Report Unveiled at National Meet on Project Management organized by Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation (MoSPI


Report Unveiled at National Meet on Project Management organized by Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation (MoSPI)

24rd June, 2010, Pine: Aimed at redefining Indian project benchmarking and execution standards and thereby putting India on the road to target a double digit growth rate, the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India’s public project monitoring watchdog, organized a first of its kind One-day National Consultative Meet on Project Management today, 23rd June, 2010 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

The conference was inaugurated by Hon. Minister of State for Coal & MoSPI, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal with Dr. A.S. Pillai, MD & CEO of Brahmos Aerospace, delivering the keynote address. This was followed by a Panel Discussion involving various ministries and PSUs, PMI, PMA, CII, FICCI, S.P. Jain Centre of Management, (Mumbai), and IIT Kharagpur.

The highlight of the conference was the release of a report titled, “Project Management Practices in India,” by Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal. In the past Project Management was traditionally taken as an intuitive and internal process, where some form of project management was practiced in a large number of organizations, both in private and public sectors without any training. Project management, however, needs to be looked as a specialized discipline, and establishing benefits of adopting project management. This will imply putting in place institutional arrangements and policy support from the government. This study has provided inputs to develop a policy framework to enhance project management in India.

The study was executed by the USA headquartered Project Management Institute, a premier global organization spearheading professional project management in the public and private sectors. A diverse spectrum encompassing over 15 sectors including Auto, Power, IT, Retail, Banking, and Hospitality amongst others have been covered. Adding his views, PMI (India) MD, Mr. Raj Kalady said, “The study aims to direct focus on the application of proper professional management, in accordance with established international models and guiding principles, thereby reducing time and cost overruns that have been the hallmark of Indian projects.”

According to the study, project management practices in India differed not only on the basis of size and complexity of the project involved, but also across sectors as well as forms of ownership (Public or Private). A higher level of maturity of project management practices was found in the capital intensive sectors (e.g. Power, Steel, and EP&C) or sectors like IT, which involve multidimensional or complex projects. The private sector reports a higher level of induction of project management than the public sector. However, increasingly, even public sector companies have started laying emphasis on training programs and strengthening their existing project management units and professionals.

Despite sufficient awareness of the benefits of project management, ‘lack of client led demand in India’ and ‘lack of clarity of benefits’ stand out as the major factors influencing adoption of project management practices, even in the private sector, the study points out. Some of the major challenges in adopting project management practices identified in the study were a low level of understanding of the scope of the term Project Management, which tends to generate a rather myopic view of what it entails, and inadequacy of skilled and semi skilled manpower often limit the productivity and cause a huge divergence in terms of the results expected and what is actually delivered at the end.

Resistance toward Project Management is caused by a number of factors, the study said, such as quantification of benefits through Project management at most organizational levels was only in terms of time & cost with qualitative improvement hardly conceived as a benefit.

However, the major benefits achieved through Project management practices include timely completion of projects within the original budget and business impacts, indicated by revenue growth following the successful implementation of projects. Growth drivers for the need for project management professionals identified Infrastructure boom, client led demand in the IT Sector, Procurement Practices and guidelines, increased trend of large infrastructure projects being funded by donor agencies, Projects implemented under PPP mode.

A number of interesting statistics were thrown up by the study. Among other findings, the report states that the IT sector will be one of the largest recruiters of project management professionals (PMPs) in the coming years. India’s certification intensity of 16.41% is higher than the global penetration rate of 2% mainly due to higher orientation of certified professionals towards IT sector. Annually around 37,500-38,000 people undergo some form of training and courseware relating to project management with PMI enjoying a dominant share. A 25% increase in the demand for PMPs is expected in the Infra sector by 2011-12 while PMPs in the IT sector are set to double from their 2008 figures of 98,573 to 184,402 by 2012. Infrastructure investment has been singled out as the most important element in bringing the country back to the 8-9% growth trajectory. Therefore, India’s growth story over the next five years leans heavily on the effective management of its big spend infrastructure agenda, particularly the successful and timely completion of all major projects.
The study also identifies a number of action areas to be addressed by various stakeholders, which included the government, industry bodies and academic institutions to promote the concept of project management. Some of the key action areas are: raising the profile of project management institutions, developing and delivering appropriate courseware targeting government agencies, promoting project management certification down the supply chain beginning with EPC contracts and developing project management courseware - general as well as sector-specific, matching international standards.

The conference and the release of the study come at a crucial time for the Indian economy, just as it aims for a higher growth trajectory after a slowdown. The conference aimed to answer questions regarding the competency of professionals heading projects. Its focus was on three primary areas of concern: Potential demand for certified project managers across sectors in the next few years; Need for benchmarking project management to improve transparency and improve accountability and; Competency of academic institutes to give the required certification.
Other issues the conference tackled included identifying high focus areas needing project management, volume of demand for certified project managers in the key sectors and, capital investment required with the returns expected to create the needed resources. Competency of training institutions and potential partnerships with global organizations like PMI to get the necessary expertise to impart certification training were explored.

The conference assumes all the more significant given the Government’s emphasis on Infrastructure development in its Eleventh 5 Year Plan with the Prime Minister, Shiri. Manmohan Singh himself having acknowledged that the one thing that stood between India and an economic superpower status was its poor and inadequate infrastructure. Presently, India does not have a comprehensive policy or directive on project management standards and the conference presents a platform for the corporate world to put across its views. This is bound to help Corporate India and the government sector to redefine a paradigm where experience and designation are widely regarded as indicators of a person’s competency. A government intervention will also strengthen the growing trend among corporations which, following global norms, have begun insisting on professional competence along with experience.

As the Indian economy expands global companies will become an integral part of the nation’s development. Thus, formulating a policy to guide the planning, execution, and accountability of projects becomes desirable. The conference thus seems to be an indicator of the path India Inc. wishes to chart.

About PMI:
The world’s leading professional membership organization for project managers, PMI shares knowledge with more than 500,000 members and credential holders in over 185 countries. Since 1969, PMI has impacted more than one million practitioners, businesses, governments, students and training organizations. Today, PMI’s products and services range from world-class standards for project, program and portfolio management to five professional credentials, including the gold standard Project Management Professional (PMP)®. PMI’s exclusive Global Corporate Council and European Corporate Networking Group engage large multinationals and government organizations in endorsing the value of project management. The only project management association with an established academic research program, PMI has invested more than US$14 million in support of dozens of research projects since 1997. Learn more at

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