Is the Indian Government Sector oblivious of the need of Professional Project Management in the Infrastructure Development Domain ?

Take a walk around any Indian City or Town and you would invariably notice a couple of things; first, that India remains in a perpetual ‘under construction mode’ and, second, that all you would see is an unmistakable sense of haphazardness & lack of direction. If it is a Sewage Disposal Project under construction, then you would find half excavated trenches posing a risk of life to the Citizens or Sewer Pipes scattered hither & yon obstructing the flow of traffic. If it is a Mega Building Project, then you would find unfinished structures waiting to be constructed for ages. If it is a Highway Project, then you could be assured of innumerable diversions, semi constructed stretches of roads and construction material lying in an unplanned way waiting for a savior to arrive and take it to its conclusion. Important deadlines get violated, schedules go haywire, cost gets inflated beyond control, quality goes southwards and Projects are delayed beyond salvation. All of these factors have a devastating effect on the progress as well as the image of the nation. Try to search for the reasons and you would find that while there is a whole army of officials working on all these Projects, they still rely on conventional methods of Planning & Management that have failed us time and again and have been without doubt proven to be a futile exercise in managing the timely and standardized execution of Projects. If we look towards the developed nations and observe their methodology carefully, we would find that they have adopted the Professional Project Management Practices eons ago and are therefore reaping the benefits of moving with the times. Strangely, while the Indian Private Sector is trying to catch up with the International trend and also succeeding in the same, the Government Sector personnel are yet to realize the importance of Professional Project Management and start benefiting from the time tested concepts available in the PMBOK compiled by the PMI as well as the plethora of Software Applications like Microsoft Project, Primavera and Asta Powerproject etc. It is important to realize that these Software Applications take Project management to an altogether different level and help one in managing Standalone Projects as well as a Portfolio of Projects at an Enterprise level. Suitable for Top level Managers as well as those at the Field level, these Applications bring the management of Time, Cost, Equipment and Manpower under a single Platform and present an integrated snapshot of the Project at any given point of time. Managing issues, that is such a critical part of Project execution, becomes easier and the Project Stakeholders remain aware of whatever is going on in the Project at any stage. Studying the Critical Paths, analyzing the Earned Value Calculations become easily available with a single click of the Mouse. Reporting & Tracking become a cakewalk while Communication Management becomes quite effective, easy and timely. Concepts of Critical Path Drag and Critical Chain Management may be utilized to avail of maximum benefits in terms of effective Time Management. To wrap up the things, it is my opinion that while of late a small percentage of the Government Sector Professionals engaged in the Infrastructure Construction Domain have already started gaining the knowledge as well as practicing the latest tools & skill sets related to Project Management, the majority remains either in oblivion or unwilling to learn and adapt. The State Governments as well as the Government of India need to introduce its Officials to the benefits of the use of latest tools & knowledge already being put into practice by their counterparts in the Indian Private Sector as well as in the International circles. What’s your take on this ?
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