The future of project management

Poster of the webinar

UTAR Centre for Corporate and Community Development (CCCD) in collaboration with Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) organised a webinar titled “The Project Manager of the Future: Getting Ready” on 19 June 2021 via Zoom with an attendance of 220 participants.

The webinar was presented by LKC FES Head of Programme for Master of Project Management Assoc Prof Ir Ts Dr Jeffrey Yap Boon Hui, and Director of Kashiwagi Solution Model Inc. Prof Dean T. Kashiwagi, who is also the external examiner for UTAR Project Management programmes. The webinar was moderated by LKC FES lecturer Ir Dr Lee Wah Peng.

Dr Jeffrey Yap advising participants to keep their professional skillset up-to-date by attending virtual webinars and events related to the profession

Dr Jeffrey Yap started the presentation with his topic titled “The Future of Project Management in 2021 and Beyond” where he spoke about the demand for project management talent, roles of project managers, sectors with the highest demand for project management talent, the future of project management: global outlook, the project manager of the future, emerging trends in project management and so on.

He emphasised, “Demand over next 10 years for project managers is growing faster than the demand for workers in other occupations. Project Management Institute (PMI) says that by 2027 employers will need nearly 88 million people in project-related roles. The global demand for project managers is increasing and expected to grow by 33 per cent or nearly 22 million new jobs.”

Dr Jeffrey showing the sectors with the highest demand for project management talent

Dr Jeffrey Yap then introduced the roles of project managers and said, “The role of the project manager has long been shifting away from traditional roles (e.g. preparing Gantt chart) and towards a strategic leadership position for effecting change in an organisation.  Project managers still provide leadership, integration of specialists, and ethical behaviour and implement strategic initiatives, drive change and deliver innovation. The demand is high for practitioners with the necessary mix of competencies.”

Dr Jeffrey Yap explaining three ways a project leader can effectively manage disruptive technologies

The six important skills set for the project manager of the future

Nearing the end, Dr Jeffrey Yap shared the six emerging trends in project management. The six emerging trends include reliance on digital and remote teams, a closer connection between project and strategy, project management and change management, the emergence of hybrid project management approaches, emphasis on soft skills and the impact of artificial intelligence and data analytics. He enthused, “As the adage goes, ‘Change is the only constant’. It seems so true for the project management industry. The project management landscape is changing rapidly with evolving technologies, tools, and the latest trends and the change doesn't seem to slow down.”

The webinar continued with Prof Dean presenting his talk titled “Project Management in the Age of Automation and Information Systems”. He gave an overview on automation and artificial intelligence, natural laws, accurate concepts of communication, accurate concepts in reality, Information Measurement Theory (IMT), characteristics of automation, traditional approach: competition to cut cost, the client-centric approach, Best Value Approach (BVA) and so on.


Prof Dean sharing his insights on “Project Management in the Age of Automation and Information Systems”

Prof Dean began his webinar with a brief introduction on automation and artificial intelligence.  He then highlighted natural laws and said, “Natural Laws govern how conditions change, we do not create gravity nor do we create any natural laws, we merely discover them.  By understanding the natural laws, it will help to simplify the thinking processes and we can operate more efficiently.”

“There are three fundamental natural laws that can simplify all business processes. First, Cause and Effect – everything happens for reason; Second, Utilizing Expertise – efficiency comes from recognising and aligning strengths; Lastly, the Cycle of Change – everybody’s capability is limited by how quickly they can learn and change. We cannot change the event outcome once initial conditions are set,” he added.


Prof Dean showing the accurate concepts of communication

Prof Dean then moved on to discuss the accurate concepts in reality based on Information Measurement Theory (IMT), “IMT is to optimize information systems by creating information environments. The four purposes of IMT are to minimise the amount of data required to accurately transfer information from one party to another, explain the relationship between the level of information and characteristics that define performance, minimise risk by transferring the right information and remove barriers caused by the lack of an informative environment.”

He enthused, “Automation, information systems and robotics have impacted the environment of delivering services. The worldwide pandemic has accelerated this movement. Traditional project management in professional services is not structured to deliver high performance on time, on budget and customer satisfaction. As projects become more complex, the traditional systems which tend to increase the number of project managers and traditional systems have not improved project performance.”

Prof Dean discussing the Best Value Approach (BVA) as a new project management model

Nearing the end of the webinar, Prof Dean spoke about the Best Value Approach (BVA), “BVA can be used to improve the efficiency and performance of project delivery, project management, risk management, and teaching. The principle of Best Value Procurement is that not the client, but the expert vendor, who knows best with regards to the reality of the supply chain. BVA is vendor-centric and is the only approach that accepts the vendors for who they are, identifies the vendor with the most expertise, and allows the vendor to use their expertise to increase the value and lower the project cost. This method focuses on identifying and utilising the expertise of experts where the expert can observe the current situation and identify what needs to be done to meet the project objective.”

The webinar then saw an active interaction between the speakers and the participants. The talk ended with an extensive yet insightful Q&A session. 

For those who are interested to know more, you may watch the full video here.

Wholly owned by UTAR Education Foundation (200201010564(578227-M))        LEGAL STATEMENT   TERM OF USAGE   PRIVACY NOTICE