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The role of the project professional in a fit-for-future organisation

October 31, 12:25 pm - 01:05 pm AEST

The infrastructure pipeline we boast as a nation is not a source of security for the project professional. The project professional who does not keep pace with complexity, who is not equipped with a systems-thinking approach to project inception through to completion, denies themselves a role in the future of project management.  

If we examine the emergence of cutting-edge technology, data and methodology we are met with the question of how the project professional can be an agent of change in a complex system, such as a project.

In our presentation we explore a speculative future, "the end of project management", and the dystopian disruption this would cause to the planning, delivery and operation of projects across the nation. We challenge the narrative that there is a skills shortage that plagues our profession, preferring instead to translate this scarcity mindset to an opportunity mindset.

 To manage and embrace the changing nature of the project landscape, the future of the project professional hinges on the expression and evolution of their problem-solving and sense-making abilities. Our projects and processes demand more lean, agile ways of working than ever before. Increasingly, we see a rise in requests for "agile" methodologies and "black belts in lean six sigma" to accompany the project management toolkit.  

The project professional is uniquely positioned to adapt methodology and project processes to meet the pace of complexity, the demands of productivity, and the growing expectations of our supply chain and regulators in meeting global environmental and sustainability targets.  

The future of infrastructure will need bold new measures to ensure the connection between Australian cities and regions are strong. The Government are seeking to ensure the $120 billion infrastructure investment pipeline over 10 years is fit-for-purpose. Therefore, we invite industry to ensure we are looking beyond and behind the pipeline and focusing on the people. What bold new measures will we take to future-proof project management?

The infrastructure industry needs to look inwards, outwards, sideways and forwards. Instead of asking whether our projects are fit-for-purpose, we challenge whether our organisations and project professionals are fit-for-future.

We hope you will join us in exploring the role of the project professional in a fit-for-future organisation to ensure the connection between the past, present and future of the project profession is realised.

Lead Consultant, HKA
Senior Consultant, HKA
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