Panel Discussion
PMI South Asia

Project Management Challenges in an Emerging Economy – A Bangladesh Perspective

Every project has its own set of unique challenges. Overcoming these effectively is a critical facet of project management. With unprecedented disruptions around the world, these challenges take on a different dimension.

According to Ifaz, the three main challenges in any project are knowing which fires to fight, putting the right team together and understanding the situation to find the right solution. “Even if you are a great project manager, if you don’t have the right team, it becomes a huge challenge,” he said.

Rahman gave the audience a financial perspective, adding, “There are a lot of risks when it comes to project financing.” Projects get approved but can deviate from the plan in terms of timelines and budgets or they can even be affected by natural disasters. Each project must be carefully researched and assessed by experts in that particular industry.

“Everything you do in life is project management,” said Rashid, giving several examples from his own career. There are stakeholders to be managed, budgets to think of and challenges to deal with. Some projects have too long payback periods and low internal rates of return to be viable, while others have become successful despite many believing otherwise.

Mamoon asked the panelists to elaborate on how the changing macro environment is affecting project management and what their suggestions are to mitigate these effects.

Focusing on the startup sector, Ifaz said that for these companies the most significant challenge was fundraising. His advice to project managers and entrepreneurs: “Be adaptive and write your own playbook.

The rules are different in Bangladesh and we need to have a different model to run our projects.”

The marketplace today is an unpredictable one and projects must be carefully assessed. Syed said, “Being close to the customer and monitoring the disbursement of funds is critical.”

Technology and globalization are here to stay and we need to adapt these to our planning for successful project implementation. Elaborating on this, Rashid said, “Times are changing fast. It’s not just about technology but also about how fast we can respond to new developments such as deregulation.”

Be flexible to be able to deal with uncertainty.
Create an immune system for your project.
Delegate and empower teams to be adaptive.