Weekly Now: Surprise! Projects Get More Efficient Amid Pandemic

The Project Management Institute reports that organizations have been more likely to meet their business goals and reduce waste with projects during the pandemic, despite remote operations. Also: Roller coasters need pandemic precautions, too.

Despite the challenges of the past year, there’s an unexpected benefit: Many organizations have implemented big projects successfully and with surprising efficiency, a recent report suggests.

According to the latest version of the Pulse of the Profession report by the Project Management Institute (PMI), nearly three quarters of organizations (73 percent) met their business goals with their most recent projects, an increase from the prior year (69 percent). Projects were also more likely to be on budget and on time, leading to less wasted investment overall—waste fell from 11.4 percent to 9.4 percent.

Perhaps the secret to the success of these projects is that project managers were less boxed in. Nearly a third reported using all available means to complete a project—a characteristic of what PMI called “gymnastic enterprises.”

“By enabling employees to work smarter, elevating power skills, and building business acumen, gymnastic organizations are delivering financial and societal value regardless of the challenges placed before them,” PMI Chief Operating Officer Mike DePrisco said in a news release.

Other recent headlines:

Limiting roller-coaster-related COVID-19 risks. Here’s one factor you probably didn’t consider about the reopening of theme parks: Screaming, a common result of enjoying theme park thrills, has the potential to spread COVID-19. As Southern California theme parks look to reopen as soon as next month, the California Attractions and Parks Association is calling on parks to require riders to wear masks, or for rides to space people farther apart, so that when the inevitable shouting happens, it doesn’t become a vector of viral spread.

Insurance brokers group is ready to loosen up. FN reports that the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association, which represents brokers who work out of the Lloyd’s of London insurance market in London, are recommending that “stuffy dress codes” (i.e., suit requirements) be retired in favor of a more flexible style that professionals have enjoyed while working remotely. “We envisage a world where face-to-face meetings continue to be at the core of how London distinguishes itself from the competition, albeit in a more flexible environment with slightly less focus on EC3,” said the association’s CEO, Christopher Croft, referring to the market’s iconic postcode.

Don’t Get Complacent

The anniversary of the U.S. lockdowns brings an opportunity to think about what needs to change about associations’ decision-making processes.  Jeff De Cagna, a longtime association consultant who urges association leaders to embrace a future-focused mindset, offered a list of six questions they should consider as they take their next step forward.

“There is good reason to be worried about where we are headed and yet, at this moment, our greater concern should be that we will not resist the emerging temptation of a false normalcy and make a hard turn back toward the pre-2020 complacency that exacerbated the pandemic’s detrimental impact,” he writes.

Check out his post on LinkedIn for more details.


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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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