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TEMS Chapters – IEEE Trinidad and Section (IEEEtt)’s Report

The TEMS Chapter, IEEEtt Section Co-hosted the PM8 Seminar on ‘Project Management Practices in the Caribbean’ on 28th November 2015

 The Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS) Chapter of the IEEE Trinidad and Tobago Section (IEEEtt) co-hosted the Eighth Public Seminar on “Project Management Practices in the Caribbean” (PM8 Seminar), in collaboration with the IEEEtt Education Society (EdS) Chapter and the Faculty of Engineering, The University of the West Indies (UWI).  The seminar was held at Room 1, 1/F., Block 1, Kenneth S. Julien Building, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon on Saturday 28th November 2015.

The seminar was facilitated by Dr. Ruel Ellis, the Chairman of EdS Chapter, IEEEtt. Professor Kit Fai Pun, of the IEMS Chapter, delivered a welcoming address to participants, and Eng. Wayne Richard Small, The Chairman-Elect of IEEEtt Section delivered a Keynote speech. The theme of this Seminar is “Project Management in Practices”. It seeks to facilitate the nation-wide awareness and the use of best project management practices and related concepts, models and tools in both public- and private- sector organisations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).

The Seminar programme was quite packed but was rather diverse. There were four presentations in two sessions, followed by an open forum discussion session. In the first session presentations, two invited speakers talked about the development of a Project Recovery framework for the Tourism Development Company Limited and a step-wise guide to developing a tailored Project Management Framework within an Organisation in T&T. In the Second Session, another two invited speakers focused on exploring the core of public health transformation in project management best practice, and also the development of an approach for assessing the impacts of smart building strategies in T&T.

All invited speakers were asked to sharpen/streamline their respective presentations in 20-25 minutes. Individual presentations are highlighted as follows:

  • “The Development of a Project Recovery framework for the Tourism Development Company Limited”Ms. Krystal Anita Gore, Certification and Inspection Officer of the Tourism Development Company (TDC) Limited, T&T. Ms. Gore discussed the role of project management in fostering the success of projects at TDC with particular reference to its Sites and Attraction Unit (SAU). It then relates the discussion to the development a project recovery framework, with the focus to maximise the chances of recovery success when faced with trouble projects at the SAU.
  • “A step-wise guide to developing a tailored project management framework in organisations”Mr. Vindar Ragbir, Process Improvement Team Leader of Grand Bay Paper Products Ltd. Mr. Ragbir’s presentation provided an overarching guide, justifying the need for such a framework, establishing objectives, designing/tailoring its implementation, and evaluating its success. Excerpts, special considerations and lessons learned from a case study are also added to compliment the guide and to illustrate the success of the approach in T&T.  The guide is presented in a sequential manner in order to direct the conceptualization, planning, execution and evaluation processes.
  • “Project Management Best Practice – The Core of Public Health Transformation” – Ms. Lee Anna Bobb, Project Manager of the National Information and Communication Technology Company Limited (iGovTT), T&T. Ms. Bobb discussed the problems associated with public health sector and the solution implementation efforts in T&T. Lessons from the health sector reform initiatives point to poor project management capabilities as a key factor for ineffective implementation of improvements, as intended benefits from undertaking reform programmes are not sufficiently realised. Instituting project management competence in public health is the core of implementing effective, sustainable solutions, as well as, preparing the sector for further reform initiatives.
  • “Development of an Assessment Approach for Assessing the Impacts of Smart Building Strategies on Buildings in Trinidad and Tobago”Mr. Jeffrey Barsatie, ICT Specialist (IT-Unit Projects), Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). Mr. Barsatie shared the findings of a recent study that was intended to determine the various components used by building operators, identify benefits and understand the reasons for its selection. Focus is geared towards recognising the various strategies, practices, and level of involvement building operators undertake with their buildings. A smart building (SB) approach was proposed, incorporating building governance and an index with assisting building operations in T&T.


The four Invited Speakers (from left):  Mr. Vindar Ragbir of Grand Bay Paper Products Ltd.,Ms. Krystal Anita Gore of TDC Ltd., Ms. Lee Anna Bobb of iGovTT, and Mr. Jeffrey Barsatie of TTPS.

Over 70 participants including invited guest speakers, Project Management professionals, academics, students, and delegates from industry who are interested in the theme “Project Management in Practice” attended the Seminar. We received 61 completed evaluation forms. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly good. About 85.2% of returned evaluations rated the Seminar either ‘Very Good’ (17 responses; 27.9%) or ‘Good’ (35 responses; 57.4%), and 9.8% of participants (6 responses) rated ‘satisfactory’ and 3 participants (4.9%) rated ‘Fair’. Besides, one returned questionnaire had no indication of overall comment.  Many participants commented that the presenters were very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and the presentations were interactive and informative.trand3


Photo was taken with invited speakers and participants at the Open Discussion Forum of the PM8 Seminar on Saturday 28th November 2015

Dr. Sanjay Bahadoorsingh (Chair of IEEEtt Section, 2015) receiving a Commemorative Plaque from Professor Kit Fai Pun (representing the UWI Faculty of Engineering) for co-organising the Seminar

Prepared by:

Professor Kit Fai Pun

for the Organising Committee

of the PM8 Seminar 2015

Dated: 8th December 2015 (updated 14 August 2016)

About the author

Ravikiran Annaswamy

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