President's Corner

PMI South Africa Chapter

President's Corner

Message from Acting President Tunde Ojo-Aromokudu

Dear South Africa Chapter Member,

As Dr. Lynn Keeys bows out as the President of the PMI South Africa Chapter, I have accepted to serve as the Acting President of the Chapter effective 15 January until chapter elections are held at the AGM later this year.

Taking a position of service at a higher level, at these times, comes with huge responsibility from being the VP REP Outreach from 2019.

I believe this responsibility is not unsurmountable considering the caliber of leadership currently in the chapter.

I commit to keep, if not, increase the tempo Dr. Lynn Keeys has set for the Chapter as we explore new Ways of Working (WOW) to bring better value to all our members.  

Our major chapter event, the 2021 Annual PM Summit, planned for March 27, will be digital. The theme is The Year of Covid-19:  Stories of Project Disruption, Learning, and Re-Imagining.  Please support this event, as we come together to learn from our experiences during this disruptive time. 

I encourage you to look forward to an exciting period ahead of us in the PM Community. I look forward to serving you and hearing your feedback as we embark on this journey.

Tunde Ojo-Aromokudu, PMP

Message from President Dr. Lynn A. Keeys

Dear PMI South Africa Members,

The time has come for me to step down as President of the PMI South Africa Chapter. I announce Tunde Ojo-Aromokudu, as the Acting President, effective 15 January until chapter elections at the AGM later this year. Tunde has been our VP REP Outreach since 2019 and is an effective leader to take over the reins. Tunde will contact you shortly.

It was with much honor and privilege that I have served the Chapter since November 2016. I remain committed to the chapter and passionate about building professional competence in project management in South Africa, with a positive impact on development and transformation. I will take this passion and commitment to my new role with PMI as a PMI Academic Insight Team member, where I hope to contribute to PM development in the region and globally.

My tenure as president has been a journey replete with satisfaction while at the same time challenges, disruption, and pivoting. This past year 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example. Due to the impact of covid lockdown, our executive team embarked on a chapter transformation with input from you through our webinars to address chapter member pain points and bring equity in access to all our members' services. Since May 2020, our new way of working (WOW) includes digitized chapter monthly meetings through webinars, which have brought our monthly meetings to all members nationwide. We noted your expressions to benefit from networking with the chapter project management community. Thus, we have created a virtual networking platform on our website, Social Hub for Professionals, now in the testing stage. We are working on a new way of engaging our members through smaller geographic clusters that will enable in-person networking, communication, and knowledge exchange from where you live when it is safe to do so.  Watch out for news feeds on the prototyping and testing of this new approach during 2021. Get involved; we are looking for volunteers.

We started the PM Summit in 2017 and have evolved this to a unique event of critical conversations around current PM challenges, themes, concerns, and vanguard thinking where your voices are heard and noted. The 2020 PM Summit engaged us on the theme, Innovation, Digitalization and Agility in the Project Economy, unknowingly preparing our thinking for the events that were to follow after the lockdown.  The theme of this year's PM Summit, planned for 27 March 2021, is The Year of Covid-19:  Stories of Project Disruption, Learning, and Re-Imagining. The year 2020 was a year of tremendous difficulties, learning, and pivoting, which we must capture. We will learn from each other the lessons in disruption-- how we learned, even through failure, and how we re-imagined our projects to create value and benefits for our stakeholders. It will be virtual; see you there!

Our new acting president, Tunde Ojo-Aromokudu, is assuming responsibility at a pivotal time to lead the execution of our transformation and oversee the continuous improvement of our operations. Provide all the support you can, as the chapter's success in providing services, is your success! As the PM community, let's continue to support each other and move forward together.

The year 2020 was challenging, and we need to hold on a bit longer to cross over into better times. I offer condolences to all who lost loved ones and colleagues, suffered job losses, and experienced general life disruption. As we embark on 2021, I wish you comfort, security, health, restoration, and abundance. 

Dr. Lynn A. Keeys, PMP 

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.