28 Mar 2023
Dubai International Project Management Forum focused on fostering innovation and enhanced skills and wellbeing
(Delivers 32 recommendations )
Participants in the 8th Dubai International Project Management Forum (DIPMF), organised by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and co-hosted by the Project Management Institute: (PMI), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and DP World, under the theme ‘Fostering Wellbeing’, concluded to a series of recommendations highlighted by stressing that entities must focus on developing the leadership skills of employees, acquiring competent personnel, and empowering them to embrace the concepts of sustainability, innovation and competitiveness. Recommendations also called for achieving gender equality and balance, and for the existing workforce and younger generations to acquire the skills of artificial intelligence, which is a key part of the self-development process to prepare for the future.
Participants in the DIPMF also recommended the use of cutting-edge technologies in managing mega projects to improve productivity while addressing safety requirements. They further called for adopting corporate agility to accommodate the rapid changes in the project economy.
Moaza Al Marri, Executive Director of the Office of the Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee of the Dubai International Project Management Forum, stated that “The 8th edition of the DIPMF has solidified the event's reputation as a global platform for showcasing the finest practices and emerging concepts in project management. In doing so, it fosters wellbeing, and encourages creative project management solutions, thanks to the participation of visionary international experts with innovative ideas that contribute to the successful delivery of key projects.
“The Forum hosted about 2,000 participants, including 55 international and regional speakers. 50 discussion panels and masterclasses had been held to tackle trending and future concepts of project management and their role in enhancing the wellbeing of residents and visitors. Participants made 32 recommendations related to sustainability, wellbeing, gender equality and balance, agile transformation, mega projects, leadership and management skills, value and benefits management, advanced technology, and data and information management,” Al Marri added.
Sustainability and Wellbeing
Participants emphasised that wellbeing can only be achieved with the active engagement of government agencies, the private sector, academia, and community members in project management. They stressed the need to build and integrate sustainability throughout the project life cycle and reduce carbon emissions. They called on entities to harness artificial intelligence to achieve people's happiness, improve the quality of life, and safeguard the interest of humanity. They also called for the assessment of the return on investment from the regular community development efforts and the benefit from deliverables in improving wellbeing.
Participants highlighted the role of women in bringing up a virtuous generation, noting that empowering young women is essential to achieving a better future, and education is crucial for fostering the principles of tolerance and gender balance. They recommend that gender equality and balance constitute a key pillar of national development and that values and culture are the essences of success in achieving a balanced and sustainable society.
Participants urged government entities to foster corporate agility, which is becoming increasingly important to accommodate the rapid changes in the project economy. They maintain that the implementation of agile transformation requires courageous leaders who can offer jobs to talented individuals with appropriate skills and experience. It is imperative to focus on transformation efforts as regards the culture, attitude, and resistance to change by individuals. It has to be noted that there is no single approach that applies to all scenarios within an organisation, due to the individual differences in projects.
As regard mega projects, the participants suggested that the management teams should prioritise results while keeping the vision of the entity in mind. As the project size increases, there is a greater need for the team to be open to learning and embrace new ideas and visions. Leaders of mega-projects should take calculated risks and be prepared for alternative scenarios. Mega projects must employ cutting-edge technology to enhance productivity while adhering to all safety requirements. When working in construction environments with challenging climatic conditions, giant projects must use robots and remote-control equipment to enhance safety and working conditions.
Leadership and Management Skills
Participants concluded that the growth of corporate maturity and competitiveness hinges primarily on the leadership skills of the employees. As a result, agencies should prioritise the development of leadership and data management skills to facilitate sustainability, innovation, and competitive advantages. It is crucial to identify the skills and competencies required for future leaders, such as modesty, passion to learn, enthusiasm, and adaptability.
Value and Benefits Management
Participants believe that to achieve agile transformation, entities must be capable of refining their culture and conduct to adopt value management, and organisations must adopt value stream management to ensure clarity and enhance their capability to generate value. Project management offices must transform gradually into value management offices that focus on deliverables and sustainable value. Results and benefits must always remain in focus to ensure that the project will serve the purpose for which it was designed.
Participants stressed that governments and organisations should streamline the use of AI and its application behaviour in various fields as AI will develop into a critical element influencing humanity and it is expected that every profession will have an AI partner. Countries and entities need to invest in building a system that supports AI, machine learning and deep learning. Virtual reality will become a major player in training, research and development, and many other fields. The current workforce, as well as the younger generations, must equip themselves with AI skills as part of the self-development of the future.
Data and Information Management
Participants concluded by stressing that the reliability and sustainability of information are critical for maintaining value generation. They also believe that the speed of data transmission is a key driver of innovation and service efficiency.