PMI South Africa Chapter

President's Corner

April 2018

Are you managing for intergenerational diversity?

Dear PMI South Africa Members,

Project teams are comprised of a diversity of generations, each with its special characteristics.  These can relate to work ethic, cooperation and collaboration, knowledge acquisition, career progression, work life balance and notions of success.  The biggest impact on the nature of work is expected from the millennial generation, those born between 1982 and 2004, who currently comprises 35% of the global workforce and has been projected to constitute 50% of the South Africa workforce by 2020 and 75% by 2025.  Baby boomers are retiring.  Millennials are entering the workforce with their own special brand, challenging the standard management and leadership practices in project management based on baby boomers. 

Are you managing to get the best from your dynamic intergenerational project team?

A Price Waterhouse Cooper CEO report, reported in Huffington South Africa[i], found that only 18% of millennials surveyed expected to stay for the long-term with their current employees.  Over one-third of those surveyed felt that senior management do not relate to younger workers and find millennials’ personal drive intimidating.  What does this mean for projects and team work and project management leadership practices?

Project managers need to develop approaches to work with intergenerational teams that attract and motivate the best from diverse team members.  Intergenerational differences need to be captured as opportunities to learn, develop, improve relationships and maximize productivity, creativity and innovation. 

October 2017

Getting projects right in changing times

In the film,” Star Trek: Insurrection,” Data, the android, says to a little boy, “my operations depend on specifications that do not change.” 

While Data’s success as an android depended on his specs never changing, I am not sure we can say that for projects.  The times, they are a changing!  Not only is the world changing, it is changing at exponential rates, even as I write this message.  We live in an environment where the market and the context for projects is often characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.    The rapid technological change and accelerated pace of innovation in this era of the 4th Industrial Revolution that impacts every aspect of life are causing disruption across industries and markets. According to Klaus Schwab in his 2015 article, the 4th industrial revolution has brought about greater and rapidly shifting customer expectations, greater demand for enhanced value in products and services, the need to collaborate in innovation, and organizational culture, talent and structures that support this. 

August 2017

Dear PMI SA Members,

Happy Women’s Month!

I think it is fortuitous that my first letter to you is in August, a month dedicated to acknowledging women’s contributions to creating the new South African society.  August 9 is Women’s Day. 

Being a woman, I am keenly aware of the need to be inclusive in support of the professional development of women project managers.  Project management has been historically viewed and dominated as a man’s profession, due to project management’s origin in the defense industries and the technical field of engineering.  While this is changing, the presence of women in project management varies from industry to industry.  It is important to note here our progress in South Africa, based on the number of female project management professionals (PMPs).  While the figures for PMPs in our chapter do not provide a complete picture of the number of female project managers, it does provide us a picture of those who are developing professionally in South Africa.