Future 50
A New Generation of Leaders Has Arrived

For helping lead a digital transformation at a Chinese construction powerhouse

There’s no escaping digital transformation—even in construction. But Min Jiang is ready: "Project managers can make what seems impossible, possible."

Head of the project management office at China State Construction E-Commerce Co., she’s helping the company navigate its digitization journey. And it’s quite a push, one that includes building an online platform to support faster and more streamlined electronic bidding, procurement, supply chain financing and logistics integration, among other services.

To make sure all goes to plan, Jiang built her team from scratch, growing from lone project manager to a team of 100 in less than two years. Making the most of that new talent required both actively training new hires and ingraining project management into the company culture. She established a project selection framework closely tethered to the organizational strategy, created a collaborative workflow, and set up benchmarking tools and evaluation standards for completed projects to drive future efficiencies. She estimates the new processes have helped the enterprise increase efficiencies by as much as 30 percent overall.

With more than 700 projects underway each year, Jiang puts considerable emphasis on both project selection and close, with the goal of having every initiative inform future ones.

"We designed relevant performance indicators for the whole digital investment, planning in layers and stages to help us see the current situation and make decisions," she says.

That strategic mindset helped earn her a seat at the table during the company’s five-year strategic planning sessions. Even with all her wins, Jiang shows no signs of slowing down. Currently on her to-do list: writing a book on project management to distribute across the enterprise and leveling up the company’s remote work capabilities.

Q&A: Min Jiang on adaptive leadership, benefits realization and breaking with tradition

How has the pandemic changed the way you manage projects?
Adaptive leadership quickly became the new normal. We had to learn to respond quickly to shifting social relationships, new ways of working and technological innovations. 

What’s one way managing projects will change over the next decade?
We’ll see project management focus more on benefits realization and on organizational change management during and after the project. 

How are young people changing the world of projects now?
Young people are more willing to go out of their comfort zone, without being confined to traditional methods and thinking.