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Ask the expert…

Hot-button questions answered by the industry’s thought leaders

Debbie Dore
Chief executive
Association for Project Management

What are the biggest recent changes to the project management sector?

The expectations of people commissioning projects now go far beyond successful delivery of cost, quality and time. Projects are increasingly thought of in terms of the wider benefits they bring to society, and they need to deliver on this aspect too, in order to be successful. We all have a responsibility to deliver sustainable solutions that benefit society.

The growing impact of data, automation and artificial intelligence can no longer be ignored. The impact of these technologies is already touching on almost every aspect of how we live and work and is key to successful project management. Project managers in every sector need to embrace the benefits these new technologies can offer, such as productivity gains, so that they can use them to deliver even better outcomes.

Ultimately, projects need to be measured on the economic and social benefits they produce. There is an enormous opportunity for project practitioners to be at the forefront of change that can be truly transformational for individuals, businesses and communities.



Michael DePrisco
Vice president, global experience and solutions
Project Management Institute

How do we improve business performance with project management?

In the Project Economy, projects are at the core of how organisations activate change and achieve impact. The Project Management Institute’s newly released Pulse of the Profession® reveals that an average of 11.4 per cent of investment is wasted due to poor project performance and stresses that organisations that undervalue project management as a strategic competency for driving change report an average of 67 per cent more of their projects failing outright.

In order to ensure project success, both organisations and individuals must be agile and embrace a culture of change. Organisations need to invest in disruptive technologies like AI and machine learning, but also ensure there is the training, processes and talent to get the job done right. Project management professionals play a key role in helping organisations turn ideas into reality. They need to have a mix of technical, leadership, business and digital skills in order to break down silos in their organisation and lead multidisciplinary teams of people to deliver value for the customer.



Alex Pestana
Head of business development APAC,

What are the best payment solutions to improve business performance on a global scale?

Every online business is different. The “best payment solution” for one may do nothing for another. However, one thing is certain: each payment solution must go beyond existing merchant requirements to facilitate further growth.

The choice of payment service provider matters. Business continuity depends on infrastructure. Merchants must ensure their payment partners have multiple data centres and tech specialists available 24/7/365. Payment service providers help clients achieve business objectives, which could be anything from expanding into new territories to reducing fraud rates.

In the former scenario, the best payment solution must facilitate fast access to new territories. It must be flexible, scalable and compliant with regional regulations, offering a selection of local payment methods and helping avoid the dreaded double currency conversion. In the latter? A reliable, customisable risk management system supplemented by experienced risk analysts.

As the frontline between merchant and consumer, payment partners must engineer the best solution for each individual scenario.


Miltos Georgantzis
CEO and founder

How can you optimise the performance of your debt recovery?

A combination of operations automation and advanced analytics, underpinned by a comprehensive collections platform, is required to push debt recovery to new levels. Automation has a clear, direct impact on operational efficiency: 360-degree customer views, guide scripts, and dialler and digital channel integration can significantly increase operator efficiency and reduce training costs.

Advanced analytics, on the other hand, build on operations to improve effectiveness: optimal segmentation, contact channel treatment approach selection and action prioritisation can all be improved by leveraging data recorded by the operations platform. Back-office functions such as customer request handling, direct debits and legal action support can also be integrated within the same customer journey, minimising effort while contributing significant signals to analytics. Operations and analytics should be seen as equal contributors interacting to benefit each other, promoting short-term recoveries and long-term customer rehabilitation while safeguarding customer rights and ensuring regulatory compliance.

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© Business Reporter 2021

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