Project Trend Analysis is a method of project forecasting to predict future changes of some project through using past data of that project. This method involves making a comparison between what will happen and what happened within the project environment. Its purpose is to determine a spot in the future or a trend that explains 1) how the project will evolve over a significantly long period of time and 2) what positive, adverse and neutral factors will influence the project environment during that time period.
Analysis of project trends lets use historical data to make project forecasts and predict possible changes of project environments. It is helpful in project planning because this analysis allows developing a kind of forecast that defines how to move a project within a trend and thereby what key factors should be considered when developing a project plan.
Project trend analysis is based on technical analysis and results in developing a trend that can be either linear or non-linear.
- A linear trend uses previous statistics of a project to determine the future movement of that project, on the assumption that the growth rate remains the same.
- A non-linear or curvilinear trend involves searching for a trend equation that will describe the future movement of a project, on the assumption that there are two or more variable factors that define and rule project changes.