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Certified Managers to Handle Mega Projects

SHANTANU NANDAN SHARMA                                  India May Make Global Certification Compulsory for Project Managers


NEW DELHI: To put an end to projects that take forever to complete, the government is planning to make global certification compulsory for its project managers.

Several institutes including Boston University in Brussels and Project Management Institute in Pennsylvania offer programmes on certified project management, which will now become necessary for all engineers and officers who oversee large government projects.

Lately, 250 government projects (each above Rs 20 cr) have been hit by cost and time over-runs.

Statistics and programme implementation minister Oscar Fernandes told ET that the government was thinking of introducing this system to set standards for managers of mega projects.

Fernandes said, “Countries like the USA and China have increasingly used certified project managers to run their major projects. In China, there are several thousand certified project managers. We are worried about time and cost over-run of many of our projects. So, we feel that projects should be handled by such engineers and technical officers who have done certified management courses from reputed international institutes.”

Significantly, the statistics and programme implementation ministry in its report of October-December 2004, mentioned that of 646 projects it had monitored, 258 got delayed. The time over-run ranged from one month to 21 years. In fact, the cost over-run of delayed projects was estimated to be 40.42% of total costs.

The report further mentioned that fund constrains and land problems were responsible for the delay of 62 projects. The delay in awarding contracts was responsible in case of 21 others. Significantly, in as many as 158 projects (142 railways, 6 in road transport & highways, 8 in power and 1 each in fertilizer and petroleum), slow progress of works was primarily responsible.

“We have good engineers, but need expertise to handle a project. The concerned officer needs to co-ordinate with various departments and ensure that the project gets completed on time. It saves time and money. In fact, certified project managers can make a difference here. We will also organise an international conference to discuss prospects and problems of introducing this concept in the government-run projects”, the minister said.

Certified managers include corporate, public and military managers. Various studies have shown that most certified managers show improvement in performance. The course sets a benchmark for knowledge and skills.

Courtesy: India Times MAY 15, 2005, New Delhi


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