B&R projects need unified structure

Updated 2018-02-22 13:51:03 China Daily

Initiative spanning borders requires common language and framework

Developing a common language and framework for project management is imperative for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure and construction projects, according to global industry advocacy organization Project Management Institute (PMI).

"The BRI is an ambitious plan with numerous infrastructure projects in multiple countries and regions. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a common language and framework in the project management field," PMI President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Langley said.

"As these projects are to be conducted across borders, it is important that BRI standards are aligned to international standards," Langley said.

Unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the initiative embraces more than 60 economies across Asia, Europe and Africa, accounting for 65 percent of the world's population and 40 percent of global GDP in 2017. According to a McKinsey Global Institute forecast, the Belt and Road countries and regions will account for 80 percent of world GDP growth by 2050.

Facilities connectivity is one of the major goals of the initiative, in which numerous large-scale infrastructure and construction projects in multiple countries and regions will link all these areas through a vast physical network. It is estimated that cumulative investment in BRI projects could fetch up to trillion.

According to PMI's annual survey released in January, the 4,455 project management professionals interviewed agree that investing in expertise, developing project measurement standardization and enhancing program delivery capabilities are the three top drivers of project success.

The survey identified that about trillion is wasted globally every year due to poor strategy implementation and roughly 10 percent of every dollar is wasted due to poor project performance, translating into a total of 0 billion.

Langley cited the failure of leadership to understand the connection between strategy design and delivery capabilities, as well as the frequent shifts of organizational objective as the manifestations of bad project practice.

With experience working with the Chinese government, State-owned enterprises and private companies, Langley thinks China has made significant investment in project management-nurturing expertise, and standardizing and integrating project management as part of the business strategy.

"We have seen China advance over the past decade and we think it will continue to do so. China is more mature than the global average in project management in our study," Langley said.

The PMI president is also bullish on the hiring outlook for the project management industry in Asia as the region exhibits stronger economic growth than other parts of the world.

"Amid the strong outlook in Asia, organizations are investing in their project management capabilities, creating career paths, facilitating training development and identifying core compulsory skills," Langley said.

Founded in 1969, PMI is a global industry advocacy group that aims to advance worldwide standards in the project management industry, which currently employs more than 3 million professionals.

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