The project approach should become a key management tool

24 november 2017

"The final conference of the Project Olympus contest is held for the fourth time," said Head of the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Noskov, opening the plenary session. "During this time the competition has grown significantly – this year we have received more than 250 applications from 61 regions. The whole country is infected with the 'virus of the project management', which we have for a few years by now."

"The project approach should become a key management tool," said Andrey Slepnev, Deputy Head of the Executive of the Office Government of the Russian Federation, Director of the Project Activity Department. "The management system is a factor of the state's competitiveness. We have legalized the project management: we have created a regulatory environment, a monitoring and interagency cooperation system, and we should answer ourselves and the country's government whether we can declare our practices as a reliable tool that should be count on."

According to Andrey Slepnev, the true commitment of state top managers to the values of the project management, unfortunately, is still rare. We can explain the issue and should work on it - to promote and explain the project approach for to make it a widespread tool, as Andrey Slepnev says.

Erbol Umraliyev, Head of the Executive Office of the Prosecutor General's Office of Kazakhstan, delivered an interesting report. The unique practice of introduction of the project management to the law enforcement agencies allowed Kazakhstan to improve its position from the 3th to the 70th line in terms of the number of prisoners, to close 8 prison colonies, to halve the number of crime repetitions, to save USD 40 million of state funds. According to the speaker, serious work had to be done to change consciousness and, as a result, the very paradigm of the officers’ work, a unique electronic system for recognizing of erroneous sentences of ships also played an important role. "We managed to raise the protection of human rights to a new level," Erbol Umraliyev concluded.

The president of the Russian Project Management Association SOVNET Alexandre Tovb spoke about the 30th World IPMA Congress held in Astana in September, which demonstrated the high level of the project management implementation in the public sector of different countries. "Two teams from Russia – Sberbank PJSC and ASE RC – won prizes in different categories of the project management international competition, demonstrating a great achievement of our Russian professional community," Alexandre Tovb said.

"Our major priority is the fight against formalism and distortion," said Dmitry Yalov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Leningrad Region on Economics and Investment. "Attempts to "erode" the project management are still often encountered." According to him, a significant part of the success is due to the fact that they have recruited staff that already had experience in projects introduction on the principles of the project management. Dmitry Yalov's team successfully managed to 'conjoin' federal initiatives with regional management practices.

The Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Evgeni Chekin, spoke about the first steps of the region in the field of the project management. The project principles are being implemented here since 2016; for this purpose were selected the specialists trained in Moscow and managed to create a Competence Center, which is now 'an internal consultant'. Taking into account the peculiarities of the region, the formation of own cases of successes and failures, which is more productive to train in-house specialists on, is admitted by Evgeni Chekin to be an important focus area.

On the contrary, the Rosatom State Corporation boasts a great experience of the implemented project methods. The Head of the Investment Activity Department of the State Corporation Natalia Khlebnikova spoke about the State Corporation and how to look into the future. According to her, currently, Rosatom is training employees, but the training still regards today situation. But tomorrow is not far off, and the main trend here is universal digitalization, which will change a lot. Robots will replace people in process work, and knowledge of project principles will become not just a competitive advantage, but a necessary knowledge, since a rigid administrative arrangement is less effective. "The specialist of the future needs innovative, integration and communication skills, model building skills at the design stage of complex systems, and only by giving this knowledge, our training structures will meet the demands of tomorrow," the speaker believes.

In conclusion, Natalia Khlebnikova promised to provide Rosatom's findings in the project management for publication on the website of the Project Olympus contest.

The world-famous PEMANDU technology was shared with conference participants by one of its authors, Zekhan Teoh (Malaysia). According to Zekhan Teoh, first of all, the government of Malaysia stated the problems requiring solution, and this was the beginning of the transformation. "We were strongly hampered with officials thinking passivity, resistance to introduction of the project management, lack of information exchange between ministries and departments and feedback from the public. The government institutions did not trust each other, and the society completely distrusted the government," the speaker said. "We created a new ideology named Big Fast Results, which became the basis for transformation of the management system in Malaysia and turned it into a highly effective one." In conclusion, Teoh spoke about eight steps implemented during the transformation.