Powering the Project Economy and the Future of Work
As president and CEO of PMI, Sunil Prashara is the lead advocate for PMI’s global organization, serving more than three million professionals working in nearly every country of the world. His primary responsibility is to implement PMI’s global strategic plan with a priority on strategic focus, customer centricity, and organizational agility.
In his opening address at the Common Ground Symposium 2020, Sunil Prashara painted a picture of the ‘new realities’, how organizations and professionals must prepare for the Project Economy, and the programs, certifications, and toolsets that PMI has launched to meet the new demands.
Project managers in the new reality will be integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in projects, adopting different ways of working, and developing ‘power skills’ such as collaboration, leadership, business understanding, agility, inclusiveness, and an innovative mindset.
Organizations and individuals in this new reality will need to be visionaries who can anticipate society’s needs, and deliver projects to make a difference. He called out the young entrepreneurs from India who made it to PMI’s Future 50 list of promising talent from around the world — Rajesh Nalla of Techimax IT Services; Vidhya Abhijith, PMP, of Codewave; and Vihari Kanukollu of UrbanKissan.
To illustrate how projects are driving change around the world, Mr. Prashara spoke about some of the projects that are part of PMI’s ‘most influential projects of 2020.’ These include the Nightingale Hospitals in the UK, COVID-19 vaccine projects, and the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad that is the largest cricket stadium in the world.
Various factors are impacting the nature of projects and our ways of working, such as AI and other digital technologies, global warming, the decline in oil prices and the rise of renewables, and population increase in certain parts of the world. For instance, Africa is undergoing a ‘youthquake’ with 75 percent of the population under 25 years of age, which is leading to an increa se in the demand for infrastructure.
However, organizations waste 11.4 percent of investment due to poor project performance, and 67 percent of projects fail when organizations undervalue project management. To ensure greater project success, organizations must have reskilling programs to develop core project skills and power skills in its project talent, and become gymnastic organizations with agility and nimbleness.
Among the new initiatives from PMI, he touched upon Wicked Problem Solving, which is a design thinking toolset; Disciplined Agile™, a toolkit that brings together agile, lean and other techniques for agile project delivery; and Citizen Development, which brings together a low-code/ no-code platform for software projects, resources, and certifications.
● Culture is the backbone of resilient organizations.
● To stem attrition, organizations must upskill and reskill their workforce and retain talent.
● Do not ignore power skills such as collaboration, business understanding, creative thinking, leadership, and project management skills.
● Combine technical skills and human skills to get work done in the future.
● Build gymnastic organizations that are nimble, responsive and agile, and yet follow structure, form, and governance.