Project Management

Straight Talk with PMI: The Project Economy and Humanizing Project Management

3 Jun 2022
Michael DePrisco

In this Straight Talk episode on The Project Economy, Antonio Nieto Rodriguez, Former Chair of the Board of Directors, Professor of Project Management, and author of the Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook: How to Launch, Lead, and Sponsor Successful Projects, shares his rich insights with Michael DePrisco, COO, PMI. Mike engages Antonio on a range of pertinent aspects impacting project professionals and the emergence of The Project Economy. 

If you enjoyed the summary of Mike and Antonio discussing the evolution of project management and its role in the economy, you can see the full interview in six parts below.

In this episode, Mike sets the context and tone as he asks Antonio Nieto Rodriguez a profound question: How has project management essentially changed? In response, Antonio deep dives into the radical transformation the project profession has seen over the last five decades, calling it a ‘Silent Disruption.’

In this episode, Antonio shares his insights on a significant thought that is gaining traction by the day, embedding the human element into projects. He says, "Yes, the Future of Work has its share of machines and AI, but you will never see a situation in which robots are running a project; if you want to become more human-centric, use projects.”

Recently, in a Harvard Business Review article, Antonio raised the critical point—that some leaders still do not appreciate the value of projects. Why is that? According to Antonio, this perception creeps in when some leaders see project management as tactical and not strategic. At the same time, Antonio feels that project managers also need to sell the value proposition and benefits more assertively.

This episode delves into the skills part by reinforcing the relevance of PMI's Talent Triangle™. On the question of how project managers can evolve into strategic advisors, Antonio feels that project managers need to forge better collaborations with their teams and leadership. They need to make themselves accountable by giving ownership to the project—assuming responsibility as the drivers of the outcome, rather than just planners.

Antonio says that for project managers to walk the extra mile and create a more significant impact, they need to bring in a sense of belonging among the team members for greater resonance. Moreover, they need to bring in the team's confidence and leadership by exhibiting knowledge that people can rely on to make informed choices.

Change and adapt is the name of the game, says Antonio. He continues by saying that project managers need to step up as more work goes into project mode. As we move forward, the demand for project professionals will go up. Project management professionals will play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping strategic business outcomes in the days ahead.

Michael DePrisco Michael DePrisco

As Chief Operating Officer (COO), Michael (Mike) DePrisco provides executive leadership to the Global Operations Group, supporting more than 1.4M active certification holders, 680,000 members, and 300 chapters from over 200 countries. He is responsible for the Product Portfolio, EPMO, Culture & Change Management, Digital Group, and Customer Care teams. His team's focus is on excellence in the execution of all major change initiatives at the Institute, digital product delivery and customer support, and optimization of ways of working, culture and change management.