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Experts advocate synergy, inclusion for sustainable economic growth

By Helen Oji
15 September 2022   |   2:40 am
Experts have urged public and private sector players to adopt a more inclusive and collaborative approach with stakeholders in the process of legislation and decision-making on project execution.
ATM withdrawal

[FILES] A woman takes Nigerian Naira from a bank’s automated teller machine (ATM) REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye.<br />

Experts have urged public and private sector players to adopt a more inclusive and collaborative approach with stakeholders in the process of legislation and decision-making on project execution.

The experts, who spoke at the ongoing 2022 Project Management Institute (PMI) Africa Conference in Lagos, said active involvement of stakeholders in project execution, especially the community the project is domiciled with, contributes to project sustainability and economic growth.

According to them, stakeholder engagement is a critical process that identifies the procedures for the proponent to identify, communicate and engage with people affected by its project proposals.

The experts argued that if the government or private company is successful in its project, it will improve the country’s economy and promote healthy living in the community.

Specifically, the Managing Director of PMI, sub-Saharan Africa, George Asamani said countries, companies and communities that grow economically do so by applying the practice of project management.

He pointed out that in the new normal when the resources are stretched, project management becomes even more critical to maximise return on investment and deliver results.

Founder of SHEngineers, and senior civil engineer, Innocentia Mahlangu, emphasised the need for organisations to reform their workplace policies to reflect diversity and inclusivity.

In her address themed, ‘Boosting the role of women in Africa’s project economy, she said like many technical professions, project management still remains male-dominated.

Citing an article she co-authored in Financial Times, she said by 2030, there will be a global demand for about 25 million project professionals.

“Gender discrimination which is still prevalent, not only holds too many women back but also the world. Inclusion is not only a human resource or company policy issue. It is an opportunity for new ideas and leadership styles to emerge and solve our current challenges to make the world a better place.

“There are conscious biases and stereotypes which may hamper opportunities for women to take up careers in the project economy. Diverse teams and inclusive environments produce positive results. We must involve the people we deliver projects for,’’ she said.

While speaking on the theme ‘Achieving Organisational Strategic Objectives Through Project Portfolio Management (PPM),’CEO iCentra Taopheek Babayeju, identified bad execution as a leading cause of failure of many organisations and projects.

“At the project level, all you try to do is to do the work right. Ensure that timelines are followed, and the costs are controlled. At the portfolio level, what organisations do to succeed is to do the right work by selecting their priorities. This is where organisations fail. No organisation has infinite resources. You are always struggling with what is right; what is going to align with the strategic objectives of that organisation,’’ he observed.

President, PMI Nigeria Chapter and Business Director, Astridia Global, Paul Omugbe, pointed out that a project manager must deal with the changes both outside and within the project to be executed, adding that he must be able to adapt to change in the environment.