CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Anjana is a Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 18+ year of experience in managing various projects in Risk Management, Governance, Audit and Assurance domains.
She has been a change agent driving many strategic initiatives during her career such as:
- Introduction of Digital Assurance Services to Group Internal Audit Department of Dubai Ports World, UAE
- Introduction of Continuous Audit for Etisalat, UAE
- Introduction of Process Control and Franchised Customer Services Audits for Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka
- Involved in setting up of Information Risk Management (IRM) Unit for KPMG Bangladesh (as a secondment from KPMG Sri Lanka)
Her innovative ideas and outstanding project management skills have been recognized in many occasions and below awards marks special milestones in her career.
Etisalat Group CEO Award – Jan 2018
This prestige award recognizes high performing individuals for significant contribution to customer experience, innovation and organizational excellence. She received this award in recognition of her outstanding contributions towards introduction of Automated Audit Analytics to the company.
Innovative Auditor – Oct 2014
This special award was received in recognition of her continuous innovative efforts towards introduction of audit analytics and audit department automation towards Smart Organization.
What is your project management super power?
“See It Big – Keep It Simple”. This enables me to constantly challenge myself to raise the bar high and drive my project team towards it.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
My request to any leaders is to assess an individual based on capabilities and not gender. Ensure that the right person is given the right job without being biased towards gender or any other factors. I have had the privilege of working side by side with many talented and strong inspirational women who have challenged their male counter parts and delivered exceptional results. Gender does not play a part in anyone’s capabilities. As a mother to a beautiful and talented little girl my advice to all the women/ girls is to dream big, aim high, stay focused and work hard towards your dreams! No one can stop you!
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Firstly, even to date I have seen that many believe the project management skills should be mastered by professionals having the ‘Project Manager’ title. This perception needs to change as project management skills are required in any profession now. I am an excellent example for that. Secondly, as the world is moving towards a project economy and agile delivery of projects, I see two skill sets that would give an edge to Project Managers in any industry or domain:
1. Embracing new tools and technologies
Stay relevant, you don’t need to be an expert in all fronts but learn to sail through. Continue to be hungry for knowledge and study new trends in the digitized world.
2. Enhanced soft skills or Power Skills in the new era
Such as problem-solving, effective communication, empathy, self-management, collaboration etc. As these skills would be the key differentiators between professionals going forward on how best you manage projects and the teams.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
Firstly, I would focus my energy on something else to control my emotions first. As when one is in a difficult situation it is often prone to making wrong decisions or actions. Secondly, I would try to analyse the root cause for the difficult situation and strategies what needs to be done to move out of it.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Communication- as humans this is the best technique. Yet we need to apply this based on the situation, people involved and also the nature of the conflict. I would try to discuss with the parties involved in the conflict individually so that it’s easy to get each person’s viewpoint and the reasons for the conflict. Then would devise a plan to bring the parties together and to sort the conflict on neutral grounds as much as possible.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
1. Achievements- as a Project Manager I deliver solutions to solve problems
2. Innovation- the solutions I deliver gives me the opportunity to be innovative and think outside the box
3. Collaboration- a project is not an individual effort. There is always a team working together behind it. Making that magic happen to take the team from forming to performing is my gift
Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.
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