“Project Management simply revolves around allocating money, time and people in a way to achieve a pre determined object and now this has evolved to be a business discipline that every private sector executive must be skilled” said the Head of National Portfolio Development for Sri Lanka & Maldives Rohantha Athukorala.
He also serves at the United Nations (UNOPS) in Sri Lanka as well as being on many Boards of Management and National committees in the Government of Sri Lanka. He was the guest speaker at the monthly evening meeting of the Project Management Institute (PMI) - Colombo Chapter, Sri Lanka at Ramada Hotel, Colombo.
Athukoraka observed that in today’s evolving organisation structure whilst the formal structure continues to exist, concurrently there are teams that are set up to drive specific key initiatives which makes it mandatory that a business executive of today know the science of Project Management even if models like Prince2 are not known in depth. He went on to explain that if Sri Lanka is to fast track a economic agenda of ten percent plus and the leadership is taken by the private sector, this new skill becomes all the more important which is the responsibility that organisations like PMI must shoulder for Sri Lanka. Athukorala congratulated the Institute for supporting Sri Lanka in the growth agenda in the last twenty five years which has been through conflicts, floods and Tsunamis but continued to generate strong growth economically.
The PMI monthly forum is organised by the Sri Lankan chapter and its focus currently is on Post war reconstruction in Sri Lanka. We invite an eminent Sri Lankan every month to share their experience with our members and also for networking said the President of the PMI Hugo Wisidagama. The theme for this month’s meeting was ‘Budget implications for Projects’ and hence invited a personality who is actively involved in many capacities.
Athukorala who has diverse experience of driving projects in marketing in the private sector and at national level emphasised that today’s CEO must function almost like a project manager in the day to day operations given the new ethos in business being ‘You are as good as what you are now’. Meaning the mobislising of people to tasks and how their performance is evaluated can be on how an individual gets evaluated than on qualitative judgements he said. A point highlighted was that Project Management in today’s world has now progressed from just delivery of results to responsible delivery. Meaning, delivering the triple bottom line emphasised Athukorala. This includes profit, People and the Planet. He cited the current issue of the La Nina phenomenon that is sweeping the world, and said that one reason could actually be tracked back to delivering projects without being conscious to the environment.
This is what must be avoided in the future quipped Athukorala.