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Welcome to the April 2016 Edition of the PM World Journal

David Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA


Welcome to the April 2016 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ). This 45th edition of the Journal contains 24 original articles, papers, reports and book reviews by 29 different authors in 13 different countries. News articles about projects and project management around the world are also included. We think the international content of the PMWJ sets it apart; we hope you agree. Since the primary mission of the journal is to support the global sharing of knowledge, please share this month’s edition with others in your network, wherever they may be.

What in the world is going on?

In an effort to add some context to this month’s edition, I want to reflect for a few moments on some of the big issues facing the world, some big trends and situations in some important places. Here in the United States, we are in the midst of another presidential campaign; what does that mean if anything to professional project management? Maybe nothing in the USA, but the outcome could affect many industries, especially those involving international trade, global business, virtual teams and supply chains. Whether you favor free trade or not, your program or organization may be affected by the outcome of the US presidential elections. As I pointed out in my 1998 “Global Tides of Change” paper, significant political changes can affect programs, projects and organizations. Be prepared!

In Asia, the big news includes the slowing of the Chinese economy, the North Korean nuclear threat and political changes in Myanmar, among other places. The impact of the slowing economy in China has now led the IMF to predict economic headwinds worldwide this year. We will all feel the impact. But economics and politics are often intertwined, as they are related to North Korea. Sanctions against the North will lead to famine again on the Korean Peninsula, probably leading to more aggression by the North Korean leadership. This in turn will lead to more defensive moves by both South Korea and Japan, with serious regional implications. A military buildup is underway now in and around the South China Sea. What are the implications for the economies, projects and organizations in Southeast Asia, and for organizations doing business there?

India’s economy continues to grow, leading the BRIC countries. But India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries in the region seem to be in political turmoil. This in turn leads to serious international security concerns. Again, economies, politics and social trends are intertwined. Do you know how your stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, team members) in the region are being affected?

The Middle East and North Africa remain volatile, with extremism seemingly entrenched, natural resource markets depressed, and political instability growing again. While ISIS remains a major problem, regional geopolitical instability and competition will remain long term issues with serious global implications. What should those countries, and the rest of the world, do about the combination of population growth, unemployment, economic disparities, social unrest and political uncertainty?

Europe seems to be coming apart at the seams. The recent refugee crisis and terrorist attacks are leading to a reversal of some of the unifying elements of the European Union and Eurozone. German economic growth has slowed and European financial markets are down this week. In Britain, the looming “Brexit” vote in June could further destabilize the continent (and a possible “Grexit” is in the news again this week). The economic impact on the UK is debatable, but the political ramifications seem clear. Britain’s relations with the rest of the world will be changed if the UK leaves the EU. How will this affect programs, projects and organizations?

Africa is a mix, with pockets of corruption, violence and political instability. But many countries have growing economies and political stability. The African Development Bank is having a positive impact, the way forward for Nigeria and other large countries is becoming more clear, and professional project management organizations are visibly growing. This is great news! This month’s edition of the journal contains four good papers from Nigeria and Kenya reflecting these trends.

The best news in my opinion is related to Latin America. Political crises in Brazil notwithstanding, positive changes are underway in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Paraguay, Peru and elsewhere. I could argue that when the Petrobras scandal is finally resolved in Brazil, that country will emerge stronger politically and economically. I certainly hope so. I also think that the increased visibility of corruption in more countries is a good thing, providing an opportunity for good governance, political stability and economic growth to emerge. More of those trends will have a positive impact on programs and projects everywhere, even here in the US of A.

Now off my soap box and on to this month’s journal, where authors often address the challenges of managing projects in the dynamic environments and conditions mentioned above. (I apologize to our readers in Australia, Canada, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and other countries not mentioned above, but just no more time this month.)

This month in the Journal

Seven Featured Papers are again included this month on a variety of interesting topics. Paul Pelletier in Canada is back with a deeper treatment of bullying in the workplace and how it affects project management. Prof Debashish Sengupta in India has authored an interesting research paper on the happiness of younger generations, with young project managers in mind. Allan Michael in Kenya, professors Kevn Okolie, Victor Okorie and Felix Ikekpeazu in Nigeria, and Nigerian Dr O. Chima Okereke in UK all discuss important topics affecting their countries. Bob Prieto in the USA takes on “assumption infatuation in large complex projects” in his paper, while Moshfaqur Rahman tries to change our perspective on natural disasters in Bangladesh. Read featured papers; they are seriously authored works that contribute to the body of knowledge in the P/PM field.

More…

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About the Author

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DAVID PELLS

Managing Editor, PMWJ

Managing Director, PMWL

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David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal, a global eJournal for program and project management, and Executive Director of the PM World Library. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice. He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world. David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association SOVNET. From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of the globally acclaimed PM World Today eJournal.

David has more than 35 years of project management related experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, defense, energy, transit, high technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from several thousand to ten billion dollars. His experience has been in both government and private sectors. He occasionally provides high level advisory support for major programs and global organizations. David has published widely, spoken at conferences and events worldwide, and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/.