TAFAWOQ Champions Best Practice for Project Management Professionals
There are more than 230 graduates of TAFAWOQ’s programme who now form Qatar’s Project Management Community. TAFAWOQ’s courses are unique as they rely heavily on experience-based learning, with project managers of varying levels, from many of Qatar’s key sectors, sharing information of their real-life experiences and best practices.
Aside from its project management courses, TAFAWOQ also holds biannual community networking and learning events to explore challenging issues that could impact Qatar’s development. At the previous summer’s mid-year community event, TAFAWOQ gathered its members together for frank and thought-provoking discussions on ways to better manage contractors who deliver Qatar’s large-scale infrastructure projects. The session featured keynote presentations from world-class industry and academia experts.
In his welcome speech at this end of year community event, Saad Al Muhannadi, Chairman of the TAFAWOQ Joint Steering Committee and Technical Director at QP said, “Theory and practice is the foundation of a strong community, and it is precisely this strong community which gives TAFAWOQ its unique identity. It complements the training programme, building the competence not only through learning, but also through discussion, and sharing experience.”
“TAFAWOQ’s community has doubled in 2013, with 230 professionals taking one of our eight prestigious courses – more than double the number we started with compared to last year. The skills gained from our courses not only relate to the energy sector, but also to other national infrastructure projects which are absolutely crucial to Qatar’s development,” added Al Muhannadi.
TAFAWOQ’s Director, Bader Al-Jaidah is also thrilled with its progress and success. “It has been an exciting year for us as we have expanded the number of courses on offer,” he says. “We first laid the foundations of the project management community in 2012, and the professionals with us today have developed it into a thriving platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices. Considering the progress that has already been made since its inception, I am confident that TAFAWOQ can continue to blossom and, as its name suggests, become a byword for excellence amongst project management professionals across Qatar.”
Dr. Khalid Al- Khanji, VP of Student Affairs at HBKU and a member of the TAFAWOQ steering committee, is certain that TAFAWOQ is a vital component in the accomplishment of two of Qatar’s most important milestones. “We’re working towards the World Cup 2022 and the Qatar National Vision 2030,” he says, “and the achievement of these goals requires talent and knowledge in project managers.”
With this aim in mind, the recent end-of-year community gathering placed the pressing topic of workers’ welfare at the top of the agenda. Compelling ideas on the subject were shared by key organisations, and the community agreed that such initiatives can improve project performance and support Qatar’s National Development Strategy.
According to presenters, there is no doubt that the well-being of workers is a key issue. As a sign of its commitment to this area, Qatar Shell and Qatar Foundation recently joined forces to share knowledge on enhancing the safety and comfort levels of migrant workers.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed in June, will, according to Al-Jaidah, “allow the two organisations to work together to develop best practices for workers’ welfare programmes, resulting in better living and working conditions on large-scale construction projects in Qatar.”
“Qatar Foundation, Qatari Diar Vinci Construction, Gulf Drilling International and Qatar Shell are organisations that should already be proud for showcasing their skill and innovation in projects,” he continues. “Their experiences have proven that proper management of workers’ welfare produces measurable results, both in terms of increased productivity and decreased fatality rates.”
“Taking care of our workers is the right thing to do,” Saad Al Muhannadi stresses, “not only from a human perspective but also from a project management perspective, resulting in increased productivity, improved quality, better safety records and a better project performance overall. Take care of your people and they will take care of your project.”