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Dubai’s latest award to honour innovative project managers

The value of projects awarded in the UAE rose by a solid 42.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2017 with those in Dubai and Abu Dhabi seeing a significant increase, according to estimates by MEED Projects. With the influx of projects in the country, it has become mandatory to establish best practices and showcase the remarkable work being done by organisations here.

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The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Award for Innovation in Project Management honours individuals, teams and companies that are catalysts of change in their profession. It aims to promote innovation in project management by encouraging the use of new tools and methodologies, and recognising innovation in this field locally, regionally and internationally.

The award targets the international community of project management professionals and specialists to participate as individuals, teams, or organisations involved with the management of projects, programmes or portfolios.

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UAE Vision 2021

Since its inception in 1971, the UAE has established itself as an icon of innovation and creativity, enhancing its social and economic status and transforming in record time into a key destination for talents and businesses.

Believing that innovation is the future of investment, the UAE’s leadership asserts its importance across all sectors through the UAE Vision 2021, stating: “Innovation, research, science and technology will form the pillars of a knowledge-based, highly productive and competitive economy, driven by entrepreneurs in a business-friendly environment where public and private sectors form effective partnerships.”

Emanating from its strong belief that building human capital is far more critical than urban development, the country is keen on creating a wealth of human resources capable of meeting its aspirations of development across various sectors.

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The National Strategy for Innovation

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a National Innovation Strategy in 2014 with the aim of making the UAE one of the most innovative nations in the world within seven years.

The strategy will stimulate innovation in seven sectors where innovation is key to excellence: renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space. Its first phase includes 30 national initiatives to be completed within three years.

These include new legislation, innovation incubators, investment in specialised skills, private sector incentives, international research partnerships and an innovation drive within government.

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5 ways to make companies more innovative

Research shows that companies that successfully apply a structured process to innovation project management reduce risk in the business process and increase innovation results over their peers.

Organisations in the UAE need to start employing strategies to become more innovative in order to realise Vision 2021.

Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of the Silicon Valley bible The Lean Start Up, offers helpful tips companies can use to become more innovative:

1. A company needs to create metrics for how to incentivise employees to work on new projects and promote employees that take risks and produce good work.

2. After developing accountability metrics, companies need to create specific processes for identifying teams to work on specific projects and help these teams organise and teach themselves new things.

3. Within smaller teams, companies should help incubate a culture that celebrates taking risks and developing new ideas – and then, if successful, encourage that culture to spread to the rest of the organisation.

4. Funding for new projects should be as small as possible in order to get what Ries calls ‘a minimum viable product’ or basically, the most essential prototype that can test if the idea will work.

5. According to Ries, certain employees are ‘black marks’ who don’t follow procedures and ‘abide by the standard’. These workers are most likely to challenge the rules of the organisation and think outside its limitations. They are often the most innovative thinkers. But companies need to ensure that these employees have credible leaders to sponsor their creative work and risk-taking.

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Hamdan Bin Mohammed Award for Innovation in Project Management

The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Award for Innovation in Project Management seeks to provide a platform for sharing, exchanging and implementing new project management ideas and expertise.

The award has a vision to become an international hub for innovators, professionals and corporations to adopt best practices in excellent execution in projects. It also provides a platform to discover, encourage and promote innovation in project management.

It has the following objectives:

*Conduct and develop projects using innovative, smart and sustainable solutions

*Award leaders and innovation in project management locally, regionally and internationally

*Identify and assess best and innovative practices in project management and the learnings from them

*Provide a platform for participants regarding innovative ideas in the field and exchange distinguished experiences in project management

*Exchange knowledge in project management

*Learn from distinguished innovations in project management and apply these lessons in the field

There are three categories of the award: Individual, Team and Organisation.

There are three awards in the Organisation category: The Innovative Idea in Project Management Award ($100,000), The Innovative Idea in Program Management Award ($150,000) and The Innovative Idea in Portfolio Management Award ($200,000).

This is the perfect platform to exchange, learn and share information in the field of project management. If you have previously worked on a project using innovative techniques that contributed to its success, nominate yourself or your team today:

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