Manage South Asia features two outstanding projects that won the PMI
South Asia Awards in 2022. These projects demonstrate exemplary project
management standards and practices to address the world’s pressing
problems and yield positive organizational outcomes.
Mission to Achieve Oxygen Self-Sufficiency
Project: Medical Oxygen Plant
The COVID-19 pandemic hit India in an unprecedented manner, pushing the
healthcare infrastructure to a breaking point. The pressing need of the
hour was to augment the infrastructure, bridge the supply-and-demand gap
and save people’s lives.
Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) was awarded a contract by the
Government of India to rapidly deploy 309 medical oxygen plants at 278
government hospitals across the country in about 100 days.
The project was funded by PM CARES Fund (the Prime Minister’s Citizen
Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund), a relief fund for
emergency situations created in March 2020, following the onset of
COVID-19 pandemic in India. The sole purpose of the project was to make
life-saving medical oxygen readily available at hospitals so they could
become self-sufficient and help India steer out of the medical
For this project, TASL received the Project of the Year Award in the
medium category at both the PMI Professional Awards and PMI South Asia
ROADBLOCKS TO IMPLEMENTATION
With restrictions on movement in place, the project encountered unique
challenges to set up oxygen plants on location, given the spread of
COVID-19 across India. Discussions with key stakeholders, including
government bodies such as Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical
Laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, PM
CARES, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the National
Highways Authority of India, took place virtually, which left a lot of
room for communication gaps due to the number of stakeholders whose
needs and expectations had to be met.
Before 2020, medical oxygen plants were produced with a standard
configuration using only one type of zeolite. Given the urgency of the
situation, the required raw materials were not available and certain
equipment or components needed to be imported. Concurrent engineering,
with the help of local experts from academia/industry, was initiated. It
enabled TASL to identify alternate materials that could be used.
Nevertheless, technical issues still emerged once the plant was
Given the number of stakeholders and the pressure from various states
and central ministries, the project’s priorities required frequent
Another concern was to gain the trust of the end users, especially
hospitals and doctors who were working under extremely stressful
conditions. Doctors doubted the quality of the oxygen produced and
refused to provide it to the patients directly from the plant. They had
more confidence in oxygen cylinders as they had been using this source
for multiple years. To allay the apprehensions, TASL hired agencies
under the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration
Laboratories (NABL) to test the purity of the manufactured gas and
certify that the oxygen purity was within design tolerance (90±3 %).
Another stumbling block was a shortage of skilled hands to install and maintain these new plants.
"More than commercial benefits, this project aimed to save the lives
of people directly by making medical oxygen available abundantly at
hospitals. The Tata Group, since its inception, has been continuously
contributing to nation-building initiatives. This project was in line with
our vision of giving back to the community."
Suresh Baroth, Senior Vice President, Project Management, TASL
INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES: MAXIMIZING PROJECT SUCCESS
• More than 50 micro, small and medium enterprises were brought
on board to minimize the risk of resource shortages caused by the
disrupted global supply chain.
• A global source was identified to procure critical items as per the
specifications and on a stringent schedule.
• A structured approach to stakeholder engagement and identification
was applied, as recommended by PMI.
• A detailed stakeholder mapping and communication strategy was
created for seamless project execution.
• The project involved employing the Internet of Things (IoT) with SIM
card technology and collection of remote critical parameters/data from
plants to gauge performance.
• Data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
were used, and real-time monitoring of the dashboards was done to
identify trends, improve efficiency and reduce downtime.
• A work breakdown structure (WBS)-based schedule was developed to
deliver the project on time and within budget.
• A risk register tool was used to identify and mitigate risks at various
stages of the project.
• Reputation risk was managed by assessing inbound and outbound
quality assurance for all sourced components and conducting NABL
testing after plant installation.
• Extensive training was provided online and in person to plant operators,
technicians and biomedical engineers
• 309 plants installed in 287 districts across India.
• Dedicated the plants to the nation on 7 October 2021 by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi.
• 140 patients per plant supported with consumption capacity of 5
to 7 liters per minute.
• Reduced dependency on liquid medical oxygen.
• Followed PMI standards for project management, tailored to suit
the project’s needs.
Powering Systems for Tomorrow’s Technologies
Project: Engine Management System Development
In 2015, a leading Korea-based car manufacturer planned to update its
entire diesel vehicles portfolio with future-ready, advanced
technologies and add cutting-edge features to vehicles in the light
commercial to ultra-luxury categories. Weighed down by obsolete
technologies, the existing hardware was not scalable to accommodate
The Bosch development center in India created a future-ready engine
management system. The single system enables the introduction of
state-of-the-art functions, such as remote smart park assist and smart
cruise control, while making it “plug-and-play” and reusable across
The project was a significant milestone for the organization in India,
and showcased the acquisition, software development and complete product
and project management of the team.
Bosch Global Software Technologies won the Project of the Year
Award in the small category for this project at the PMI South Asia Awards 2022.
KEY FACTORS THAT IMPEDED PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Varied requirements, one system:
The revamp extended to a large portfolio of vehicles that would be
marketed in seven countries or regions — Korea, India, Europe,
Australia, Taiwan, Russia and Latin America. Each country had its own
emission regulations. It was therefore a challenge to design a single
system that would meet the different requirements.
The project was executed from four countries — Germany, Korea, India and
Vietnam — amid pandemic-induced movement restrictions and remote work.
The different time zones of these countries made it difficult to
communicate with the stakeholders, regular business hours, which caused
delays. Cultural and language differences made it even harder.
The client added additional functions during software releases that were
not originally planned. In some cases, ad hoc requirements were
included, which caused confusion during system testing.
The customer wanted a future-ready, connected platform that would adapt
to technological changes in the future. On top of that, the teams needed
to balance specific needs of different vehicles with cost
APPROACHES AND PRACTICES THAT LED TO DESIRABLE OUTCOMES
The team focused on plug-and-play function development, so that any
software or hardware components can be integrated into any vehicle
• More than 1.2 million vehicles on the road with new Bosch technology systems.
• The DfE (designed for environment) approach has been used, which means no harmful substances have been used.
• The project’s success led to Bosch being awarded three new projects from the customer.
• Enabled an overall 33% savings on development costs.
• Won the Best Managed Project (Global) at the Bosch Global Project Management Awards.
platform with minimal user intervention. It significantly saved time and
cost. To ensure the safety of the connected system, data security and
new encryption algorithms were implemented to prevent unauthorized
access to data.
Conducted open communication with all parties involved, which made it
possible to coordinate, manage deliveries and keep all the stakeholders informed about the project’s status and constraints.
Initiated contracts and service level agreements (SLAs) with suppliers at
the beginning of the project so they were aware of their responsibilities.
The approach enabled suppliers to deliver on time and within the
estimated cost. This saved money with minimal deviations from the
project time line.
Implemented a stakeholder identification matrix of direct and indirect
stakeholders and prioritized stakeholders based on their interest and
influence. Stakeholders across countries regularly discussed project updates,
and financial, technical and managerial implications to align with
the project goals.
Identified and trained the right talent during the planning phase, so they
were prepared on the project necessities in advance. This helped improve
their efficiency and the overall performance of the project.
"At Bosch, we believe that our products
are invented for life. We want our products
to spark enthusiasm, improve quality of
life and help conserve natural resources.
We always strive for excellence while
adapting to the changes and seizing
opportunities. The project team stayed
true to the Bosch values, while using
state-of-the-art technologies and not
deviating from project management
Mallikarjuna Rao M, Program Director