A Candid Interview With Project Management Expert Rami Kaibni

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Rami is a certified Portfolio & Project Management Professional besides holding other various prestigious and reputable certifications in Project Management (PMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-ACP®, PMI-SP®, PgMD Pro®, AgilePM®, GPM-b™, PSM II, LSSBB) , Business Analysis (PMI-PBA®, CBAP®)  and having several published articles.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil/Structural Engineering and over 15 years of professional working experience in Project Management, Construction Management, and Business Development.

Rami is specialized in various aspects of portfolio and project management from initiation, planning, estimation, cost control, execution, quality control, monitoring, and closing.

Throughout his career, he worked with highly reputable companies and clients both nationally and internationally and has been deployed on high profile projects across Asia including the Gulf Region, Middle East, Shanghai/China and currently resides and works in Vancouver, Canada holding the post of Senior Projects & Development Manager.

Let’s start his interview without any further delay:

TaskQue: First of all, tell us how did you begin your career? What was the motivation behind entering the world of project management?

Rami Kaibni : Having a Structural Engineering degree, I started my career in the construction field designing buildings and then over the first couple of years got involved in the project management side of projects and found it very interesting and challenging at the same time.

What makes project management a unique industry from my point of view is that every day is a different day. There is no routine and every day you encounter different issues, meet people, establish connections and every day is a learning opportunity to learn something new and grow.

TaskQue: In your opinion what does the future hold for project management? Will we see the rise of AI and blockchain technologies playing a role in construction?

Rami Kaibni : AI will certainly have an effect on the future of project management but it will vary from one industry to another. For example, in Healthcare, the AI is taking over significantly while in construction, the effect of the AI is not significant at all and that is probably due to the nature of the industry itself.

TaskQue: Everyone faces some challenges in whatever they’re doing. What challenges have you experienced in the construction sector?

Rami Kaibni : Having a PMO can be challenging and at the same time could be very beneficial. In some cases, you face challenges with resource management especially when the prioritization of the projects and distribution of scarce resources is not thoroughly evaluated and this could have an effect on portfolios, programs and projects.

Another challenge I’ve witnessed is practicality as in some cases, the people working in the PMO do lack practical field experience which makes their decisions subjective more than objective.

TaskQue: In project management, you’ve had the opportunity to serve a range of industries. Which sector, in your opinion, is the toughest in terms of Project Management?

Rami Kaibni : Every industry/sector is tough and challenging in its own unique way, so I can’t say that one is tougher than the other. However, within a sector itself, you can find some projects more challenging and tougher than others.

TaskQue: What tips would you like to give with regards to stakeholders’ management. What’s your secret recipe?

Rami Kaibni: I would sum the tips of stakeholders’ management in two words: Communication and Transparency. The more you communicate efficiently and effectively in a very transparent way, the more you will gain the stakeholder’s trust and buy-in.

TaskQue: Do you think that the rise of AI is a real danger to human jobs? How is it going to affect jobs in project management?

Rami Kaibni: As I mentioned earlier, AI effects will vary from one industry to another and will certainly affect human jobs. For example, the number of employees in stores like Walmart or Superstore decreased because they deployed some AI technologies like Self-Checkout. On the other hand, in construction, for example, you can’t replace the workforce and trades with AI technologies, at least not as of now.

TaskQue: How you address your productivity challenges in your team and organization? What steps our readers should take to avoid any potential problems and mishaps?

Rami Kaibni: There are many factors that contribute to overcoming productivity issues of which some are: Training, Delegation, Learning from the Past, Staff Recognition, Resources Optimization.

I published an article back in 2016 specifically discussing how to improve productivity in construction projects: https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/314403/Improving-Productivity-on-Projects

TaskQue: There is always a debate about of agile and no agile. Should the companies completely adopt agile? Or they should follow a hybrid approach?

Rami Kaibni : There is nothing called Agile and No-Agile. An organization should evaluate their portfolios, programs and project then decide what best suits their needs to achieve its strategic goals and objectives.

In the construction industry, I started looking into Agility and how it can be applied to Construction Projects and concluded that while it might not be possible to apply agile purely, agile works well if applied as a hybrid model alongside the waterfall approach.

As a next step, I started looking at the different agile frameworks and concluded that DSDM is one of the best frameworks that can work perfectly alongside a waterfall approach because it looks at the project lifecycle as a whole, not the development side of it only.

TaskQue: Which tools do you use for Project Management? How much does it affect the overall progress of projects?

Rami Kaibni: I use simple tools like Harvest (Time Tracking), MS Project (Scheduling and Planning), DropBox (As a communication engine). Those tools do save lots of time in many ways and reduce waste which in turn boost productivity.

TaskQue: Do you have any words of wisdom to offer to newbies who want to pursue project management as a career path?

Rami Kaibni : In the project management field, if you want to succeed and excel, you need to climb the ladder step by step. Education provides you with the theoretical background, hands-on experience provides you with the practical experience where you start making sense of designs, estimates, timelines so when you move to a higher role such as Development, Portfolio or Program Manager roles, you can add value from your expertise and best serve your clients.

Our world is changing rapidly and new technologies are spreading like fire in a wild bush, and project management is a very competitive field so what is more important than reaching the top is staying there and in in order to stay there, you need to stay on top of things, up to date with the latest and always work on your professional development.

TaskQue: TaskQue is a productivity enhancement tool which helps in tasks management and better efficiency and transparency. What do you think about future trends of Productivity tools?

Rami Kaibni: I reviewed the TaskQue tool, not in details though, but my first impression is that it is a very user-friendly tool, could help a lot in boosting productivity. It is also very affordable and I believe worth trying. We will be evaluating this tool in the near future and implement it if an opportunity arises.

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