15 August 2020

Table of Contents for Project Management





Project Management

Unified Management a Necessity

 

Infrastructure sector in India is experiencing a major growth wave and it is imperative that the required improvements do not create hindrances in project progress. Managing complex projects has always been a challenge, especially since these projects are long-term, involve multiple stakeholders, bring-in new technologies, and constrained resources, writes ROHAN AMBIKE.

 

The Indian construction industry is known to be inefficient and highly resistant to change. Even with a changing market and increasing competition, there are no obvious signs of commensurate changes in methods and approach. Project management, on the other hand, seems to offer what is needed in terms of tools and techniques to raise industry standards. Little is known of the extent to which project management as a discipline exists in India. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to investigate the current level of application of project management and the obstacles that have prevented its introduction in the Indian construction industry.

 

The volume of construction output is predicted to grow by 85 per cent to $15.5 trillion globally by the end of this decade. India along with China and the US will drive the segment by accounting for 57 per cent of the overall growth, according to a PWC report.

 

Even as India is witnessing rapid urbanization, the construction space is now looking at cutting edge technology solutions such as robotics, cloud, and artificial intelligence among others. Already, a number of start-ups and legacy companies have entered the space to leverage the imminent growth.

The economic growth of any country is primarily dependent on the development of its infrastructure and India is no exception. Today, India has emerged amongst the fastest growing economies of the world and is poised to grow at 7.7 percent in 2020 as per International Monetary Fund (IMF). With investments envisaged amounting to INR 50 Lakh crore, there has been a considerable impetus to effectively deliver projects and programs in the country.

 

Although the construction industry has been slow to adopt technology into its day-to-day operations, many forward-thinking companies are more open to this change. Moreover, as work processes become digitized in the office and jobsite, project managers will experience the most drastic changes. “Project management is no longer boxed away in a corner of the room. It stands front and center and is being adopted by every area of smart organisations. These organisations understand its significance and are investing heavily to ensure that individuals, teams and departments have what it takes to deliver maximum impact,” highlighted Tim Wasserman, CLO, Twenty Eighty Strategy Execution and Program Director, Stanford Advanced Project Management Program.

 

Market Scenario

The business process management (BPM) market is estimated to grow from $429.1 million in 2016 to $1,298.0 million by 2021, at a high CAGR of 24.8 per cent during the forecast period. Growth of the business process management in real estate market can be attributed to the increasing adoption of BPM solutions by real estate companies. BPM solutions are implemented to automate business processes and enhance operational efficiency. Furthermore, over the past decade, the advent of new technologies has radically transformed the way organisations engage with customers. Real estate organisations are adopting business process management solutions to cater to the growing demand of customers for optimising business processes and enhancing their presence in the market.

 

According to Markets and Markets Research, based on component, the business process management is divided into solutions and services. The solutions segment is projected to lead the BPM in real estate market during the forecast period. Furthermore, there has been rapid adoption of monitoring and optimising solutions in the real estate sector. The monitoring and optimising solutions segment of the BPM in real estate market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The services segment is anticipated to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period. High growth rate of the services segment can be attributed to the wide use of services by various enterprises to maximise efficiency of their infrastructure.

 

Growth of the business process management in real estate market can be attributed to the increasing adoption of BPM solutions by real estate companies. BPM solutions are implemented to automate business processes and enhance operational efficiency. Furthermore, over the past decade, the advent of new technologies has radically transformed the way organizations engage with customers. Real estate organizations are adopting business process management solutions to cater to the growing demand of customers for optimizing business processes and enhancing their presence in the market.

Based on component, the business process management in real estate market is divided into solutions and services. The solutions segment is projected to lead the BPM in real estate market during the forecast period. Furthermore, there has been rapid adoption of monitoring & optimizing solutions in the real estate sector. The monitoring & optimizing solutions segment of the BPM in real estate market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The services segment is anticipated to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period. High growth rate of the services segment can be attributed to the wide use of services by various enterprises to maximize efficiency of their infrastructure.

 

Based on deployment type, the on-premises segment is projected to lead the global BPM in real estate market during the forecast period. However, the cloud segment offers higher flexibility in deployment of BPM software as compared to on-premises. At present, North America holds the largest share of the global business process management in real estate market. The BPM in real estate market in Asia-Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is a key market for real estate developers. The growth of the BPM in real estate market in the Asia-Pacific region can be attributed to the increasing deployment of BPM solutions by real estate enterprises to enhance efficiency and streamline their business operations.

 

Vendors also face challenges with respect to understanding end user requirements. Managing cultural change in organizations acts a challenge for the growth of the BPM in the real estate market. Most vendors have adopted agreements, collaborations, and partnerships as key strategies to enhance their client base and customer experience. Existing players in this market are constantly innovating and upgrading their products to enhance their market share. Furthermore, owing to technological advancements in BPM, key vendors are focusing on launching next generation solutions and services aimed at enhancing and automating business workflow, such as managing contracts and leasing offers, automating proposals, and addressing customer queries, among others.

 

 

Drivers

Increasing complexities in projects, growing cloud solution popularity, and increasing BYOD trend at work are the major drivers leading to the widespread adoption of PPM solutions in the market. The Project Portfolio Management Software Market is primarily driven by demand induced by project managers; it mitigates the risk of wrong decision-making at various stages thereby resulting in business optimisation. Thanks to the multiple functionalities and benefits, its adoption rate is high and quite promising across all industry verticals.

 

Project Portfolio Management Software tools are specifically built for various business processes such as IT, New Product Development (NPD), professional services, and engineering and construction projects. This capability of providing customised solutions necessitates its adoption in business-specific projects. In addition to that, vendors in the PPM market space are also coming up with various integration connectors to integrate PPM tools with essential enterprise software and business applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The major vendors in the PPM software market AtTask, CA Technologies, Changepoint, HP, Innotas, Oracle, Microsoft, Planisware, Planview, and SAP.

 

Successful Practices

The use of technologies such as web camera, mobile applications, drones, PMIS etc. helped the interview respondents in Roads and Power sector for real-time monitoring and control of infrastructure projects, throughout the project lifecycle. While many respondents stated that they have already started on the digital journey of construction, they still believe that the use and impact of technology are yet to be completely explored in the Indian infrastructure sector.

Vendor Scorecard

Vendor scorecard assists in measuring vendor performance in different areas such as delivery, quality, service and cost. An Implementation Agency in the oil and gas sector stated that vendorscorecards helped them in providing regular feedbacks to vendors, thus ensuring continuous performance improvement. It also led to better communication with vendors and promoted a performance based culture.

 

Structured Vendor Meetings

It is critical to ensure that vendors meet contract requirements and client expectations. One of the implementing agencies in oil and gas sector had implemented a practice of periodic vendor meetings to improve vendor performance by regularly collecting feedback for addressing vendor concerns regarding evaluation criteria, contract terms, payments etc.

 

Challenges

In spite of construction projects increasing significantly both in size and volume in last few years in India, the work is still highly labour intensive with low level of training to workers, poor labour welfare programs and facilities, lack of proper environment health & safety regulations resulting in many accidents and injuries to workers during development. Project management on the other hand also helps in this case by bringing professional expertise through pre-qualification of contractors, ensuring adequate balance between men & machinery, proper induction and training of workers and safe work practices through work method statements ensuring safe working environment on projects.

Another challenge being faced by the industry is cost management which is at the core of Project management. Cost is one of the key performance indicators for projects and involved in controlling costs are processes centered around planning, estimating, budgeting, financing, funding and managing costs so that the project can be completed within the approved budget. Project Managers often spend a lot of time in benchmarking costs using data from other similar projects executed in past as a back up to their estimates drawn using rate analysis of items. This part of project management is also called quantity surveying and has branched out as a special service offering in big projects.

 

Time is finite and the essence of most projects. Control of time is a competitive advantage. There are many tools and techniques available to manage schedules, much of it connected to overall project planning and sequencing of activities. Project Managers emphasize on resource based scheduling to enable planning of realistic timelines to projects making it easier to also understand the factors driving success of deadlines.

 

In Indian construction sector, awareness and use of project management is fast increasing in private sector, but the public sector is still far from reaping its benefits due to various hurdles like government policies causing excessive bureaucracy, delayed approvals, lack of emphasis on quality & safety, personal interests, low transparency, and corruption. This has been evident through regularly delayed projects sometimes with big cost over runs, unsafe working conditions and poor quality management across the country, undertaken by public sector companies.

 

The difference in Public and Private sector approach is in terms of funds, infrastructure, requirements, implementation and scope of work. The public sector still follows the conventional type of project execution and a lot of the decisions and data required for sound project management system never reach the management team on time due to bureaucratic delays. In the public sector, there are differences in work methodology and organization structure, slow decision making, poor stakeholder management and hence the work atmosphere is not good. Negligence on all parts, including cost & time factors, is so high that it makes practical application of project management difficult to these projects.

In a rapidly developing country like ours, with its massive population and the ever increasing need for Infrastructure to support the ambitious development program of the government, it is high time that efforts are made to manage projects professionally through the science of Project management which will surely help seal the outcome to success. Project Management can provide the much wanted structure to the construction sector and with the help of this structure, the industry should be able to overcome the associated problems on scope, time, budget, stakeholders, teams, communications, and risk and be better prepared for future challenges.

 

Fast Facts

  • The volume of construction output is predicted to grow by 85 per cent to $15.5 trillion globally by the end of this decade.
  • The business process management (BPM) is estimated to grow from $429.1 million in 2016 to $1,298.0 million by 2021, at a high CAGR of 24.8 per cent.
  • India will require 70 lakh new project managers in next 10 years.



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