Public Sector Project Management – The Way to Excellence
One of the most visited events among Global Project Profession Forum (PPF), held in Sevilla, from 21-22nd September 2023, was a Panel Project management in Public sector.
This topic provoked a great interest of project, program and portfolio managers, decision makers, politicians, government, and companies since public projects are complex, including many stakeholders, enormous budget, and a significant impact on the society.
This Panel aimed to share to PPF audience the experience of public projects from Spain, South Africa, and Kazakhstan, and was facilitated by Prof. Dr Vladimir Obradović, IPMA Vice President Administration, Finance and Events.
Panelists Mr. Angel Pulido Hernandez, Mr. Barend Daniel Peters, and Mr. Margulan Zhumagali had a fruitful discussion – see the most insightful takeaways as follows.
Mr. Angel Pulido Hernandez has presented Port of Seville, a portfolio that includes Buildings, Dredging works, Quays Maritime Access – Lock, Road & Railways, Energy efficiency, and was delivered in one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Mr. Hernandez stated the importance of strategic planning and collaboration. The Port Authority, an independent public entity with its own budget and management autonomy, has its strategic plan and the agreement with the responsible ministry on the investment plan. For example, to create a new urban port district, urban planning has been shown to be a more critical factor than the budget. One of the strategic priorities was technology transformation and digitalization, and its implementation required master plan, and a long-term orientation. From his experience, the audience of the PPF had the chance to understand the complexity of this program and see how the positive impact of creating the cluster of companies involved in the process and establishing public-private partnership (PPP).
Mr. Barend Daniel Peters explained on the example of Unlocking Urban Excellence of the City of Cape Town, South Africa the importance of the alignment of portfolio, program management, projects, and contracts. From a government perspective, he emphasized procurements as a challenge that slows the process. The work was put on strategic planning, assessment of the projects, and creation of the portfolio.
Mr. Peters has demonstrated the alignment of IPMA Delta® Model with City Strategy presenting the results of organizational maturity, individual professional development, and project excellence, concluding that organizational maturity cannot be achieved without individual competences. In addition, Mr. Peters has emphasized the importance of building resilience competences to be able to manage change, risk and crises – making plans, and then be flexible, otherwise it won’t be possible to achieve results. Managing risk, change and transformation, resources, negotiation, and compliance are the key maturity performance goals.
The results of this strategic thinking in managing public sector projects, and actions in terms of developing people and its individual competencies, and building organizational maturity, had impact on economic growth, safety, and basic services of the City of Cape Town.
Mr. Margulan Zhumagali has presented the Government Project Portfolio Management Office in Kazakhstan. One of the most important insights of this Panel was related with the government transformation process in Kazakhstan. As in many countries, in this case, the transformation of the government causes the lack of trust and low quality of projects. Mr. Zhumagali has explained the change process emphasizing leadership style, and the usage of ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement) model for managing change. The focus was on creating the mindset, guiding civil servants, and defining the change drivers. The next step was building the competencies, methodology development, establishing Project Management Office (PMO), and providing IT support. The activities were followed with the awards (Kazakhstan project management awards) as a source of a recognition, constant communication, and collaboration.
Based on the discussion, it was concluded that the biggest challenge in all three presented public sector project management cases was the lack of individual competencies. The idea of having certified project managers as professionals is strongly supported by all panelists. “No worries if they leave, education and certification should be a must”, said Mr. Angel Pulido Hernandez.
Considering project management methodology, panelists stated that the methodology should be recommended, with a certain amount of flexibility in application, and opportunity to adjust.
After the questions from the audience and discussion, what has been seen as the future trends in project management in public sector is that project management will be growing in public sector, and project management will be more data driven. In addition, it was concluded that people competencies would become more and more important for managing projects in public sector.
The most emphasized challenges of project management in the public sector are: capacities of local authorities to deal with projects, bureaucracy to use all project management benefits, and alignment of many stakeholders.
Autor: Dr Marija Todorović
- 15 June 2018 | 7:26
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