DailyPost 2559

If something the development of this country and even its robust functioning depends on; is what we understand of projects, the way we conceptualize, create a blueprint, bring it to an operational format, execute as per timelines, within the prescribed costs and reap the desired benefits thereof. Projects are transformational, which day to day governance cannot deliver, and carries a huge capital cost. It needs a different nature of expertise and execution and management capabilities. Delivery based on all parameters can be the only touchstone. How do we understand the project ecosystem of this country?

As it stands today, to understand the country’s project landscape there is no need to get into its history. If were to do whitepaper on all projects currently under execution, say of over Rs.100 crores, by any government agency in the country, in its complete detailing; planning, cost, execution, bottlenecks and time and cost overruns, you will able to see the developmental journey of this country threadbare. The issues would start gaping on your face, and there would be no way you can ignore. Nonetheless, the projects keep on happening in the manner they do, creating the same mistakes over and over again.

Coming to think of it, it seems that most of them were not projects by any stretch of imagination, and even though some might criticize it to be the wisdom of hindsight, that reality is that the projects turned out to be illogical projections. No country has unlimited resources, hence projects compete with each other, to get those resources and in the process get prioritized. Projects which are finally approved as per a game plan, and the picture of growth in totality also needs to be told to the stakeholders. It needs to be on the table as visionary planning tool, review and realign as and when required.

Governments in this country can ideate, visualize, plan and create any project, what has already been happening in that area / sector / geography is of no consequence. If there is a long-term plan, even that is of no consequence. If a government feels like it, any project can be created and put into operation. The haste with which it is done is indicative of the fact that our project creation and *execution management one long tale of idiosyncrasies given with the essential financial / procurement and legal garb. From the need for a project and then the reverse engineering is not worked out. It is the other way round, the project is decided upon and then everything is woven around it. It is generally done or dictated by generalists (experts as showpieces) with a clear-cut agenda, very aligned to the bigger agenda / task, if that agenda was in existence. What is intriguing is that there is ‘no accountable business owner,’ the project cost is just a financial beginning; escalations can keep on happening and that there is no sanctity of an end data.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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