Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The art of Project Management ,Part 2.

Today(October9,2013;Wednesday),I had   one more opportunity to address the officers of Indian Forest Service ,  in Forest Training Institute , Kanpur,UP,India, on the subject of project management .I was told that about 10% of forest officers/officials out of about 13,000 get trained  on a variety of subjects  once in one year .This I thought, was inadequate .To my mind , every official has a right to be trained under a short duration training course, at least  once in a year .This requires up scaling of budget , infrastructure and faculty many fold .But it would be a worthwhile investment .One reason , why in India , government officials work much lower than their potential , is lack of training .Training inculcates the qualities of leadership and competencies.
                                             One very important concept to be understood is project life cycle.We must deliver on time .For this , we must start and finish on well defined times .The project has to be conceptualised/defined in a time frame , project planning must take place in a defined time period , execution must finish on time , and delivery of the deliverables must be made on time .In other words , the project life cycle must have a well thought and well defined time frame .
                                                While all stages of project life cycle are equally important , the project planning must need special attention .It has nine equally important aspects/parameters as follows:
1.Scope/Deliverables.
2.Schedule/Time management/Delivery target time.
3.Cost/resources.
4.Human resources/Staffing .
5.ICT.
6.Procurement/Contract.
7.Risk.
8.Quality.
9.Processes.

The tools available with a project team are many :
1.Checklists.
2.Documentation .
3.IT.
4.Knowledge management.
5.Reports/Presentations.
6.Investment in capacity building and training.
Monitoring , control and compliance can be done trough some of the following methods /tools:
1.Steering committee/Budget Approval committee.
2.Process audit/Process improvement .
3.Due process.
4.Performance review/Oversight.
5.Plugging the Leakages.
6Project Closure.
7.Performance audit/Performance improvement.
             I was told that in China , a very large number of universities have started giving degrees in Project Management .But in India, there is not even a single university awarding a degree in Project Management.
Most of the departmental Training Institutes in states do not have ant training programme of training government officials on project management .It is such a glaring gap in the governance system of India.
                        A good,robust project management training can go a long way in improving efficiency, delivery and cos-effectiveness of our public development , welfare programmes as well as our governance .
                         I was happy to see overwhelming support to the idea of project management in public sector and government, among the audience.