• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to innovation process – Bobade

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ADEDAMOLA BOBADE is an experienced project manager and operational risk analyst with a passion for using technology to enable impactful change. In this interview with JOSEPHINE OKOJIE, she spoke on the various opportunities available to building an ecosystem of support for sustainable development within the project management industry and how she has defied stereotypes with a strong sense of self-belief, resilience and refusal to be limited by societal expectations.

How can Nigeria inspire creativity, nurture innovation, and build skilled project managers

Nigeria can inspire creativity and nurture innovation through multifaceted approaches. Investing in education is paramount, focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines and incorporating creative thinking and problem-solving skills into the curriculum.

Collaboration between universities, research institutions, and industry can facilitate knowledge exchange and the commercialization of research findings. Establishing innovation hubs and incubators in major cities encourages entrepreneurship and provides support to startups. Additionally, initiatives such as hackathons, innovation challenges, and maker spaces foster a culture of experimentation and collaboration, driving innovation forward.

Read also: How Lagos State Girls powering a sustainable future in STEM

In your opinion, do you think Nigeria is on the right track in terms of project management practices and policies when compared to global standards?

While Nigeria has made progress in project management practices, there’s a discernible gap when compared to global standards. Challenges like inadequate infrastructure, bureaucratic red tape, and skills shortages hinder efficiency.

However, recent initiatives such as the adoption of agile methodologies, certification programs, and regulatory reforms are steps in the right direction. Aligning with global standards requires continuous improvement, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and adaptability in project execution.

What are some of the challenges facing project management in Africa?

A number of countries in Africa faces numerous challenges in project management, including inadequate infrastructure such as reliable power supply and transportation networks. Political instability and regulatory complexities can lead to project delays and increased costs.

Funding constraints, particularly for large-scale projects, hinder implementation. Moreover, skills gaps in project management and technical expertise present significant barriers. Addressing these challenges necessitates coordinated efforts from governments, private sectors, and international partners to invest in infrastructure, streamline regulations, and enhance skills development.

Can you share your perspective on the role of women in shaping the future of innovation in Nigeria and Africa at large?

Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the innovation process, driving creativity and problem-solving. Inclusive innovation ecosystems, where women have equal opportunities to participate and lead, result in more innovative solutions that address diverse societal needs. By championing diversity and inclusion, women contribute to sustainable development and economic growth in Nigeria and across Africa.

As a country with a significant female population, there is a crucial need to build a generation of women for leadership?

In your opinion, how can this be done: Building a pipeline of female leaders requires addressing structural barriers and providing support at every stage of their careers. Education and skill development programs should focus on empowering girls from a young age, encouraging their interest in STEM fields.

Mentorship and networking opportunities connect women with role models and peers, fostering professional growth and confidence. Organizations can implement policies promoting gender parity in leadership positions, such as flexible work arrangements and family-friendly policies, to support women’s advancement.

As Nigeria’s economy continues to face challenges and clients seek more affordable services, how do you balance offering top-notch services while keeping them affordable?

Achieving a balance between offering top-notch services and affordability requires strategic decision-making and operational efficiency. Organizations can optimize processes through lean management principles, eliminating waste and improving productivity. Investing in employee training and development enhances skills and performance, leading to higher-quality outcomes.

Leveraging technology, such as project management software and automation tools, streamlines workflows, and reduces costs. Additionally, exploring alternative sourcing strategies and negotiating favourable contracts with suppliers contribute to cost-effectiveness without compromising quality.

How influential is the role of project management in organisations?

Project management plays a pivotal role in organizations by ensuring projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.

Effective project management practices facilitate clear communication, stakeholder engagement, and risk management, leading to successful project outcomes. By aligning projects with strategic objectives and prioritizing resource allocation, project management contributes to organizational agility and competitive advantage.

Does Africa has the skilled manpower to achieve the strategic framework for delivering on the continent’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development?

Africa possesses a wealth of talent, but there’s a need to invest in education and skills development to realize its full potential. Governments should prioritize education spending, focusing on improving access to quality education and vocational training.

Public-private partnerships can create opportunities for skills development in key sectors such as technology, healthcare, and renewable energy. Additionally, initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and innovation empower individuals to drive economic growth and sustainable development in their communities.

Nigeria is being challenged with an increasing rate of brain drain across industries. What best practices can companies adopt to combat talent flight and aid retention, especially in the tech industry?

To retain talent in the tech industry, companies must create a supportive and rewarding work environment. Offering competitive salaries and benefits, including stock options and professional development opportunities, incentivizes employees to stay. Building a culture of innovation and collaboration fosters employee engagement and loyalty.

Moreover, providing clear career progression paths and recognising employees’ contributions cultivates a sense of belonging and commitment. Additionally, addressing broader societal issues such as infrastructure development and political stability can enhance the attractiveness of Nigeria as a destination for tech talent.