For delivering project management knowledge to a community in need
Taras Fedoruk was deep into an advanced economics degree in Ukraine when he was “ignited” by a project management course. Unlike his original focus—full of ongoing work that would stretch on and on and on—project management seemed all about delivering on ambitious ideas by a definitive end date.
The thrill of pursuing a mission under time and resource constraints hasn’t dimmed over the past decade as Fedoruk earned his chops managing projects at a string of Ukrainian tech companies. In 2019, he moved to WeAreReasonablePeople, a human-centered digital design agency, where he established the organization’s project management processes from scratch—and watched the new frameworks and systems drive project success across the portfolio to 96%. He draws on that varied experience in his current role, driving cloud adoption while managing complex programs at Booking.com.
Even when he’s not on the clock, he’s getting the word out about the wonders of project management. Along with training more than 1,000 people in project management and agile ways of working, he has become an über-active mentor for younger project professionals, as well as a volunteer in the PMI Ukraine Chapter. In 2020, he joined a translation team to take on the daunting task of making A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Seventh Edition available in Ukrainian.
“The team was really united by the idea that Ukraine deserves standards, and project management should be understood by all people, whether or not they know English,” he says. “We started with this enormous document, and we just ate the elephant, piece by piece.”
Weekly team meetings to share progress were like candy to sustain motivation, he says, but the real celebration came in late 2022.
“We released it, in the middle of the war here, and PMI allowed us to release it for free,” he says. The timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous, as the conflict has fueled a massive hunger for project management knowledge—from organizations doubling down on risk management to everyday volunteers seeking out guidance on how to manage local relief initiatives.
“For me, it can sometimes feel like the value of project management is a bit hidden because you’re not the one actually making the chair or building the building or whatever the project outcome is,” he says. “But then you step back and talk to people on the team and talk to people impacted by the project, and you can see that value so clearly.”
Q&A: Taras Fedoruk on meritocratic decision-making, his antidote for imposter syndrome and corporate anthropology
How are young people changing the world of projects now?
There’s a real demand from youth for organizations to demonstrate integrity and ethics, and for project outcomes to influence the world around us regarding sustainability and positive impact. And there’s pressure toward managers to demonstrate a meritocratic approach to decision-making.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Receiving an award as the best IT project manager in Ukraine, which involved delivering my cases and then surviving a panel interview before the best IT project professionals in the field. The award serves as an antidote to imposter syndrome. Whenever I think I cannot do something, I look at the award on my shelf and pick back up the fight.
Fast forward: What’s one way managing projects will have changed by the next decade?
AI-based solutions and digital platforms will power the rise of faster decision-making and transparent data-sharing for projects—and organizations will benefit from that more data-driven approach to controlling projects.
What book are you obsessed with recommending right now?
Ray Immelman’s Great Boss Dead Boss, which is a book about motivating organizations to embrace large-scale change. I’m a big admirer of corporate anthropology and finding ways to increase the chances of building a great team.