BrandArena: COVID 19: Driving Organizational Success Through Project Management

Thursday 1 April 2021

COVID 19: Driving Organizational Success Through Project Management

A recent report published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) from its 2020 Pulse of the Profession data, shows that on average, about 11.4% of investment is wasted as a result of poor project performance. According to the research, many companies lack mature project management as a strategic competency for driving change, exposing them to failure two times more than the companies that are efficiently managing their projects.

COVID-19 has ushered in a new reality that we face; lockdowns, economic loss, businesses working remotely and the uncertainty of when the global pandemic will be over. Even before COVID-19, the workplace was already undergoing rapid, disruptive change; now organizations need to adapt to entirely new ways of working in order to succeed in a post-pandemic world.

Amidst this environment of uncertainty and ambiguity, organizations without a project management structure in place are likely to lose more investments than ever before.  The Pulse of the Profession analysis highlights that organizations that underestimate project management as a strategic competence to implement change report an average of 67% more of their projects failing. 

In light of the challenges posed by the pandemic, it has become more crucial than ever for organizations to develop a contingency plan that will ensure ongoing success. It is essential to be aware of risks while addressing temporary threats. It pays to understand information technology and use mature project management practices to ensure proper change implementation without exposing the business to avoidable risks.

Project professionals play a crucial role in ensuring that analysis is organized and risks prioritized. Findings from these analysis will reveal all areas that need improvement and allow business leaders to make decisions on how to mitigate threats. Project managers must cultivate the right blend of practical knowledge, people-centered “power skills”, and experience to ensure the proper coordination and efficiency of teams and projects during this time that remote working is the order of the day.

Speaking on the new work ecosystem that has emerged, George Asamani; business development lead, Africa at the Project Management Institute (PMI) said, ‘‘The pandemic has transformed our lives, reshaping industries and revealed threats that none of us would have thought possible a year ago. Individuals and enterprises alike will need to adapt to a new work ecosystem in order to succeed in a post-pandemic world. They must become “gymnastic” and adopt an agile mindset, proactively shape the future rather than wait for change and refresh skillsets or require new ones in order to complete projects successfully”. 

“PMI is helping both enterprises and individuals master the skills and capabilities necessary to operate in this new work ecosystem - and ensure outcomes are achieved, even in the face of daunting challenges” he added.

No doubt, the ongoing global pandemic somewhat offers an opportunity for extraordinary change and disruption that is driven by technology. There is so much talk  about the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Without the right skills in place, organizations will be left behind. Future-fit organizations are not only willing to reimagine their vision and purpose, but also eager to adopt new ways of thinking that will allow them to thrive in The Project Economy, the emerging paradigm in which work is increasingly oriented around projects and project-based work.

Organizations with the knowledge that project management is key to their business have benefited from keeping up with the evolving demands in the marketplace, they have been able to maintain pace with technology in a world where digital transformation is impacting all aspects of work. These organisations are also readily prepared for future shocks to the system – such as the next COVID-like global crisis - that are yet to be predicted.

Instead of looking to the past, it is critical that organizations increasingly shape their own future and embrace change, rather than trying to avoid it.  In the post-COVID era, business will never go back as usual. A lot of organizations have come to adopt the idea of working remotely or incorporate a hybrid solution. This will necessitate the need for up-skilling talents to ensure they are capable of delivering on projects end to end because projects are embedded in our daily life. 

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