Ten years or so ago, it was estimated that the yearly average cost of project failure was a little over ten million dollars. This figure would be higher today because of several factors such as rapidly changing technology and dynamic market conditions. But it would be higher primarily because there are now more projects being undertaken, but the percentage of failure is still considerable. There are many references on the technical aspects of project management. Software packages also have advanced significantly to aid planning, scheduling, and monitoring of projects. However, according to Vijay K. Verma, it is important to remember that despite the increase in information and availability of tools, people are still at the center of projects. And if neglected, they will certainly cause problems, constraints, and failure.
Introducing Vijay K. Verma, PMP, MBA, P. Eng
Vijay Kumar Verma holds a Master’s in electrical engineering from Canada’s Technical University of Nova Scotia and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. He is a registered professional engineer and currently Researcher Emeritus at TRI University Meson Facility (TRIUMF), having worked 34 years as head of project management services. Located in Canada, TRIUMF is a leading subatomic physics laboratory, and its mission is to make discoveries in particle physics, nuclear physics, nuclear medicine and materials science. He has been active with the PMI since 1984, has received the PMI Fellow Award in 2009, and still serving as Seminar Leader for PMI Seminars World.
International Keynote Speaker
Vijay K. Verma has presented several keynote presentations at national and international conferences. His papers and presentations focus on the human aspect of project management and managing of cross-cultural teams. Some of the events where he was invited to speak were at the PMI’s Professional Development Days Program in Minneapolis in 1999, the Annual Global Symposium on Project Management in New Delhi in 1996 and 1997, and the PMI’s Professional Development Dinner Meeting in Seattle in 1996.
Trainer and Consultant
Based on almost four decades of experience, Vijay K. Verma offers various seminars and workshops to help build high performance teams. These have been offered in corporate training programs with clients such as AT&T, General Electric, Lucent Technology, Coca-Cola, Westinghouse, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Intel, among other North American companies. These seminars and workshops have also been held overseas with British Gas, Hydro Data Porsgrunn of Norway, Carson Mills PM of New Zealand, First National Bank of South Africa, and Tata Institute of India.
Vijay K. Verma has authored a three-volume series on the Human Aspects of Project Management. All published by the PMI, the first volume is titled Organizing Projects for Success, and tries to address the human resource issues as they relate to PM. The second volume is Human Resource Skills for the Project Manager, which provides a comprehensive, unified and practical combination of PM skills emphasizing human relations and interpersonal skills. The third volume is Managing the Project Team, which focuses on developing and sustaining the project team throughout the life cycle while promoting work in a climate of mutual trust and win-win atmosphere. Mr. Verma has published other works such as chapters in the PMBOK Guide Review, topics on management of cross-cultural teams, and conflict management, to name a few.
Leading People Effectively and Confidently
New approaches to project management have become necessary to deal with a dynamic business environment characterized by factors such as time to market, resource limitations and global competition. Despite new approaches, it is still essential, according to Vijay K. Verma, for project managers to understand the human side of their organizations and business processes. They must have the skills to foster an ambiance conducive to innovation, self-directed teamwork, commitment and self-improvement. After all, people in projects are the ones who plan, organize, coordinate and monitor. So instead of becoming the source of problems and constraints, they will be providing solutions and opportunities.