A Presentation to the Construction Industry in the cities of Bangalore, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and New Delhi on behalf of the Consultancy Development Centre, New Delhi, India - January 1990

Table of Contents | Introduction | Understanding | Environment
Education | Summary | Appendix A | Appendix  B | Appendix C


While I was in India last time three years ago, India's Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, made a most interesting statement. He was addressing the Consultative Committee of Scientific Departments for monitoring progress on four technological missions: Drinking Water; Communications; Edible Oils; and Vaccination and Immunization. He said:

"...strategies must be evolved to achieve results within a pre-decided time-frame, resources should be identified and management methods so adopted that red tapism did not block progress."

He went on to say:

"... For achieving the mission's objectives, it is imperative that specific time bound tasks are spelled out clearly and allotted to specific institutions for implementing them within that time frame."

Not only was he clearly speaking of Project Management, but I understand that Mr. Gandhi is firmly committed to Project Management.

In 1989, the Ministry of Programme Implementation issued a Manual on Project Implementation. In his foreword to this manual, Dr. P. K. Basu, Secretary to the Ministry, observed that "...most of the projects suffer from inadequacies in project implementation, resulting in huge time and cost overruns, affecting their viability, and thus acting as a drag on the economy. The main reason attributable is the inability to make use of the right management technique or failure to apply the same..."

Therefore, it is very encouraging for me to learn that it is now proposed to set up an Indian Institute of Project Management (IIPM) which will be a non-profit institute of higher learning dedicated to the state-of-the-art in project management through education, training, research and related consultancy.

But I have to alert you to the truth that the problems noted above have their origin much earlier than the implementation phase of a project. Therefore, I suggest that the goal of IIPM might be:

"To be able to identify and develop financially or economically sound projects while conserving human and material resources and protecting the physical environment."

and the objectives of the Institute's graduates might be:

"To establish a solid record of (such) projects by managing them successfully from concept-to-operation, through a network of trained, creative and experienced project management professionals."

Today, I should like to discuss project management, what it is and why it is so important to have a sound understanding of this emerging professional discipline. Therefore, I propose to deal with three general areas of project management, although time will permit me only to cover each in very simplistic terms.

These three areas are:

  • Understanding and running a successful project
  • The environment external to the project
  • Project management education and professionalism.
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