If project managers want to add strategic value to their organisation and remain marketable in the current project landscape, they should commit to their own ongoing professional development. This means being prepared to develop their knowledge, skill and competency consistent with industry demands on the profession as they progress through the project management career path.
This is the view of Project Management South Africa (PMSA) CEO, Taryn van Olden. PMSA is the SAQA-recognised professional body for cross sector project management in South Africa, which positions itself as an enabler of ongoing professional development through, amongst other initiatives, knowledge sharing opportunities. Examples of such opportunities are national and regional conferences with carefully structured programmes that address current trends and issues of benefit to project, programme and portfolio managers.
“Organisations are maturing in terms of their project delivery,” says Guy Jelley, CEO of Project Portfolio Office, a project portfolio management solution provider with clients in South Africa and abroad representing a cross-section of industries. “As a result they are more discerning than ever before in how they recruit and develop their project managers. They want professionals who understand how projects can deliver on strategic objectives, who have the competency to manage a complex set of deliverables and who stay abreast of best practices and methodologies that contribute to project success.”
In November 2015, PMSA will be hosting a conference in Cape Town that will be tackling the theme of leadership, strategy and methodology as components of the value proposition that project management brings to the Western Cape region and the country as a whole. Project Portfolio Office has lent its support to the event as the headline sponsor. “We have seen first-hand the effect of project management in achieving local service delivery in the Western Cape and are excited to support PMSA in their efforts to enhance the local body of knowledge through events such as this conference,” says Jelley.
“By partnering with organisations such as Project Portfolio Office, that are closely connected to the industry and the coal-face of strategic project management, we are assured that our content and approach are relevant to the knowledge needs of industry and individual project managers," says van Olden.
The conference seeks to impart best practices and new knowledge through insightful presentations and case studies by thought leaders in the disciplines associated with successful project management, and those who have achieved success on some of the region’s most prominent infrastructure projects.
Amongst the projects to be reflected on are those in film production, the Square Kilometre Array, major events such as the Commonwealth Games, and the MyCiti transport initiative. The keynote presentation on the first day will be delivered by Jürgen Oschadleus, an international thought leader who relates project management competency to what has been learned from notable historic events. His keynote draws on lessons from the Battle of Waterloo. While in the country, Oschadleus will also be presenting a workshop in Johannesburg on Conversational Leadership.