GHD outlines the future of project management

Share on:

31 October 2017

How is project management changing in response to digital technologies?

With the theme of ‘Innovate, influence and implement,’ delegates at the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) National Conference in Melbourne discussed how digital disruption is impacting their roles.

As a keynote speaker, Kumar Parakala, GHD’s Global Digital Leader, outlined the biggest changes project managers need to embrace.

“Project managers are increasingly expected to deliver value and challenge the status quo, in contrast with older paradigms where their role was confined to scheduling activities,” Kumar said.

“The organisational perspective of project management needs to change from managing risks to managing outcomes.

“The ability to change and cultivate the flexibility to put forward novel concepts is becoming a fundamental prerequisite for the project manager.”

The project management profession is also increasingly diverse, attracting people from a broader range of backgrounds.

Richard Fechner, GHD Advisory Executive Manager, Infrastructure Investment and Economics, and AIPM Fellow, highlighted the link between diversity and project success. As a panellist, Richard discussed GHD’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, including initiatives to attract, develop and retain women, LGBTI and Indigenous professionals.

“We have worked hard to make flexibility the norm for both men and women, and are experiencing a notable shift in the number of people working flexibly. We also focus on providing opportunities for women to get critical experiences across all stages of a project. This is often crucial for progressing to senior leadership roles,” Richard said.

Other trends Kumar discussed were:

•        Lean, agile and adaptable – the rate of change is such that the moment project management methodologies are committed to standards and textbooks they are outdated. Success is the ability of project managers to rapidly adapt within projects and organisations.

•        Digital leadership – The market is seeking those who are at the forefront applying digital technologies to projects. This requires a mindset that is open to experimentation and learning from failure.

•        New business models are emerging in response to new risks and opportunities. The shift from lump sum to ‘as a service’ based contracts is a good example of the change in the nature of value being provided.

•        Single organisations working in isolation are increasingly struggling to deliver on the promises of digitisation to their clients. The need to consolidate capabilities and seek partnerships is becoming critical for delivering ‘end to end’ outcomes.

Kumar Parakala

GHD Library

The GHD library is a collection of relevant resources.