PMI – 50 most influential projects: Part 2

In my previous Blog, I spoke to PMI Executive Mike DePrisco about the list that PMI released around the 50 most influential projects and the impact that they were hoping this would have on the wider Project Management Industry. During this blog, I want to discuss my own personal reflections on this list, which ones I consider to be the most beneficial and how I think this list could develop moving forward.

  • Nightingale Hospital. London.
    • When I first heard about this project on the news, I was extremely sceptical. The NHS itself is a sorely underfunded health service in the UK and their ambition to completely repurpose an exhibition centre was extremely ambitious. Let’s not even get started on the number of beds that they could fill or the processes that were planning to follow for establishing protocols for treating COVID patients. BUT…. within 9 days, they had achieved it. They had not only created and opened the wards but they had enabled a lessons learned process and strict protocols to guide other hospitals who needed to treat COVID patients. It was astounding to see just how quickly an organisation could create and enable such value during the pandemic.
  • Wolfsburg Plant Reopening.
    • When I read the full article about this project, it really inspired me. This was a company who really understood the requirements needed to establish a working factory line that would ensure COVID protocols could be safely adhered to but also that the factory could work and succeed in the longer term. These protocol and rules were way ahead of their time and industry and they really did lead the way in how companies could safely have people working onsite without comprising their health or wellbeing. I think one of the biggest indicators of it’s success, is the fact that the project plan has been downloaded over 120,000 times!
  • Kangeroo Island Recovery
    • It may seem like a very long time ago, but in January 2020, the world was watching as parts of Australia burned. I watched on in horror to see animals perish or be severely burnt as a result of the wildfires. The result of the actions of the different charities and organisations, they have done a lot to try and rebuild the population of animal affected as well as triage any potential future wildfires that may impact the island. The focus on animal welfare is such a valuable contribution to the longer lasting ecosystem that exists in Australia.

There is one project that I think is missing on this list from a UK perspective. As a result of the pandemic and schools being forced to close, there was a substantial risk for the poorer and more vulnerable children in the country that they would not get fed as normally they would receive assistance from the school for meals. A footballer took on this initiative and through his championing of this initiative, he forced the Government in a U-Turn to force them to provide food for the most vulnerable children during lockdown and holidays. He also took to Twitter and used his platform to share locations around the UK, where you could get food parcels/ food assistance if you needed it.

What I’d like to see moving forward:

I spent several hours reading through each of the 50 articles and it definitely inspired me to think about the value that has been created in such a tumultuous year. I would love to see more breakdown and not just including “industry” or “region”. I would love to see more projects around non profit vs. for profit and projects that have forwarded specific important goals within that year (e.g. The Gates Foundation and their role in trying to eliminate Malaria). I’d love to see some of the grassroot campaigns that have been performed by Project Managers in the last year, too.

Moving forward, I’d love to hear from these projects themselves about the value that they provided and what their lessons learned have been, what they are doing next and getting more insights from the Project Teams themselves.

Conclusion:

I really appreciate the PMI going to this effort to create a list of some of the most influential projects from the previous year. It has really given me a lot of time to think about the projects in my area which are adding their value to the global project landscape.

Is your favourite project on this list? Which would you include?

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