PM Leadership Connect

PM Leadership Connect

Insights from a Seasoned PMI Bangalore Chapter Veteran

M.R. Sriprasad

M.R. Sriprasad, PMP is a trusted name in the sphere of Project Management consulting and training in India. An alumnus of BITS Pilani, he has worked on several landmark projects across the country and abroad. Addressing the need to train project managers for higher efficiency and effectiveness, he founded SABCONS in 1995. He has conducted more than 700 programs.

Q1. What still excites you about being a PMI Bangalore Chapter member?

At a professional, I am always updated on the latest global project management trends and practices. At a personal level, the membership has widened my horizon. e.g. as Project Practitioners we face similar problems and we identify a solution based on our experience. By being a part of Project Management community, I have realised any solution is appropriate as long as it is situationally and contextually relevant. Because of this realisation, my tolerance to diversity of opinions has increased over the years – thanks to my association with PMI.

Q2.What advise do you have for new members?

  1. Develop a curious mindset – what is the customer trying to achieve through this project, why did my organization sign up for this project and what is the expectation of stakeholders from me? 
  2. Always stay current on the global project management trends and practices and don’t forget to turn ideas into reality.
  3. Invest in your self-development – network, read journals, attend workshops & conferences even if you have to sponsor yourself. Trust me, it pays back!

Q3.Advice to the chapter board?

  1. Respect and accept independent consultants / training providers and their representatives and avoid perceiving them as competitors or threats.
  2. Encourage ethnic, age and gender diversity in the constitution of board members.
  3. Mange the activities of the chapter as aligned to a nonprofit organisation – no need to be aggressive and secretive with members.

Q4. What are 3 things, that have kept you as a member for so many years?

– I get an opportunity to learn from other Project practitioners … they have probably faced and found a solution to the problem I am facing now.

– I get a chance to hear the thought leaders and experts speak on different topics.

– It allows me to reflect on different perspectives

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Q5.What are some of the changes you have seen over the past 20 years?

Earlier Project Managers were managing projects based only on traditional outputs—such as schedule, scope, and budget—without tracking benefits and larger strategic goals set by their organisation. Today, Benefits, tangible and intangible are measured and monitored. 1 in 3 organizations report high benefits realization maturity.

Today, project teams not only use the traditional predictive model, but also blend skills such as design thinking, lean, agile and hybrid. They use the approach best suited to them.

Companies have realised that managing stakeholder expectations and engaging with them throughout the life cycle of the project, is crucial to the success of their projects. Another aspect is that PMs are accepting organisation politics as a reality and are learning how to deal with it in the context of achieving project objectives.

Q6. What do you for see is disrupting how project management is done?

As we all know, technical project management acumen alone is not sufficient for today’s PM.He or she has to look beyond just managing the schedule,budget,metrics and dashboards.

Secondly, she has to develop, strong leadership skills and sharp strategic insights. The project manager should clearly articulate what constitutes a successful project and achieve the project objectives by motivating and inspiring the team. She should be confident of leading a culturally diverse team often in a virtual environment.

Thirdly, the PM must have a strategic frame of mind to gauge the business impact of the project. She has to ensure that the project is delivered on its strategic objective and the planned benefits are realised. Strategies may change often due to changes in the volatile marketplace. The project manager must have a high degree of tolerance for ambiguity and should have an agile mindset. She has to connect top level vision with on-ground implementation. Today, PM is no longer a mere manager but a strategic innovator.

Q7. And what are a couple of things that will never change?

In principle , Stakeholder Management and  Risk  Management.