QPM, one of the region’s premier project management companies and the first Qatari firm in the field, has announced its successful support of – and keynote participation in – the recent 3rd Annual Middle East Rail Opportunities Conference.
The conference took place on May 7 and 8 at Doha’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, based on the headline theme of ‘Operating smooth and profitable railways in the Middle East’. QPM, as a partner of the event, helped contribute to the impressive roster of expert speakers on rail-related topics over the course of the conference.
As one of the region’s premier project management companies, partnering a conference relating to large-scale projects such as rail, light rail and metro transport systems was a natural fit but it was also appropriate that QPM participate directly in the event, to elaborate on the complexity and management of the large scale projects prevailing in Qatar with the leadup to the FIFA 2022. To this end, QPM’s Chief Operating Officer Mr Ezzat Ragab gave a well-received keynote speech to the assembled delegates.
Mr Ragab addressed the participants on the topic ‘Program Management versus Project Management’. During his talk, Mr Ragab confronted the notion that while Project Management and Program Management are often referred to as the same thing, this is not so, and he explained the difference. It was argued that when an organization is managing a project or a program on your behalf, it is vital to understand the differences between the two so that one can assess the capabilities of a company to provide the specific services that are required.
Program versus Project Management comes down to perspective, Mr Ragab explained. Program managers focus on the vision of the operation, and Program Management is needed to provide leadership, facilitation and inspiration to the entire team, and to ensure that the projects being undertaken are in line with the overall business strategy of the organization.
With the distinction between the two disciplines having been made, Mr Ragab’s talk went on to discuss a number of other topics under the main theme. These included the overall importance of program management and its ability to deliver benefits through the use of integration and strategy and, for the greater part of his talk, the major aspects of the program management process: Governance, Management, Financial Management, Infrastructure, and Planning.
In addition to Mr Ragab, several other high-profile speakers were part of the event, including Eng. Saad Ahmed Ibrahim al Mohanadi, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Rail, and Mohamed Mezghani, a public transport expert based in Paris with 20 years of experience in rail transport systems.
They, and others, discussed a number of rail-related topics and questions, both broad-based and in close detail, including: The future rail vision for the Middle East region; Is rail the answer to a growing transport need?; Delivering bigger, better value rail projects; Planning, building and maintaining rail systems; Financing rail projects, and the duty/need for environmentally friendly rail projects, among others.
Speaking about his and QPM’s role in the conference, Mr Ragab commented, “The multitude of rail projects planned and ongoing all over the Gulf and in Qatar itself made Doha the natural home for the conference. But we need to look inside these projects and ask: What are we doing to increase the probability of achieving the expected benefits from our projects? Are we deploying our resources appropriately and selecting the right projects in order to maximize benefit? Are we developing the capacity to understand, and learn from, our project failures, and do we have a framework for institutionalizing program and project management best practices?
“QPM is the leading body in the region seeking the answers to these pertinent questions. This company’s vision is to become a leading provider of fee-based project management and construction management services to local and regional clients, with a particular focus on core sectors and geographies, and with a skilled capability for integrated solutions. In order to make this vision a reality, we need to answer the questions at hand, and seek always to do so,” he added.
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