Sustainable Project Goals to Drive Holistic Outcomes
Project professionals must look beyond time, budget, and cost considerations, and incorporate sustainability goals in projects.
Despite the global buzz around sustainability, organizations are yet to make sustainable development a core aspect of project management. However, there is a dire need today to integrate sustainability into project management to maximize environmental, social, and economic benefits.
In line with the pressing issues of climate change and the growing incidence of natural disasters around the world, the eighth edition of Project Management Regional Conference 2022 on 21 May chose the theme, “Beyond the Finish Line: Towards Sustainability.” After more than two years of virtual engagements, the hybrid conference organized by PMI Kerala Chapter provided PMI members and volunteers an opportunity to finally meet in person again.
Leaders and practitioners from diverse fields shared insights, networked, and picked new learnings to apply to their work. The conference was attended by about 350 delegates from various countries, some of whom attended in person while others participated remotely.
The conference took off with a welcome note by Jayakishore S. R., conference chair and president, PMI Kerala Chapter. In a video message, Dr. Srini Srinivasan, managing director, PMI South Asia, said, “The theme of this conference is thought provoking and at the same time challenging. It will encourage us to think and expand the whole meaning of project management beyond the template of scope, time, cost, and quality. Sustainability will facilitate performance based on economic as well as social and environmental parameters.”
Umamaheswaran R., distinguished scientist and director at Human Space Flight Centre, ISRO, set the tone of the day with his opening keynote. He spoke about the crucial elements that are needed for sustainable development in space projects and missions.
Jennifer Tharp, chair, PMI Board of Directors, talked about integrating sustainability into project management practices to build a world of net-zero carbon emissions.After a short networking break, Anand Malligavad, a lake conservationist, presented a session on rejuvenation of dying lakes across Bengaluru.
Sreekanth K. Arimanithaya, Global Delivery Services leader at Ernst & Young Global Delivery Services, shared that ambidextrous leadership fosters continuous innovation in business by resolving opposing or contradictory demands effectively.
The same level of energy and enthusiasm continued into the second half of the day. Toastmasters India conducted a special session on how effective communication plays a critical role in project success. Speakers who shared their insights included Gauri Sheshadri, district toastmaster; Vanitha Rengarajan, director - District 121, Toastmasters India; Kathiravan M. Pethi, leadership coach, storyteller, and speaker; Ayham Bicha, national public speaking champion (Toastmasters Gavel Club); Dileep Choyapalli, toastmaster, and Saveen Hegde, design thinking specialist, founder, and director - Unbox Experience.
This was followed by a session presented by Rich Maltzman, co-founder at EarthPM. He spoke about the need for responsible project management that takes greater accountability for a project’s impact on people, society, and the environment.
In the concluding keynote address, Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman officer of the Indian Police Service, stressed that a fine balance of empathy and confidence is important for leaders to develop regardless of their gender.