Project management expertise the key to revival?

A leading engineering consultancy and training provider suggest that one of the possibly overlooked keys to Australia’s economy recovery post-COVID-19 could be project management expertise.

As federal and state governments allocate billions of dollars’ worth of shovel-ready infrastructure projects in an effort to boost local economies, the “Specialist project management – the engine of successful economic recovery” thinking paper provides insights and recommendations on key elements of good project management to ensure projects are successful.

The project management thinking paper was put together by Aurecon and the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

“The pressure to deliver large volumes of shovel-ready projects could exacerbate weaknesses in organisations’ structures and processes,” says Aurecon Program Advisory Managing Principal Nathan Agnew. “Agencies with significant increases in capital spend often need a significant uplift in governance, skills and expertise to deliver the spend in a strategic and diligent way.

“These problems are not new, but if the project management profession can tackle the issue collaboratively with government, we could reshape the future of project management and deliver the best outcomes for Australia.”

Critical factors of best practice in professional project management are outlined in the paper. These include making sense of uncertainty with a scalable methodology, and creating a more human-centred management culture.

“Taking an evidence-based approach to decision-making in a project is essential, as it helps navigate uncertainty, provides assurance and ultimately underpins success,” Agnew says. “Those who are realising success combine specialist project management expertise, with capital project assurance expertise, to identify, communicate and mitigate program and project risk, reduce ballooning costs and safeguard the value of assets.”

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