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.
"...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
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.