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SURVIVAL ANALYSIS OF AUTOMOBILES

Bharani Kumar Depuru, director, Innodatatics (author)

Raghava Ram Tavva and Shirish Kumar Gonala, directors, Innodatatics (co-authors)
When a vehicle transporting goods breaks down, it not only disrupts delivery schedules and impacts customer service but also increases insurance claims that directly impacts the profitability of insurance companies. This winning paper presented a project management solution the team had used for a customer by using automotive telematics and cloud technologies. With this solution, the team was able to forecast if a vehicle was likely to break down, thus helping transporters get proactive in vehicle maintenance and reduce the number of breakdowns, warranty claims, and insurance claims. Mr. Depuru said the complex project was divided into several sub-projects, of that one involved installing connected devices or internet of things (IOT) and a telematics controlling unit (TCU) in 5,000 trucks. These IOT devices collected data from 196 vehicle components and the TCU transmitted that data every hour to the data analytics team. The analytics team used this data to forecast breakdowns and conduct survival analysis to determine how long a component was likely to function.

The authors spoke about the risks and challenges at each stage of the project, the project management techniques used, and how people were empowered to build a solution using advanced technologies.

Procurement management was a critical aspect of this project since IOT was still a new concept in India. “We hardly found any vendors who could provide us with the IOT devices that met our specifications. So we evaluated the proposals based on time-to-ship, import duty clearance time, bulk purchase discount, and size of the telematics controlling unit,” he explained. “We managed the project using hybrid agile techniques. The technical part of the project was based on the open group architecture framework,” he added.
 
RUNNER-UP - OVERALL
ROLE OF PROCESS INNOVATION IN ACHIEVING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
CATEGORY: PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP - IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD LEADERSHIP

Sundara Raghavan Rangarajan,
Founder and Principal Consultant,
TAPAS
There are many reasons why a project would not be successful. Stressing on timely reviews and defining the scope of work, Sundara Raghavan Rangarajan dwelt upon how mental biases/ errors have plagued many of the employees and higher-level management in companies.

Overconfidence is the stone that makes many stumble. This prevents them from understanding things from another perspective. To add fuel to this burning issue is the tendency of people to hold firm to their beliefs and theory even in a crisis. Mr. Rangarajan also highlighted how anchoring and priming are main sources that mold the mind set of people. In conclusion, he said that although people work in a formal and corporate environment, they are not always open to change. And this poses a challenge to project managers. Mr. Rangarajan said that project managers need to take into account four quadrants while implementing changes: fear of change, fear of not changing, the benefit of change, the benefit of not changing. He also suggested that senior-level members should develop well-defined roles for employees and create a good and friendly working environment that will motivate people to work in spite of the challenges they face.
 
TOWARDS A PARADIGM SHIFT IN STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT OF PPP PROJECTS
CATEGORY: PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP - TO ACCELERATE ECONOMIC GROWTH

Anand Lokhande, application delivery lead, Shell
For the success of a public-private partnership (PPP) project, the stakeholders must be engaged throughout the project’s run. Anand Lokhande recommended a “4C-5P model” to facilitate a 3P project.

“Infrastructure projects are the temples of the modern world. While the number of projects in India is high, we need to focus on their quality,” said Mr. Lokhande.

He presented case studies of PPP projects that faced difficulties because of issues in stakeholder engagement, i.e. the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway, the Vadodara Halol toll road, and the Hubli Dharwad water supply project.

Mr. Lokhande’s model advocated investing in the 5Ps –the project management office, the project manager, government project teams, private sector project teams, the procurement and legal teams, – as well as the communication and risk management team, to get a return investment of the 4Cs: collaboration, coordination, continuous communication, and consistent flow of information, for smooth execution and optimal use of resources.

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CONVERGING THEMES OF INNOVATION AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
CATEGORY: PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP - IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD

Tanish Mathur, assistant vice president, HSBC Commercial Banking
Tanish Mathur’s paper on converging the themes of innovation and project management was a study on how start-ups can regain lost glory in India. He pointed out that since 2015, as many as 1,500 start-ups had closed shop in the country.

He used the number of patents filed as a measurement of the success of a country’s start-up environment. While 1,423 international patent applications were filed from India in 2016, Japan and China had 44,235 and 29,846, respectively.

“As of August this year, US $15 billion in funding available with private equity and venture capitalists, has gone to waste because of a lack of innovation in start-up services,” Mr. Mathur said. For start-ups to have access to such capital, they needed to differentiate themselves in the market, he emphasized. “The goal is to merge Blue Ocean innovation strategies and project management techniques to make start-ups stand out from the crowd by selling something that no other company has,” he said, adding that this would create a higher demand among customers for their product or service, and in turn, invite more capital investment.

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LEADING A DIVERSE MILLENNIAL GENERATION: LESSONS FROM EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK
CATEGORY: PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP - HARMONY IN DIVERSITY & MILLENNIAL GENERATION

Sandeep Chatterjee, Associate Director, KPMG
Atrek to the Everest base camp is no easy task, with a treacherous terrain, unpredictable weather, and the strain it puts on the human body and mind. And if you’re leading a diverse team including millennials, the challenge grows multi-fold.

Sandeep Chatterjee, who led a team of 10 millennials from several business schools in India on a 14-day trek there earlier in the year, offered some perspectives on how to manage the aspirations and inter-personal issues of millennials. Besides having their own unique personality traits, trekkers in the group had a mix of trekking experience and came from different value systems. “We had the misfortune of facing a terrible snowstorm at a temperature of -26 degree Celsius. Two of our team mates had acute altitude sickness and had to be convinced to cut short their trek. In spite of careful planning, we had to make changes as we went,” recalled Mr. Chatterjee. Inter-personal issues slowed down decision-making at times.

Listing out the lessons he learned, Mr. Chatterjee said, “As a project manager, respect youth and their ideas. Be transparent, since they are good at handling bad news. To satisfy their craving for instant gratification and recognition, encourage every small efort that builds the team’s morale. Also create avenues for collaboration and empower them with more responsibilities.”

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BRIDGING THE SKILLS VS EMPLOYABILITY GAP FOR A SMART INDIA
CATEGORY: PROJECT MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP – LEVERAGING INDIA’S SKILLED POPULATION FOR COMPETITIVE EDGE

Anita Ganesh Associate Partner, IBM

Sapna Mogappagowda, Client Service Excellence Lead, IBM
Anita Ganesh and Sapna Mogappagowda presented a technology-based solution to bridge gaps between skills and employability in India, at a time when skill development has been identified by the Government of India and corporate houses as critical for the country’s development.

With 1.34 billion people, India is the second populous country that will become the youngest democracy by 2020 with a median age of 29. The speakers questioned whether the country was equipped to take advantage of this demographic dividend, especially in the rural sector where the youth did not have the right skills for employment.

After an analysis of the gaps in skills versus employability, the speakers recommended a technology solution – a “dream job catcher” at both the national and states level. “The dream job catcher is an intelligent solution that will map available skills in a region to the market demands using cognitive technology and predictive analytics. It will project job and skill trends to government bodies, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. This intelligent job-skills matching engine is the need of the hour,” said Ms. Ganesh.

The speakers touched upon both the technical and project management components involved in this proposed project. As far as project management goes, they recommended the use of scaled agile techniques, crowd-sourcing, monitoring and tracking through earned value management, a balanced score card, and the setting up of a project management policy council involving the key public and private sector stakeholders.
 
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