Miguel Angel Falcón, Managing Director Lysander Spain, recently moderated the Project 2021 Forum organised by Cesine Jornadas and Metros 2 Magazine that took place at the Official College of Architecture in Madrid.

The speakers focused on the importance of new technologies and digitisation in the project management sector, as well as sustainability and lessons learned in managing international projects.

Most interesting, however, was the subsequent discussion in which the executives of some of the most influential project management companies discussed topics which included:

  1. Lessons learned during the pandemic and the challenges that we will, undoubtedly, face in the future. This highlighted the flexibility required to manage changes in ongoing projects and the “personal skills” required to remotely manage complex projects, with numerous global and local stakeholders.
  2. The future role of the project manager. Views ranged from the greater specialisation of the project manager to the early involvement of the project manager in the initial phases of real estate projects, to the need to take a step forward so that the project manager plays a more important role in real estate projects, acting as an independent “project leader”. This last view sees the project manager taking on a much wider role which includes commercialisation and management of legal and financial functions as well as managing the usual construction agents of architects, MEP, structural engineers, contractors and specialist consultants. This undoubtedly represents a training challenge and those teams that have participated in 360º projects for years will have an advantage. There were, however, managers who saw a danger in the large global consultants adopting this approach as they could have an interest in expanding their piece of the business.

As we all know, life forces us to evolve and adapt to find the customer niche to which we can contribute the greatest added value and with which we can generate the greatest volume of contracts. In this sense, there will be very different scenarios with some clients wishing to directly manage specialists in each phase of the real estate project, clients who want a single company responsible for the delivery of projects, as well as clients who want to work with independent project leaders to manage the best specialists in each area of ​​the project.

This is all good news because it will further segment the market and force the personality and quality of each project manager to stand out.

Without a doubt, the Project 2021 Forum was an interesting and thought-provoking event that allowed us to challenge and comment in a transparent way on the most intimate aspects of our sector, the quality and future of project management.

Miguel Angel Falcón, October 2021