Project Management at the Government’s Service

3 november 2016

The first day of the conference titled “Practice in application of project management in the public sector” has come to an end. That Conference has served to summarize the results of the “Proyektniy Olimp” held by the Analytical Center. The day before was the awarding ceremony of the winners in the competition who received memorable gifts and certificates. Deputy Chairman of the panel of judges, First Deputy Head of the Executive Office of the Russian Government Maxim Akimov, who was handing out the awards, said: “I would like to thank the Analytical Center for all the efforts, energy and faith it has invested into project management, way before it came into mainstream, upholding the firm belief that the project-based approach will sooner or later find its way to success within the state governance system. I would also like to thank the assessors – the panel of judges, while not always seeing eye to eye with them; this was nevertheless a productive and engaging dialogue. However, my main gratitude goes to the participants – there are more and more of us and we are becoming a big international team.”

In his address opening the conference Deputy Head of the Executive Office of the Russian Government – Director of the Project Work Department of the Russian Government Andrey Slepnev - spoke about the federal authorities’ situation with project management. “2016 has shown a rapidly rising interest for project management, which is due to the current exigencies and the numerous challenges faced by our economy,” noted Mr. Slepnev.

He announced that the summer 2016 saw the establishment of the Project Work Department operating at the Executive Office of the Russian Government, the key tasks of the new agency including tying project management with strategic planning, building a history of success with 11 priority projects as well as project environment in the state authorities at different levels, and evoking initiative on the part of wider public masses, ensuring there is a stable inflow of grassroots offers for the projects. More tangible results of the projects are expected to be seen within 1-1.5 years, forecasts Andrey Slepnev.

Head of the Analytical Center Konstantin Noskov who acted as the moderator of the plenary session, announced the results of the interactive surveys held among the conference participants. For example, the key obstacles to project development named by the experts included the lack of skills and insufficient competence among civil servants, of understanding how project management works and binding to “assignment management.”

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vassily Osmakov declared that in the work of any public agency or authority procedure prevails, and weaving project management into its fabric is no easy task. He therefore voiced his hope that the federal project work office would lend its instruction and support as far as accomplishing this objective is concerned.

Autonomous Non-Profit Organization “Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects” CEO Andrey Nikitin stressed that when it comes to project management, formalism and bureaucracy are to be altogether avoided, while the director of the project office at Sberbank Public Company Alina Grossman believes that making project management more effective will require a fundamental change in thinking: “We must learn to no longer be afraid of becoming leaders, of being pro-active”. Chief Investment Officer at “Science and Innovation” JSC (part of the Rosatom) Andrey Kladkov is convinced that “key to success are the reserves available, motivating your team and your flexibility in decision-making.”

Russia’s regions are showing substantial interest and efforts as far as implementation of new management techniques goes, which is proved by the results of the “Proyektniy Olimp” competition. The spokesman for the regions at the conference was Deputy Chairman of the Government of Leningrad Oblast Dmitry Yalov and Director of the Project Management Department – Deputy Governor of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Yury Yuzhakov.

Dmitry Yalov highlighted the problems and obstacles he had encountered while implementing project management, some of which were: tying it in with the overall management system, the budget and more general problems of the civil service; this may include motivation and efficiency improvement systems. Yury Yurzhakov believes that project management is a tool “that needs to be mastered properly before it can demonstrate its full effectiveness”. He also pointed at the need to set up Certification Centers across Russia’s regions.

In 2016 the “Proyektniy Olimp” competition became international. One of the participants is the Kazakhstan Center of Public Private Partnership. Head of the Center’s Project Work Office Sapargali Sholtan shared her experience in project management.  

First Deputy Minister of Transport Yevgeny Ditrikh believes that an information system facilitating exchange of good practices in this field needs to be developed, and this is also on the Government’s agenda. This was announced by the Deputy Director of the Project Work Department of the Russian Government Andrey Badin, who spoke about preparing passports for the priority projects (this is expected to be accomplished by the end of the year), noting specifically that each of the project is supervised by one of the Deputy Prime Ministers, and about approving the first guidelines and regulations on project management.

Andrey Badin also touched upon the global governance trends. What is the government of the future going to be like? And what are the goals? The government needs to be flexible, operating with advanced technologies, ready to rid itself of redundant work and personnel, and to engage both members of the society and the business sector into the decision-making process.

Follow this link to listen to some of the reports.

The partners of the “Proyektniy Olimp” competition are Sberbank and Rosatom.