Petronas: Project management should leverage tech amid pandemic

With increasing interconnectivity, project managers can build teams from across different countries by enabling centralisation of data


TECHNOLOGY adoption in project management should be embraced by businesses in light of the limitations caused by Covid-19, said Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) president and group CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz (picture).

He said by adopting an agile project management approach, the industry will be able to respond to new challenges with emerging technology and collaborative tools.

“Driven by urbanisation and rising digitalisation, it is pivotal for businesses to make the switch to provide technology-driven solutions.

“With increasing interconnectivity, project managers can build teams from across different countries by enabling centralisation of data, as well as leveraging on communication technology and project management tools,” he said in his welcoming address at the International Project Management Conference 2020, which was held virtually yesterday.

Tengku Muhammad Taufik said as the energy industry is vulnerable to cyclical swings, industry should seek to improvise during crisis.

He noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the world into the biggest peacetime recession of the century.

In April 2020, approximately four billion of the global population were under lockdown and at peak, 81% of the 5.5 billion global workforces had their workplace fully or partially closed.

He said this resulted in more than 25 million job losses recorded, amounting to a staggering US$419 billion (RM1.71 trillion) of revenue lost.

However, global lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the virus have led to an exponential decrease in energy demand.

According to the International Energy Agency, the world energy demand is expected to fall by 6% in 2020 — seven times the decline after the 2008 global financial crisis.

“While the magnitude of the virus unfolded, the industry saw the epic collapse of West Texas Intermediate prices which tumbled to negative territory at minus US$57 per barrel on April 20, followed by Brent prices recording US$13.24 per barrel on April 21.

“As Covid-19 continues to negatively affect demand combined with a supply glut, economic recovery remains fragile,” said Tengku Muhammad Taufik.

Meanwhile, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said in the current environment of constant change and upheaval, the ability to adapt and implement new strategies quickly will be a necessity.

This, he said, demanded more out of project managers than ever before.

“To survive and thrive, organisations will need to invest in building an agile delivery mindset tailored to their respective unique circumstances.

“The future project manager will need to become increasingly strategic and connected, developing new skills beyond traditional project management practices which will enable them to explore beyond the norm of delivering projects,” he said.