PMA-IPMA India’s Project Managers Global Summit 2019 – “Sustainability Through Competent Project Leadership”
Sustainability has become one of the foremost objectives for all projects and programs of today. New technologies, disruptive business models, social challenges and environmental considerations are just some of the factors which are driving the need to integrate the element of sustainability into strategic decision-making processes for project-led leadership. India, as a fast-emerging economic power, is poised to acquire the status of the third-largest economy by 2030. To maintain the economic trajectory of the nation, the government has launched many major nation-wide programmes. In this socio-economic backdrop, PMA-IPMA India organized its Project Managers Global Summit 2019 at New Delhi on 20th – 21st August, with widespread participation from the industry, universities and government departments. The summit dwelled on new competences and best practices in project leadership for projects&programs, to truly become instruments in achieving sustainable growth and development.
In his welcome address, Dr A.S. Pillai, President of PMA-IPMA India, stressed the need to cut the large time and cost overruns in core projects of the government of India, using proven Project Management techniques, to create a society where all projects succeed and achieve sustainable outcomes. While highlighting the quality of the IPMA 4LC process and the significance of the migration to IPMA ICB4®, he also emphasized the need to build competence among the people who plan and execute the projects and programs. He also underlined the need of associating with NITI Aayog (the foremost policy think tank of India’s government), to outline, propose and recommend measures that would help solve many of the impediments related to the Project Management challenges and make “a project-oriented India” – where all projects succeed. He also spoke about the need for project organisations to consider and adopt the newest technologies (like AI and Blockchain) and new methodologies (like Agile) into their processes – for better efficiency and effectiveness. He also mentioned the necessity of IPMA’s Agile Leadership Product implementation.
Anil Razdan, Patron PMA India (and former Secretary in the Ministry of Power) spoke about the tremendous benefits that could be realized for nation development across core sectors (such as power, oil&gas, construction, engineering) by eliminating delays and cost overruns and through widespread adoption of Project Management competences (in order to create competent project professionals, at all levels). Having spoken about various programs and missions, initiated by the government of India, he noted that the current socio-economic scenario demanded that sustainable growth and development should be integral elements of all projects – social, environmental or business.
In his presidential address, Dr Jesus Martinez Almela, the President of IPMA, provided a global perspective on integrating sustainability with competent project leadership. Outlining various initiatives underway across IPMA, including Special Interest Groups, building new MAs and expanding to newer countries, he emphasized the significance of the transition to the IPMA Project Excellence Baseline®, and IPMA’s Agile Leadership®. He highlighted the need for Project Management to be recognized as an independent discipline with specific competences and also drew attention to the significance of effective Program and Portfolio Management.
The chief guest of the summit, Mr Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog, spoke at length on the critical importance of building Project Management competences to eliminate widespread time and cost overruns and bring about a culture of timely and effective Project deliveries. Speaking about the various nation-wide Programs launched by the government of India, he exhorted the Project Management Community and all participating industries to adopt effective Project Management practices and competences to truly contribute to the success of these flagship missions.
Dr E. Sreedharan, Founder MD, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and presently Principal Adviser, DMRC, spoke about his experiences and journey from conceiving the flagship Delhi Metro Rail Project, the Best Practices employed and the systems and competences that were adopted to ensure that all projects related to the Mass Urban Transportation System of India’s most populous metropolis not only met their delivery timelines but also achieved sustainable outcomes by way of world-class and consistent operational service.
Mr S.N. Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD of Larsen & Toubro, India’s leading diversified conglomerate, spoke about how the implementation of Project Management practices across its businesses, had resulted in achieving effective and timely deliveries even in highly complex projects across diversified sectors such as construction, engineering and defence. He highlighted how the adoption of new technologies was resulting in further improvements of the effectiveness of the Project Management process through better monitoring, control and a superior safety record. Speakers from leading industries (power, defence, aerospace, oil&gas, engineering, construction, research&academic, shared their project best practices and challenges related to Project Management. Streams of the distinguished speakers included: Energy, Defence & Aerospace, Industry and Sustainability&Innovation.
In his keynote address Jesus Martinez Almela spoke about the various dimensions of sustainability relating to environmental, social, technological and other factors, in the global context.
In the subsequent session on energy, speakers presented sustainability aspect of projects relating to conventional energy, future energy sources and energy security.
Session on “Defence and Aerospace” addressed the emergence of defence strategic industry in India and included a presentation on the challenges and best practices associated with a flagship defence project. The second day sessions of the summit dwelled on technology innovation, Project Management challenges in engineering sector, future of manufacturing and Industry 4.0. The afternoon session comprised of industry success stories with projects relating to various sectors.
During the speeches and subsequent discussions, some key observations emerged:
- Core Projects across various sectors are reporting significant time overruns, cost overruns, or both. These delays can impact economic growth. To look towards sustainable outcomes, delays must first be controlled and therefore professionals must manage these projects to be competent in Project Management techniques and best practices. In this context, there is a need to impress upon government departments to recognize Project Management as a separate competence that must be addressed, assessed and developed independently.
- Project Management certification must be made as a mandatory requirement for all Project-related roles and responsibilities by the government of India and IPMA 4 Level Certification be recognized by the government departments as also by the industries, for assessment of vital Project Management competences among Project Professionals – at all levels.
- The IPMA ICB4® as the latest and highly comprehensive baseline for PM competences, provides the ideal standard that should be adopted by Govt. Departments and Industry in this connection. PMA India shall associate with NITI Aayog, to propose and recommend measures in this regard.
- A talent pool of competence-certified Project Management professionals must be developed by the industry and government departments who can contribute effectively to the success of their projects.
- Core sector industries are now actively considering and adopting new technologies like AI, IoT, additive manufacturing as well as newer PM methodologies, like Agile, into their projects.
The PMA Awards Ceremony, conducted during the latter half of the inaugural function, comprised the following categories of Awards:
- Organisational Excellence Awards
- National Project Excellence Awards
- Project Leader of the Year Awards
- Young Project Manager Awards
Organisations, projects and project leaders, who were adjudged from the applications received from the industry by PMA committee, were personally handed over their awards and certificates, by the chief guests, the President of IPMA and the President of PMA India. Successful projects and project leaders represented key sectors – energy, construction, mass urban transportation, defence&aerospace and engineering.
Dr E. Sreedharan, Founder MD, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and presently Principal Adviser, DMRC, was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award for his unmatched contributions and successes in the area of Project Leadership.
PMA Honorary Fellowship was conferred to Dr S. Christopher, Fmr. Secretary (Dept. of Defence R&D) and Chairman, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India, for his outstanding contributions in the area of Project Management for Defence Projects in India.
Jesus Martinez Almela, IPMA President
Delhi, 25 August 2019