Project Management: A Critical Skill Set For The Post Covid 19 World

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Project Management: A Critical Skill Set For The Post Covid 19 World

Project Management: A Critical Skill Set For The Post Covid 19 World
  01 April, 2020   Dr. Preeti Adhav

It’s a Brave new world

Aldous Huxley created this epic work of art almost a 100 years ago, and painted a dystopian view of society in the future. Even 4 weeks back, such imagination was reserved for some hypothetical point of time far in the future. But how much has changed in these last few weeks ! Suddenly a dystopian society doesn’t seem like science fiction. We already have epic levels of unemployment, miles long of waiting lines for food handouts, supply chains so unpredictably disrupted that 2 hour grocery delivery from Amazon seems like some vague memory !  Its only a fool who can predict how the world will look in the next decade, 2 years or even a quarter from today. But at Monks, we are always optimistic and while we are no clairvoyants, we are pretty certain about ONE critical skill that is going to be a must have as the world picks itself up.

Project Management : A skill for the future

I like to define Project Management as the Science and Art of managing a set of highly complex, interconnected and interdependent activities together in a way that achieves a common goal.  A goal that seems virtually impossible at the beginning to almost everyone involved,  except perhaps to the lonely Project Manager.

What does COVID-19 have to do with Project Management?

In the past 4 weeks, the virus COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with the world. It has hit the Society right in the gut. The concept of Society involves a group of people coming together, and the virus has made just that aspect impossible!  Society is of-course resilient and I have no doubt that we will survive and soon even thrive. But I also have no doubt that we will need to evolve. Our organizations, the heart of human enterprise, will need to evolve. Work from home, severely restricted physical travel, doing things over video conference and telephones are just few examples of new ways which have to be adopted in previously unimaginable work scenarios. What this does, is bring in a lot of opportunities for miscommunication, lost-in-translation, mis coordination in our day to day work lives. Previously a team of workers, working on a task could easily get together for a short huddle at the work place  and solve a critical problem by pooling brains together. The same task has suddenly become a herculean task requiring e-meeting invites, acceptances, lost internet connections, dropped voices etc . In such a scenario only the organisations that effectively manage this new dimension of complexity and uncertainty in critical projects in a precise, scalable and repeatable manner are bound to emerge as winners and help the world heal. 

Principles of Project Management - ReEmphasized

This is where organisations are increasingly going to rely on an elite team of Project Managers who would become the magicians that keep the 10 balls in the air. Project Managers are going to be the glue that brings the Mechanical engineers together even when they are isolated in their homes and build that new hospital in record time. Project Managers will be the ones that ensure that the equipment required to run that hospital are ordered without ever meeting in person, tracked without getting into a room, delivered, installed, trained for with minimal interaction and finally deployed so that countless lives continue to be saved.  The core principles of Project Management which ensure careful planning, deliberate execution and precise tracking to ensure success, will get re-emphasised. This is a skill that organizations the world over are going to be demanding and not getting enough of. So if you are looking to ensure that you have a role to play in rebuilding this world, you can’t go wrong by adding this skill to your repository. You can quote me on that .