PMI South Asia

PMI Pulse of the Profession® 2023: Embrace Power Skills for Project Success

Project Management Institute (PMI) published the 14th edition of its “Pulse of the Profession® 2023” report. The Annual PMI Global Survey on Project Management examines how putting a priority on power skills helps project professionals and organizations redefine project success in our fast-pivoting world.

PMI defines power skills as abilities and behaviors that facilitate working with others and help project professionals to succeed in the workplace. Some individuals and other organizations also refer to them as “soft skills” or “interpersonal skills.”

Project professionals rated communication, problem-solving, collaborative leadership and strategic thinking as the most critical power skills that help them fulfill organizational objectives. In the South Asia region, 74% respondents place importance on communication, 76% on problem-solving, 71% on collaborative leadership and 70% on strategic thinking.

The research studied the relationship between power skills and project success. Benefits realization management (BRM) maturity organizational agility, and project management maturity emerged as top factors of project success. It stressed that these factors are significantly more prevalent in organizations that prioritize power skills.

Organizations fostering power skills are likely to achieve 57% BRM maturity, 64% project management maturity, and 51% organizational agility. On the other hand, organizations that fail to focus on power skills are likely to witness 18% BRM maturity, 11% project management maturity, and 19% organizational agility.

Also, organizations that place high priority on power skills tend to perform better and meet business goals. While 72% of their projects successfully met business goals, only 28% of their projects experienced scope creep, and 17% experienced budget loss to project failure.

However, in spite of growing recognition of the need for these skills for success, organizations struggle to nurture them in their employees. According to talent decisionmakers, the main barriers to prioritizing power skills training and development are the cost issue and a lack of perceived value. The lack of perceived value is highest in industries like energy (58%) and manufacturing (57%) and lowest in construction (34%) and financial services (45%).

The report revealed several approaches that organizations can adopt to prioritize power skills:

Step outside the iron triangle of scope, cost and time, and reinforce power skills that contribute to the everyday dynamics of project management.

Focus on the power skills most tied to fulfilling organizational objectives.

Build power skills in individual career development plans, and track their mastery during performance evaluations.

Evaluate professional development and training programming to ensure it reflects the organization’s commitment to building power skills in employees.

Allocate the right funding to power skills offerings.

Introduce team-based assessments of power skills and strengthen their importance in the organization.

A total of 3,492 project professionals representing a range of industries and regions, including North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, China, Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa were surveyed for the report.

Read the full report for more details.

Breakthrough Innovations: Creating the Opportunities of Tomorrow

PMI honored the 50 most influential projects as well as the 10 best projects across regions and industries. Manage South Asia features 10 innovative projects from the South Asia region that speak volumes of their creative approaches toward solving a new wave of global challenges.

Blurring the Lines Between Real and Virtual

Project name: Metaverse Studio, India

Noor Architects Consultants

Noor Architects Consultants applied its real-world creative process to the metaverse, creating a digital extension of its Chandigarh-based studio. Team members and clients can experiment with emerging technologies and create designs that might someday become a reality.

What started as a creative whim is quickly having a tangible impact—showing the power of the metaverse to change architecture. It gives greater flexibility and endless opportunities to design and imagine in this futuristic space.

“The metaverse sets a tone for boundless possibilities,” says Noor Dasmesh Singh, founder of Noor Architects Consultants. “It is a realm for the creative amalgamation of the real, unreal, surreal and the mirror reflections of the real.”

Check out Metaverse Studio.

Breaking the Barriers

Project name: Koo Multi Language Tool, India

Bombinate Technologies

Social media was created for nurturing connections in the digital space, but language barriers can limit how far a connection stretches. The Indian microblogging app, Koo, helps bust those barriers with a feature that makes translations automatic, seamless and easy. In India, which recognizes 22 languages in the Constitution, the social media platform is earning raves for its ability to retain the writer’s intended meaning and tone. With a robust slate of new features being planned, Koo aims to become the premier microblogging platform of India and beyond.

Visit Koo Multi Language Tool for more details.

Embracing an Inclusive Approach

Project name: Open-for-All Digital Ecosystem, India


Looking to make financial services more inclusive, India’s ICICI Bank created a digital ecosystem specifically for owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Launched in April 2022, it aims to make business banking more accessible by allowing users to open accounts digitally and access financial services on one streamlined platform. It does not limit the new offering to its own clients, ICICI Bank welcomes guest accounts too—leveling the playing field for small businesses across India.

“The MSME segment forms the backbone of the Indian economy,” says Anup Bagchi, executive director, ICICI Bank. “They are keen to adopt digital solutions to simplify their way of doing business so that they can focus more on growth.”

Read more about Open-for-All Digital Ecosystem.

Reinforcing Conservation Practices to Save the Environment and Wildlife

Project name: Project Cheetah, India

The Government of India

Seven decades after the world’s fastest land animal was declared extinct in India, the cheetah is making a comeback in the country. Project Cheetah, which is the world's first intercontinental, large wild carnivore translocation project, aims to revitalize and diversify India’s wildlife and its habitat.

Under the project, three dozen African cheetahs will be relocated to various national parks in India over five years. The US$28 million project is led by an expansive team, including the Wildlife Institute of India, the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The team chose Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh and released eight African cheetahs brought from Namibia in September 2022.

“We have abated all of the cheetah’s threats and we now have well-protected areas to help restore our lost heritage,” says Yadvendradev Jhala, the project leader and dean of the Wildlife Institute of India.

Read more about Project Cheetah

A Purpose-Driven Design

Project name: Secure Sanand, India

Studio Saar

When designing a new factory for Indian electronics manufacturer Secure Meter, Studio Saar was given a simple challenge: “Create an environment to make complex, cutting-edge technologies, and uplift the spirits of those in the workplace.” The key is to strike a balance between manufacturing’s emphasis on efficiency and security, and an uplifting work environment that promotes staff well-being.

The project requires segregating one large factory into four purpose-driven buildings—a manufacturing facility, reception building, utility bay and a canteen and recreation center.

During the pandemic, project leaders realized the benefits of the design’s separate structures, enabling the canteen to be converted into temporary accommodations for workers.

Building a Stronger Bond

Project name: Greater Male Connectivity Project, Maldives

Afcons, India

The project is billed as the largest infrastructure initiative in the Maldives. Funded by a US$100 million grant and US$400 million line of credit by the Indian government, the project involves construction of a 6.74-kilometer (4.2-mile) bridge and causeway link connecting the capital city Male with three adjoining islands.

The project is expected to significantly benefit the country’s economy and act as a lasting symbol of the friendship between the neighboring countries.

On a Mission to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Project name: Battery-Sharing Service, India

Honda Motor

India has more than 8 million rickshaws (tuk-tuks) on its streets, which means shifting even a small portion of those lightweight three-wheelers to electric power would bring significant savings in carbon emissions. But the electric battery’s relatively short range and long charging time have made it a tough sell to rickshaw drivers.

In October 2021, Honda unveiled a novel solution—a battery-sharing service in India. It will allow drivers to avail of services from the nearest battery-swapping station to exchange discharged batteries for the fully charged ones.

A pilot of the service in early 2021 saw 30 rickshaw drivers cover more than 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles)—verifying the project’s business viability. Honda isn’t alone in the race to power India’s EV transition, but its focus on the underlying infrastructure could dramatically speed up the adoption.

Smart Glass: Redefining Work Culture

Project name: Nimo Beta, India

Nimo Planet

Ever since Google Glass was rolled out nine years ago, tech innovators have tried, and often failed, to develop eyewear that could function as a computer. But Indian startup Nimo Planet saw the pandemic-driven changes in how people work and set its sight on a new user base—people looking to work at home, in coffee shops or even outside without a laptop or even a smartphone.

Rolling out its beta version earlier this year, the company says the Wi-Fi-enabled smart glasses are capable of displaying up to six virtual screens at once—like a moving computer array only the user can see. Designed to handle average workday tasks, the face-based computer is changing the way we work and enabling people to work from anywhere without compromising their productivity.

Firming up Connectivity Network

Project name: Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, Nepal

Nepal/China Government

During a landmark visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to Nepal in 2019, the two countries elevated their relationship to “strategic partner.” The two countries announced the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network—a series of infrastructure initiatives along the economic corridors that link Nepal to China.

Launched in August 2022, the project is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Highlights include a cross-border railway (creating another trade route for landlocked Nepal) and an upgrade to the Araniko Highway, which was closed following the 2015 Gorkha earthquake.

Empowering Women in STEM Careers

Project name: STEM for Girls, India


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for Girls was launched by IBM in 2019 to improve education and career pathways for girls in government schools. The company pledged to provide tech training to 30 million people by 2030, and kicked off a number of new partnerships and programs to strengthen the initiative.

In one of the standout initiatives, in May 2022 IBM forged a partnership with the Department of School Education in Arunachal Pradesh to introduce the IBM STEM for Girls program.

Under the initiative, more than 13,500 students in grades 8 to 10 will receive digital fluency training, coding skills and life and career skills. IBM and state leaders are creating a resource group to roll out the tech-forward model across 130 schools—setting off what could be a sea change in how the country’s young girls prepare for their future.