communicating, and other PM’s “soft” skills have become essential, states the article.

Udemy for Business in The Workplace Learning Trends Report of 2021 also states the increase of demand to acquire more leadership skills, such as decision making, strategic thinking, facilitation, and teamwork. Teams are becoming more aware of the skills needed to successfully collaborate. And that is why they want to learn communication and leadership to overcome their biases.

Training companies also see the increasing demand for leadership courses. David J Anderson School of Management is no exception here. Its Change Leadership Masterclass is recently filled in a few months in advance. Given that, the school introduced a new leadership class this autumn. Kanban Leadership Professional course is aimed to fill in the niche of Kanban courses with a focus on leadership skills needed to successfully lead people, teams, or organizations. 

4. More digital tools usage

It`s already not a secret that remote working and learning are here to stay. The pandemic showed that people can and want to work and learn remotely. Consequently, more and more companies are reducing their costs by changing to smaller offices and hiring talents from abroad.

World Economic Forum states that 84% of employers want to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote working. According to their report, there is the potential to move 44% of the workforce to operate remotely. While Udemy`s report underlines that collaboration becomes a priority in the remote working environment.

No wonder that given all the stated above we see another trend arising – more and more digital tools adoption. PM Times experts expect to see an increase in the use of project management tools beyond the standard Microsoft Office suite in 2022.

As for digital tools for Kanban, Kanban University mentions Jira as the most common tool being used by respondents of their State of Kanban 2021 report. However, this tool was not highly recommended by those using it.The respondents were much likely to recommend SwiftKanban, Kanbanize, Kaiten, and Nave for their support of Kanban implementations. 

5. More Kanban implementations at scale

Given the results of the State of Kanban 2021 report, the usage of Kanban practices is maturing. 42% of the survey`s respondents implement Kanban for more than 4 years, while 42% have 1-3 years of Kanban experience. At the same time, 41% of organizations were applying Kanban across more than 10 teams or to the whole company. This concludes that professionals implement Kanban more and more at scale.

Given that we understand that companies will continue scaling their Kanban implementations in 2022. The usage of the Kanban Maturity Model (KMM) helps to scale Kanban implementation properly and avoid common failure modes. You can get the Kanban Maturity Model book or subscribe to to learn more. You can also attend KMM training at the David J Anderson School of Management or find your local trainer at Kanban University to learn how you can use KMM to scale Kanban in your company.

Check the State of Kanban First Annual Report for more information about trends in Kanban Method implementation in 2021.