Project Management Regional Conference 2021:
PMI South Asia

Digitalization and the Changing Role of Project Managers

To stay relevant in today’s disruptive times, project managers must reset their goals and expectations, and adopt newer technologies and skills to propel their careers.

The seventh edition of the Project Management Regional Conference brought together experts and practitioners from around the world to explore how digital transformation is unleashing new opportunities for both organizations and individuals in today’s Project Economy.

Hosted by the PMI Pune-Deccan India Chapter, the virtual event, held on 29 and 30 May, was centered on the theme, ‘Digital Project Management: New Horizons. New Strategies.’ It was a forum for practitioners to understand how digital technologies are impacting projects, and what must they do to leverage digital skills to stay relevant and grow in the profession.

The weekend conference kicked off with a quiz on project management that got the adrenaline rushing among the delegates, and created the right mood before the start of the knowledge sessions. This action-packed session saw close to 350 participants.

While welcoming delegates to the conference, Jay Dholakia, president, PMI Pune-Deccan India Chapter, spoke about the need for project managers to adapt to change and lead their organizations in their digital transformation journey.

Srini Srinivasan, regional managing director, PMI South Asia, provided an overview of new programs and certifications, such as Wicked Problem Solving, Citizen Developer and Organizational Transformation, that PMI is introducing to enhance the capabilities of practitioners.

On the first day of the conference, keynote speakers presented their critical observations and analyses on current trends, challenges, and impacts in tune with the conference theme. These speakers included Tony Appleby, chair, PMI Board of Directors, and managing director, Project Strategy Consulting Group; Vishwas Mahajan, founder, Whizible. com; Vinayak Marathe, consultant, O&M Excellence; and Sandeep Kumar, managing director, ProductDossier.

Continuing with the same level of enthusiasm as the previous day, the second day too began with a quiz on project management. It was followed by a number of keynote addresses. The speakers were Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, director, SPM Foundation, and founder director, Atma Darshan & Chanakya Aanvikshiki; Candice Wyatt, director of project management, Red Door Interactive; Sarah Gadd, global head of data and artificial intelligence solutions, Credit Suisse; Stephanie Hoogenbergen, managing director, Credit Suisse; and Antonio Nieto- Rodriguez, author and a leading expert in project management and strategy implementation.

In the concluding remarks and vote of thanks, Rinoo Rajesh, chief operating officer & vice president, PMI Pune-Deccan India Chapter, expressed his gratitude to chapter volunteers and other contributors from the Region 11 chapters, which made the virtual conference a great success. The conference hosts took this opportunity to recapture some of the key topics discussed, including the need for digital skills for project delivery, such as data science, data security, and privacy knowledge; legal and regulatory compliance; and collaborative leadership. They highlighted the importance of reality checks on one’s current skills so as to know when it is time for reskilling or upskilling.

Sponsored by Credit Suisse, Product Dossier and Zoho Projects, the conference was attended by more than 800 delegates, besides speakers and invitees. The virtual conference allowed delegates to e-meet/network, attend sponsor stalls, interact with speakers and delegates through live chat, and take part in live polls. On the whole, it was not just a great learning experience but also a highly engaging one.