For navigating the winds of digital change
“Project management is an indispensable tool for digital transformation,” says Shangqin Yi. He speaks from experience: Yi helped one of the world’s largest turbine manufacturers, Goldwind, create an engineering construction management system to accelerate work on clean energy projects. The Deep platform enables project teams to automate certain tasks, measure performance, share documents, and surface and analyze insights. According to the company, the platform has already racked up an impressive list of benefits, including shorter construction times (by as much as 20%), greater collaborative efficiencies (by 50%) and better resource utilization (by as much as 80%).
Delivering such wins took deep engagement and alignment among a complex array of stakeholders, requiring Yi to build and manage a power/interest matrix that spanned multiple organizations. “It challenged me to understand and integrate the group’s business strategy with the digital strategy for overall planning,” he says.
Strategic communication also took center stage as a way for Yi to “keep pace with all parties, win the confidence of senior leaders and parties in the project, and provide relevant resources to ensure smooth progress.” And despite earning his stripes as a digital pioneer, Yi still values face-to-face conversations. During projects that involve on-site infrastructure installation, for example, he heads to the location each week to give in-person updates to customers.
Yi’s leadership has helped Goldwind deliver other innovations, too. He worked as a project engineer for a smart component production management system that uses digital technology to optimize the efficiency of tower production using 3D modeling and ROI estimation. This system helped increase production efficiency by 10%.
Such digital pivots are part of a larger career leap for Yi, a former engineer who became a project manager in 2015, in part so he could play a bigger role in helping Goldwind achieve its climate goals.
“Before I learned about project management, I didn’t know what I could do and what value I could bring to society,” Yi says. “I have found that I love this job.”