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Current Situation of Project Management in Turkey

In Turkey, Development Plans are made since 1960. In macro level, Development Plans are social agreements providing optimal use of resources and they attempt to determine the essential aspects of the societal and economic structure that are desired to be realized and to decide the essentials of the government intervention that is required to reach this structure. In general, these plans include strategic studies on the determination of which subjects to invest in, within the framework of needs and requirements. Large-scale government projects have played a role in the development of project management techniques. The methodology used prior to 1980 did not include a detailed planning and management system in the project details. Practices such as Resource Planning and CPM (Critical Path Method) were being used predominantly for current technologies back then and especially man power.

After 1980’s, as investments began in the private sector, the importance and necessity of Project Management increased. Project Management was founded in Turkey with the emergence of groups called consultants/inspectors who work predominantly as Design/Engineering. These groups, who were mainly foreign companies because Design and Engineering requires a certain amount of experience, were taking part in some large-scale projects; whereas investors were still trying to execute their projects and solve their organization within themselves. In 1980, the Turkish Consulting Engineers and Architects Association (TMMMB) was established in order to ensure the progress and development of consultancy services, to pioneer the transfer of international practices to our country, and to reach the highest international technological and organizational level. In this process, many domestic companies have begun to provide services in this frame and have completed many important and successful projects.

In addition, in accordance with the needs, Ankara Project Management Association (APY) was established in 1995 and Istanbul Project Management Association (IPYD) was established in 1997 to adapt and disseminate the methodology of Project Management Institute (PMI), which was established in 1980. These associations helped increase the interest to Project Management Methodology and its practices. PMI and similar methodologies begun to be implemented in many projects with constant change and improvement according to the needs. A lot of experts of this subject were raised especially with the support of universities.

With the introduction of global capital and international investors to Turkey, Project Management changed dimension in the beginning of 2000’s and Turkish companies also started to take place in the sector. One of the main reasons for this change is the fact that it is difficult to follow both execution and control processes in companies that are growing and investing in more than a single project. Another reason is the fact that the necessary and experienced organizational structure cannot be established in a limited time with enough capacity. But, of course, the most important reason is that Project Management had begun to be seen as a 'Specialization' and 'Risk Management and Transfer' within the framework of the need to quickly integrate global capital expectations and local capital expectations into common grounds.

It can be said that the goal of Project Management used to be to finish the job in time, in budget and with quality in the first years it began to become widespread in Turkey. However, the integration of these goals with themselves and the other subjects which need consideration to reach the goals have evolved in the years and have come a long way.

Nowadays, within the framework of the growing and complexity of the scope of the Projects, area of specializations such as Design Management, Risk Management, Tender Management, Field Management, Value Engineering etc. have developed. These specializations are an integral part of Project Management and it has also become a necessity for Project Management to execute processes integrally, proactively and solution-oriented.

Later, between 2005 and 2015, the sector developed with the entry of foreign investors into the country, especially with the use of specialized project management firms in shopping mall, hotel and office projects and many experts were raised.

As of now, many companies have started to prefer Project Management companies in the last 10 years. Especially with the emergence of large scale and mixed projects, Project Management companies have come a long way due to their advantages in quick decision making, equipped structures, and skills in analysis and process management. As of now, the following reasons have helped Project Management companies to increase their market share and have made major changes in the system:

  • They are more equipped, responsive and more focused on the desired result
  • They can produce results under limited resources
  • They can approach project objectives with a holistic approach
  • They are dynamic and proactive
  • They provide communication continuity more effectively among all parties
  • They can quickly adopt and respond to changes

As a result of all these, the importance and necessity of Project Management has been increasing. The widespread adoption of BIM and similar applications, the integration of digital technologies into the sector, and the importance of project costs and time periods will enable the sector to develop and grow further. Those companies who invest in information, expert staff, and development of applications will shine out in the sector. The reason is, investors need quality staff who are responsible and possess deep knowledge, skill and experience in order to detect and prevent possible problems before they arise and make decisions in the right direction.

As executives who have specialized in Project Management, we have to carry out the results and responsibilities of the decisions we have supported to be taken and the work we have done with our extensive and profound experience in the sector; and progress our work towards this direction. If we can show how such a service can help in the effective use of large budgets and provide the follow-up of this service in a bigger picture, we can also show that it will provide great contributions not only to the development of the sector, but also to the development of our country. For this reason, we wish and attempt to make all this awareness spread as much as possible.

In this context, I see and propose a serious benefit in bringing together the project management sector to discuss the problems, to set general rules, to set ethical rules, to train experts for the sector needs, and to institutionalize. I believe that this will be a significant contribution to the optimal utilization of the limited resources of our country and to the development of the companies on an international scale.




Kemal Okumuş PM Center Eylül 05, 2018 This article read 6231 times
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