The next big thing
New ventures, new challenges and even new ways of thinking are forging project hot spots around the world. We asked practitioners:
My money is on Ghana. Its oil reserves are attracting a lot of new foreign investments, and the country is now in a position to invest heavily in improving infrastructure, which has the potential for a boom in construction.
To succeed in this market, very strong communications skills will be required. Even though Ghana's primary language is English, communication can be difficult due to cultural differences. Project managers with experience in multinational organizations or teams will understand the need for cultural sensitivity and will communicate effectively across these barriers.”
—Avery Bourgeois, PMP, decision support specialist, Ministry of Public Administration, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Offshore, On Trend
India. With the increase in offshoring from the United States to the country and global outsourcing as a whole, firms in India need strong project management services and skills to ensure good communication with client organizations.”
—Katrina Ruth, PMP, senior program manager, medical technology company Medtronic Spine & Biologics, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, via the PMI Project, Program and Portfolio Management LinkedIn Group
Brazil is a serious candidate, thanks to the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. These two megaprojects require building up infrastructure, technology and security. Beyond these upcoming events, the sectors of infrastructure and energy are fueling economic growth.
Cultural and language barriers are the main challenges for project managers looking to work in the country.
Project managers need to overcome these to win acceptance by local team members and stakeholders.”
—Rodolfo Wenceslau Rodrigues Mota, CAPM, PMP, information technology and communication analyst, Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas, a not-for-profit organization supporting small businesses, Goiânia, Brazil
Any country coming out of war or disaster. After the crisis is over, reconstruction proposals arise with the tremendous need for housing and other infrastructure. It's a big challenge since financial resources are scarce: You have to maintain good quality, but at a reasonable cost and in a timely fashion.
Some Things Never Change
No matter where the next project hot spot is, project managers wouLd be wise to not Leave home without their methodoLogies.
Organizations from 38 countries and 34 industries said the use of established project management practices Led to a
5 to 9 percent
improvement in performance in budget, schedule, scope, quality and business benefits as compared to those that didn't employ those practices.
Source: Insights and Trends: Current Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Practices, PwC, 2012
For these stricken areas, large project management offices are crucial for providing management services at different levels. And project managers need strong communications skills to succeed on these long-run, large-scale projects.”
—Mohamad Hachoui, PMP, senior architect, construction conglomerate Saudi Binladin Group, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Not Where, But What
The next hot spot is not so much geographical as it is an area of focus: sustainability. Organizations are concerned about sustaining the environment, their business, and their product and its relevance in the marketplace.
Given that it's not a specific market or sector, the biggest challenge for project managers will be learning why sustainability is important to different organizations. While there is almost always a component of profitability, there are organizations doing things simply to make the world a better place. Project managers will need to know what drives organizations to not only make a profit, but to also use that profit to support other areas. This allows them to understand where sustainability projects lie in the corporate hierarchy.”
—Linda Vella, PMP, chair, 2007 PMI Board of Directors, and vice president, enterprise project management office, insurance management company Northbridge Financial Corp., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PM NETWORK NOVEMBER 2013 WWW.PMI.ORG