A Kerzner Award Recipient Shares Why Teaching PM Skills to Youth is 'Essential'

 

17 April 2019

Published inPM for Social Good

Sudhakar Ravada

Sudhakar Ravada, accomplished PMP and previous Kerzner Award recipient, shares how the award helped advance his leadership skills, why we need to teach youth PM skills early, advice on how to apply and more.

Each year, the PMI Educational Foundation honors those excelling in the project management field by presenting the Kerzner Award for Excellence in Project Management to a deserving recipient.  Last year, PMIEF gave the award to Sudhakar Ravada, accomplished PMP, for his achievements in project management.

We had the opportunity to interview Sudhakar on how the award not only helped him advance on his career path and how he encourages all PM’s to apply for the award, but how teaching project management skills early on helps.

1. Why do you feel it’s important for youth to learn project management skills?

“Skills such as planning, collaboration with others, execution, and self-management are essential to accomplish anything in life.

Some of us are lucky to have parents, or go to schools or have mentors who provide us the awareness of these skills and help us build them early in our lives. But, these days, thanks to organizations like PMI and PMIEF, the knowledge is accessible to all, and there are plenty of avenues through these organizations to participate and build project management skills. 

It thus helps anyone to acquire these skills early on to leverage them to simplify and accelerate their goal achievement in life.” 

2. How has project management helped you in a leadership role?

“My leadership role is in context of leading enterprise-wide technology service operations and innovations.  My year is filled with initiatives that often result in projects, programs, processes, problems, partnerships, personnel and operations all at the same time. 

Project Management provides me and my team the mindset, methodologies, and tools to effectively organize our respective work and efficiently achieve our complex outcomes with ease. As most of us are certified in PMBOK concepts, it makes it easy to collaborate and importantly manage each other’s expectations especially during moments of uncertainties and challenges.

Additionally, the project management professional community serves as a rich resource to ideate and overcome unique challenges easily. Thus, over time, project management methodologies, tools, and community have become my infrastructure and way of life for goal achievement and outcome realization.”

3. How has the Kerzner Award helped advance your professional career? 

“The award was a great honor. Considering the accomplishments of the winners and finalists in past several years, I still can't believe I received the prestigious Kerzner Award. 
The award led to an opportunity to present in the 2018 International Project Management Day and also attend the 2018 Global Project Management Conference. I also had the opportunity to meet and celebrate with other 2018 PMIEF and PMI recipients. These events resulted in meeting several leaders pushing the envelope of project management and making a difference in their areas of work. It gave me an opportunity to learn their project management stories and share mine. To share a metric — the recognition led to an introduction to 85 professionals across different countries who expressed interest and joined me on LinkedIn to collaborate on my research and practitioner work in Human Performance Improvement, and Innovation Project Management.

I am very grateful for the difference the Kerzner Award continues to make in my life and career.”
 
4. What advice would you give those applying for the Kerzner Award?

“The Kerzner Award application questions focus more on applicant's thought leadership and mindset toward project management. For me, the questions became an introspection exercise to reflect on my philosophy, mindset, and approach towards project management. This self-awareness is a good thing in itself. Hence, irrespective of the outcome, take time to reflect (I took a month), provide a few examples to illustrate your thoughts, and make the best of the application process.
   
Dr. Kerzner is well known for his leadership and contributions. An award in his name is truly an honor and a great encouragement. If you feel eligible to apply for an award in Dr. Kerzner's name, then for sure, you have a story to share with the rest of us, and you surely will have a project management philosophy and approach that is resulting in outcomes and making a difference in your context. Hence, take time to reflect and share your experiences and mindset, and make the best of the application process.”

 
 

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