A Critical Assessment of the Readiness of the Project Management Profession to Industrial Revolution 4.0 in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
In the history of economic advancements, industrial revolutions have been identified as key factors steering the development and technological leaps. Consequently, they affect many businesses and sectors in varied ways. At the centre of this impact are project managers who are often tasked with the role of adapting businesses and delivering these changes. However, one may question the ability of project management professionals to adjust to the changes arising from the introduction of industry 4.0. In this context, this dissertation seeks to use the case study of UAE project managers to examine their readiness to not only handle the changes but also mitigate risks and seize opportunities that come with the entry of the fourth revolution. Notably, extensive literature perusal was conducted to review concepts and topics related to industry 4.0 and project management. Further, a questionnaire was administered to a selected sample of project managers to evaluate their readiness to embrace the latest revolution; the results will be used to generate the state of project management professional in the United Arab Emirates. Through the survey and a review of literature, the researcher finds that industry 4.0 and project management are highly correlated and that project managers play a huge role in the adoption of this revolution. Besides, it was revealed that the opportunities, challenges, and risks that project managers are facing when adjusting to the new industrial revolution will lead to the development of new processes, strategies, and approaches of coping with the revolution. However, the research has found that most project managers in the United Arab Emirates are barely ready for industry 4.0; most of them are not aware of what the term “industry 4.0” means. Additionally, they lack the skills needed to become successful project managers in the new revolution. Consequently, a set of recommendations are presented in this research, they include the adoption of enterprise risks management models such as ISO’s “31000 – Risk Management” standard and COSO's “Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)” framework, which are the tools being used by international organizations to mitigate the risks of industry 4.0. Incorporating them in project management will help professionals to identify not only the risks but also the challenges and opportunities arising from the introduction of industry 4.0, hence increasing their chances of surviving in the modern era.
industry 4.0, project manager, project management, United Arab Emirates (UAE), risk management, project manager competencies, industrial revolutions, ERM framework