Project Management – Pandemic and Beyond



By Hareshchandra Thakur, PMP

General Manager, Project Management,
Energy Business, Wärtsilä India Pvt. Ltd.

Mumbai, India


Now that we are witnessing a decrescendo in the Covid19 cases, and with the Covid protocols being lifted worldwide, life is returning to normalcy, let us take a helicopter view of what all Pandemic Covid19 has taught us that has made us a little wiser.

We all have gone through a torrid time during Covid19 clubbed with the recent geopolitical tensions, unprecedented spikes in commodity prices, and supply chain issues which have made our lives a little more difficult affecting the way we work and the way, we live. The impact for some has been very high, some are still reeling under the threats and coping up with the build-up of anxiety levels. Today, the new reality is that crisis and disruption are here to stay, we need to adopt newer ways to survive and thrive in the changing world. Moreover, every crisis/situation/event teaches us something new and imparts us some important life lessons which collectively are termed as our experiences, here too, the challenging times have added a few more tools and techniques to our toolbox.

Above all, it is well-known fact that how we use the lessons learned determines the end results which separate the men from the boys.

This paper brings out the key lessons and how these have helped us during the execution of the projects.

End Result

Challenges are only temporary and testing times do not last long. In a dynamic world, conventional ways of working do not yield the same results achieved in past, innovativeness is the key to success. Think, Observe & Manage (TOM) is the mantra for not only surviving in the VUCA world but also a key enabler to thrive in the days to come.

Key Words: Innovative, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Stakeholders, Project Success, Project Leaders


While digitisation and reorientation of the processes have been the focus of various articles and papers published in the field of Project Management emphasising the “Hard Core” principles and guidelines in the Project Management framework there are very few articles and papers emphasising the ‘soft side” i.e., human angle of the Project Management. This paper brings out the behavioural aspects and emphasises the “Soft issues”, the human angle especially in construction projects – in this case, setting up power plants at a global level.

Often, we tend to ignore the important role played by the project team members who work on the set guidelines and processes in the Project Management framework to deliver the end results. No doubt these processes, and guidelines help us in working in a structured manner and enhance the efficiency of the project team members, at the same time, we need to appreciate the fact that it is the “people” who perform and deliver the results. Unlike other resources which depreciate over a period, only People appreciate over a period in terms of experience and knowledge gained and enhanced wisdom.

It is essential to have the processes in place but at times, we find that the goal post itself has shifted and the rules and regulations have changed drastically. Our “conventional” and “time tested” approach that has worked for us over the years is no more valid in today’s fast-paced changing world. As such, we are left gasping for fresh air. It is here that we need to reorient ourselves, think, and act out-of-box to survive the unprecedented challenges imposed by the onslaught of a Volatile Uncertain Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. More importantly, the stresses and build-up of anxiety levels we witness today are far too high, forcing us to adapt newer techniques to survive and stay ahead in this ruthless world.

Being innovative, taking faster decisions, and acting swiftly to break the shackles are the order of the day.


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Thakur, H. M. (2023). Project Management – Pandemic and Beyond; PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/pmwj125-Jan2023-Thakur-project-management-pandemic-and-beyond.pdf

About the Author

Hareshchandra M Thakur

Mumbai, India


 Hareshchandra M Thakur is a professional in the Power Sector with over 38 years’ experience in setting up of multiple Power Plants in Nuclear, Oil & Gas sectors in India and at a global level. Presently, he is working as General Manager, Project Management Centre, India with Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd. Hareshchandra has held various positions in Financial Management and Project Management with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., Wartsila Finland Oy and Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd.

He has closely worked with cross-functional and cross-cultural teams and has vast international exposure in key areas – Project Management, Strategic Financial Management, Contract Management and Resource Management, Competence building, Formulation of Business Strategies and Establishing way of working for Indian & global projects. He is a Certified NLP Practitioner and has been visiting various Engineering and Management institutions as a guest lecturer. He has made presentations at IPMA World Congress at Helsinki, Istanbul & Crete, and Global Symposiums on Project Management in New Delhi in addition to the papers published and featured in PMWJ.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from College of Engineering, University of Poona and a Master’s degree in Financial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, University of Mumbai. He obtained PMP Certification in April 2002. He lives in Mumbai, India and can be contacted at hareshthakur@yahoo.com