L2B Blog: Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

If you are involved in the construction industry you have most likely come into contact with a Project Manager (hereafter referred to as a PM) or heard of one mentioned in the process of developments and particularly larger developments.

Certainly in Leads 2 Business’ Projects Department PM’s are one of the most common professionals we deal with. The reason for this, is their role within construction projects.

So, what does a PM actually do? It would seem rather obvious right, they manage the project? But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. PM’s actually do a whole host of duties.

Some of which include: planning, organising, controlling, communicating, executing, reports, programs, advice, analysis, resource control, health and safety, budgets, administration and handover.

All of these duties are done ensure that the project runs successfully thus lowering the risks while meeting all of the objectives timeously to ensure completion which effects the profitability of the project.

So, when do new ideas come into the picture? What new ideas would PM’s have to explore in todays construction industry?

To be honest, I was at a loss when pondering this question, after all I’m not a PM and it’s not a role one easily assumes to answer. So I emailed a few PM’s to get some feedback on ideas that they might want to put out there… but still no luck, probably snowed under with work given our economic environment. I scoured the Internet and there didn’t seem to be any publications or news out there for new ideas when it comes to PM’s until I happened on some LinkedIn Posts. Phew!

This may not be a new idea but how about technology, either using existing tech and / or molding it to PM’s requirements, partnering with IT and creating PM specific tech or even sharing your tech tricks with other PM’s? For example: Ahmed H. Emam, PMP writes “Detect and Fix Dangling Activities in Time Schedule using Excel Macro.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp

Using tech could make PM’s jobs easier but some seem to think that PM’s might be replaced in the future by Tech/Bots. As Oliver Yarbrough, M.S., PMP illustrates in “Can a Robot Do Your Job? Here’s “How Project Managers Can Survive a Takeover.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver

There are some things that tech, no matter how advanced it gets, cannot replace. Oliver suggests to focus on the following skills in order to stand out: “Leadership, Diplomacy, Negotiating, Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication (verbal and nonverbal)” and instead of fighting tech, work with it to enhance your service delivery.

Another thought also came to mind: what is one of the key aspects that I think of when I think of a PM? It would have to be communication. So, what new idea would make communication more effective? What about a platform where all the schedules, notes, admin, planning and analysis can be seen by all the professionals involved in a specific project? Where each person can make notes or get alerts thus avoiding confusion, emails back and forth, potential loss of material, and saving time, something like Google Sheets for PM’s? Does this already exist? It’s possible… calling all PM’s out there, let us know! Perhaps I need to patent this idea.

After all, we all know that communication is key whether you are a PM or not. Another useful tool to facilitate communication and interaction between professionals and all other contacts which fall within the scope of projects is to use L2B (Leads 2 Business). If you are looking to get involved in the different aspects of construction, information is our business. We encourage communication, new ideas and growth in order to build and establish business.

If any of the above sparks your interest leave a Comment below or or Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za

Source:

http://profica.com/Project-Management

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3B6Q7NbKiCNqOpFrfh9U5jyg%3D%3D

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_search_srp_content%3Brgd4BBE3JHWCHOXLUg24dg%3D%3D

 

 

Please follow and like us:

About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.

How Online Tender Information is changing the industry

76-Blog-Header-How-Online-Tender-Information-is-changing-the-industry

 

The Industry has been changed for awhile now. Getting your tender information online is nothing new, at this point. Numerous companies in South Africa, and around the world, are making tender information accessible online and have been doing so for years. The internet and email are tools that has become so common place now, that there are some that don’t know a life without it. Never mind dial-up. Not being able to use your landline at the same time that someone else was using the internet. Anyone? Anyone remember this? The pained squarks, whistles and beeep-par-beee grrrrrshshshshshshs….as your poor modem searched for lord-knows-what signal down a Telkom line.

When I first started at Leads 2 Business, asking if a potential subscriber had an email address and access to the internet was common place. “No. We do not fax you the 200-odd tenders each day“. Having to explain the difference between email and the internet was also sometimes necessary. This question rarely gets asked now. Nearly everyone has an email address and access to the internet, whether through a smartphone or tablet or home/ work ADSL. I think at this point an email address, smartphone and IG account are being issued along with birth certificates. So what does this mean? Freedom to access information. Any information, whenever you want it. Granted, there are certain disclaimers connected to certain areas of the internet. You have access, just like everyone else. Not everything that is available is true or good or even necessary. Just like people. Lol. It’s a huge market place for information, and everyone is wandering around bumping into weird little facts, and interesting stories and catching up with long lost friends from nineteen-voetsak. Social Media, in all its variants, brings people together. For better or worse. People are living their entire lives online, and their Professional lives as well.

News is no longer a newspaper or TV broadcast at seven o’clock monopoly. News is Shared and Posted and Commented on.

Education and Knowledge has received a revamp, as being sent to “look it up” doesn’t mean the bookshelf of Encyclopedias in your living room anymore (Geez, I hated that. It was just Parent-Speak for “I don’t know”). “Googling” is a verb. It’s the go-to to learn and research and stalk. Search Engines have a say on whether you will be found at all. Who looks at page 2 of a search result? Someone who is desperate, that’s who.

Communication moved from snail mail to the telephone to cellphones to email and LiveChat and Instant Messaging. (Although I do enjoy a letter now and again. That isn’t a bill, of course). Anyone flipped through a Yellow Pages recently? Nope. An internet presence is today’s advertising. It allows any potential clients to find you and therefore use you. No successful business hides from their potential clientèle.

People want what they want when they want it. That’s usually now. Time management is a huge consideration today, as “time is money”. Accessing your tender information online (and receiving it by email) saves money and time. Obviously, if you know who to subscribe with (Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge).

The Government has finally caught on. With the launch of the ePortal last year, the National Treasury is hoping to shore up our five principles of Procurement, namely Transparency, Fairness, Equitability, Competitiveness and Cost-Effectiveness. They’ve bragged about the millions, if not billions, that Government will save by utilising the ePortal for all their Procurement needs. Granted, it’s a bit of a blow to the publishing industry as tender adverts are being pulled from newspapers (but currently these haven’t dried up yet). Making tender documents accessible on the ePortal as well, will save huge document printing costs. Sad for you, if you now have to print these documents but I’m sure if you’re staring down a CIDB 9 contract; you’ll muddle through.

The Centralised Supplier Database (CSD) will ensure that a supplier or contractor or professional that wants to work with the Government, only has to register once. Then Government Departments can see and compare prices for their required goods and services. And this hopefully will ensure that every Government Department is paying the same price for bread and pens. Comparisons in the light of day, can have a major impact. But this is still new. It’s still a work in progress, as clicking through 20 to 30 odd pages of tender adverts multiple times a day is not what I would call efficient or user-friendly. I had a conversation with a subscriber of ours, and her relief when I assured her that I would be doing this for her; was quite comical. The ePortal has a ways to go and that will take time.

I like to think that we’ve done the time. And in any endeavour when you’ve sacrificed time, you gain experience. Endless conversations and emails with subscribers, have shaped our website. Understanding our subscribers’ needs and wants, and empowering them to make the L2B website work for them. Ensuring that they have the opportunity to broadcast their services and products to those who would use them. Ensure that they are listed correctly on our Directory, so no “flipping of pages” is required. Putting one more nail in the coffin of the poor fax, and facilitating their sending out countless Request for Quotes to hundreds of potential vendors. Quick and efficient searches, with relevant results. With all the advantages and benefits of being online, the most important is to use them. And regardless of how innovative the internet gets, nothing can replace the people on the other side (whether the phone or keyword or touch screen) ready to assist and support you.

 

Please follow and like us:

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

Trends in Africa

Africa Map

What’s trending?

 

 

You might take a sneaky glance at twitter’s ‘trending’ timeline to answer or perhaps Google. What about Africa? [tweetthis]Do you know what the Trends in Africa are?[/tweetthis] Many may answer with, “no clue”.

 

I doubt that this will be your answer for much longer. The narrative on Africa is evolving, there are more individuals and companies joining in the conversation and rightly so. Previously known as ‘Deepest Darkest Africa’ and most recently dubbed ‘Silicon Safari’, Africa is not only becoming an interest but a Trend in itself.

According to numerous sources the biggest Trend in Africa at the moment is Technology. Frost & Sullivan report that Africa could evolve into a $50 billion e-commerce market within the next three years. Kenya and Nigeria are leading in terms of fundraising and start-ups, other countries include Tanzania and South Africa. Africa has had explosive increases in internet usage and economic growth. In fact Internet usage is now growing faster in Africa than in any other continent and mobile subscriptions in Africa have eclipsed those in the Asian Pacific region. Companies like Safaricom, IBM and Facebook have all realised the significant opportunities for investment and innovation on the continent.

Technology is a major driving force of progress in every industry. This is particularly evident in Education in Africa. Tony Bates highlights the boom in online higher education enrollments in Africa, with many countries using eLearning as a way to meet the increased demand for higher education that traditional programs cannot. South Africa is the dominant country but will be overtaken by Nigeria by 2016 in terms of the volume of revenues from eLearning.

The population in Africa is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2050 resulting in the largest workforce according to the Harvard Business Review. Africa is also rich in natural resources, 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land in fact. Additionally, Africa has a USD$2 trillion economy with approximately a third of its countries obtaining annual GDP growths of more than six percent. [tweetthis]Of the top ten fastest growing economies in the world, six are in #Africa.[/tweetthis]

 

To end here is a quote to illustrate the Trends in Africa from the 2014 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos:

 

“Africa is the story. The big story is Africa. The Chinese and Japanese are fighting over Africa. This is a market of a billion people, of natural resources.” Dr Ahmed Heikal, Chairman and Founder of Citadel Capital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/05/9-mega-trends-shaping-the-future-of-africa/

http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/ten-african-consumer-trends-to-run-with-and-profit-from-in-2015/45999/

http://ww2.frost.com/news/press-releases/frost-sullivan-identifies-top-trends-ict-africa-2015/

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/042915/why-tech-trends-africa-are-good-investment.asp

http://www.tonybates.ca/2013/01/29/africa-is-the-worlds-fastest-developing-e-learning-market/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/faraigundan/2014/01/28/top-quotes-about-africa-at-the-2014-world-economic-forum-in-davos/

Please follow and like us:

About Sasha Anderson

I enjoy making new professional acquaintances and corresponding with existing clients. Reach out if you want to talk, L2B, social media, construction, technology, shoes, dachshunds, popular culture or travel.