A TEA BREAK WITH Prof. VILAS SHAH Prof. Vilas Shah is an M.Tech from IIT Bombay and has 35+ years of experience out of which 30 years has been invested in education industry. He is currently teaching Operations Management in ASCI (Administrative Staff College of India). ASCI was established in 1956 and has sharpened skills of more than 75000 civil servants and practicing managers in both Government and Corporate sectors. He specializes in Procurement, Projects, Operations Management and Strategic Initiatives in start-up and high performance organizations. As you have worked into multiple projects across industries and since you are in education industry, it would be nice if you could share, as how has advocacy of Project Management evolved over the past many years in India. Most difficult problem of advocacy of project management has been that although almost every stake holder accepts the need for Scientific Project Management but have not been able to implement / implemented the same due to various reasons. In my opinion, organizations working in project management advocacy have failed to impress on the govt. authorities the possible gains of adopting scientific project management. The projects in government sector suffer mainly due to delay in land acquisition & various clearances like environmental, forest etc. These delays are sometimes so huge but nobody realizes that there can be serious delays due to bad project management. So all the stake holders are almost resigned to the fact that the projects will be delayed and there is little that they can do about it. Hence when Project Management advocacy is done, it should also be impressed upon the government to manage clearances as part of Project Management. In some large projects like Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project (DMICDS), they have been carving out projects by taking all the necessary clearances as part of Project SPV creation phase and then outsourcing the projects to potential bidders / vendors to avoid project delays. You have worked in private sector and government sector. Please share some unique challenges of both the sectors. Private sector has very strong objective and target driven culture and most of the time it is the monetary objective, along with the pressure to deliver to manage performance expectations of senior management. However in private sector, there may be some people who will take shortcuts and as a country we have not developed the culture or laws which dissuade them from preventing shortcuts. But private sector does use scientific project management to certain extent, inspite of small and medium (including some large) sized players still not following the same and appreciating the same. However even in that sector they unlike their overseas competitors, they are not developing new ways of managing projects and analysis and research in the domain, something which is seriously missing and impacting their growth and maturity in project management.
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Synergy June 2014, Page