SPEAKER INTERVIEW: DR. SAADI ADRA

In talks with Dr. Saadi Adra, CEO Advisors

Dr. Saadi Adra
Dr. Saadi Adra
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Dr. Saadi Adra will be speaking at the Project Management Talks during The Big 5 in November. Dr. Saadi is the CEO of Advisors, he will be sharing his insight on "Portfolio Management: Balancing Adaptability with Stability"

What is the current standard of project management in the GCC?

Most government ministries and government organizations do endorse PMI standards and guidelines. Their methodologies are customized accordingly. There are limited usage for Axelos Prince 2, especially in UK related implementations, and some limited infiltration for IPMA standards. 
On the other hand, project management is widely spread, nevertheless portfolio and program management are quite needed but lack enough awareness amongst decision makers and PMOs in general. Portfolio focuses on the realization of organizational objectives through successful implementation of projects, programs and operations, while programs are primarily focused on benefits realization and management of change and transformations, in addition to Public-Private-Partnerships.

What are the biggest challenges faced by Project Managers in today’s construction industry?

The construction industry is often affected by economic and geopolitical factors, hence the industry follows a cyclical path of ups and downs of the supply and demand. This in turn affects project managers, who should continuously strive to enhance their skills in utilizing disruptive technologies and earning the capabilities to manage even more complex programs rather than mere concrete projects. Senior PMs with updated competencies and skills have not suffered the low market demand, since they do posses the capability to focus on optimization, attempting to do more with less resources, which is still scarce and needed at all times.

Outline the opportunity that these challenges present to Project Managers.

Governments are reverting more to development projects, encouraging private sector and international investors to carry on infrastructure projects that provide long-term socioeconomic values and provide thousands of jobs, hence lowering unemployment as well. PMs have to learn how to manage PPP projects, which come in multiple forms, and for those, there are a decade full of opportunities ahead.

Name one thing about project management that people always get wrong?

Heathrow airport was condemned a great failure, as it closed the second day after a grand opening, only to have lots of reworks, opening later on with high delays and cost overheads. Nevertheless, the benefits and values of the airport on both UK economy and the air-transportation industry are great and continue to deliver sustainable benefits. Hence, it does not matter that much if the project is finished on-time, and budget, if the operational outcome is not sustainable and brings on the right benefits to the community and beneficiaries. Hence PMI replaced the old Iron Triangle of Time-Cost-Scope with Leadership-Business Acumen-Technical, getting all three before under technical and mandating project managers learn business strategic alignment, benefits realization and leadership for their projects to provide a long lasting impact. 

How big is the influence of sustainability trends in construction?

For the sake of having a lower carbon footprint, or utilization of alternative power, recycling of waste or cleaner water, owners are ready to invest more, as long as there is a sound ROI that promises lower cost of ownership on the longer term. All the disruptive technologies, such as 3D printing, nano-technology for enhanced building material and AI are changing the traditional construction business. The new pms should be accustomed and relaxed to handle all these disruptions, especially the ones that offer more sustainability.

About Dr. Saadi Adra -

Dr. Adra is a PMO expert par  excellence  international speaker and thought leader. CEO of  Advisors. Saadi  has  25  years of experience in Strategy Enablement and Management Consultancy. He has developed Methodologies for  Portfolio, Program, Project , and Risk Management. He has sponsored, directed and led PMO initiation and Consulting Projects in several industries like Oil & Gas. Government, Education. Holding. Engineering. Power. Saadi has established with leading international organizations training courses and certificates/ diplomas in Project Management.

You can hear more from Dr. Saadi Adra on "Portfolio Management: Balancing Adaptability with Stability" at the Project Management Talks on 26th November, 15:00 - 15:45.