Project Management

Globalisation and the Effect on the PPPM Community

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The first day of the PMI Congress EMEA was dedicated to the new challenges posed by globalization and the impact on business.

In the opening session, Isabel Aguilera, considered by the media as one of the most influential international executives, made an inspiring presentation on the challenges faced by companies and their project managers. Technology and technical advances have changed the landscape and paradigms that governed till our days in companies on adapting to the market and competition.


Technological Challenges

Technology and the digital revolution produce continuous changes in the scenario in which we live and operate. And these changes occur so quickly that it seems that the "ground moved beneath our feet". In this scenario, project managers feel a bit like the white rabbit in "Wonderland", which did not stop running watch in hand: "I'm late, I'm late,..."

Forget that sentence taken out of context on adaptation and companies that survive. This is no longer useful, it is not enough to adapt, according to Aguilera. The transformation of business is not enough. Adapting to new needs posed by the market only assures you the second place in a race where only the first wins. To lead the market, we need a real change of paradigm that incorporates the benefits of technology and cooperation in a globalized world at the service of people, whether they are consumers or workers.

The first day of the PMI Congress EMEA was dedicated to the new challenges posed by globalization and the impact on business and the community of professionals dedicated to managing these disruptive change projects: technological challenges and problems of a globalized scenario.

First, companies face new technological challenges. In this sense, the sessions focused on presenting projects related to new sources of energy, sustainability and ecosystems.

I attended Javier Serrano’s presentation on the ITER project for the development of nuclear fusion energy, a project of international collaboration that would lead to an impact hard to value in terms of costs and benefits. How to assess a megaproject with more than 35 years ahead? What is the actual value for humanity resulting from its development?

As Michael Roberts reported: "President Reagan wanted this to happen because I saw the potential positive impact of American and Soviet engineers living and working together for some period of time." That is a good reminder that ITER — and many other similar megaprojects — is a dual experiment: it's not just science and physics, but also an experiment in international collaboration.

In addition to the technological challenge posed by developing a new source of energy, such projects have their own management challenges derived from the amount of involved Nations and thousands of workers in business partners located all over the world. The challenge posed to manage this type of project is given a few times each century, but will be a major occurrence in the decades to come, thanks to the technology feasibility for large-scale undertakings which have brought paradigm changes to vast social and scientific communities, and, in some cases, to the entire population of Earth.


Virtual Leadership 

Except for the previous project scale, companies around the world continuously confront similar challenges arising from the collaboration with distributed or virtual teams. A project professional of today lives in an increasingly virtual world, resulting in the need to lead virtual projects. The dynamics of a remote team require project managers to communicate with their teams differently.

The workshop I attended on Leading Virtual Teams, facilitated by Penny Pullman and Evi Prokopi began putting the problems we have to overcome to work with people located outside the work Center on the table: lack of commitment, poor communication, low motivation, cultural differences, language...

Technology enables us to bridge each of these differences, and the workshop was useful to present the experiences of many colleagues on how to work better with virtual teams. All this experience is collected in Penny Pullman’s book ‘Virtual Leadership, Practical Strategies for Getting the Best out of Virtual Work and Virtual Teams’.

The next day will aim at leveraging the power of sharing information between PPPM professionals across industry, function and geography.

We will be here to tell the tale.

Let's meet the team!

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Posted by Carlos Javier Pampliega García on: May 10, 2016 04:57 PM | Permalink

Comments (1)

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Thanks for this update Carlos. Great to get these insights hot off the press. Sounds like interesting sessions on Day 1. Enjoy the rest of the conference!

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