whole teams quitting and leaving for other
countries,” says Miguel Eduardo Alastre, PMP,
a freelance project manager who works on technology, healthcare and consumer goods projects
in Valencia, Venezuela.
Project leaders hoping to increase retention
might want to start with boosting wages, says Jeans
Delgado, PMP, strategic projects leader for telecommunications company Digitel, Caracas, Venezuela.
Employee pay has not kept up with the rapidly rising inflation, making it difficult to incentivize project managers, he says.
To reduce risks associated with operating in
Venezuela, Mr. Delgado says many telecommunications organizations are focusing on smaller-scale projects and funding them three months at
a time, he says. With the business environment
rapidly changing, project managers can leave
“In an adverse context, project managers can
ensure that projects are aligned with the strategic vision of the organization,” he says.
Venezuela, once seen as Latin America’s economic
superstar, is a country in crisis. Collapsing global
oil prices have taken their toll: The economy contracted 10 percent in 2016 as inflation skyrocketed
over 475 percent, according to the International
Monetary Fund. A 1,660 percent increase in inflation is projected this year.
Yet despite the grim and volatile outlook, there’s
still project action. Some organizations are com-
mitting to major
ects. In September,
months earlier aban-
doned several drilling
projects in Venezuela
and has written off at
least US$500 million
of assets in the country
since 2014, took on a
contract from Petróleos
de Venezuela SA to
drill 80 oil wells in the
Orinoco Belt. It’s part
of a US$3.2 billion
effort billed as one of
the world’s largest drill-
ing projects. Canadian
firm Gold Reserve has made a 27-year, US$2 billion
agreement with the state-owned Petróleos de Ven-
ezuela SA to tap mining resources in the same region.
And real estate investments are on the rise as local
companies look for safe places to stash cash in the
face of rapid inflation.
Of course, there are formidable execution
challenges stemming from political and economic uncertainty. Organizations can find
themselves grappling with unpredictable payment schedules, supply shortages and staff
retention. “Many companies are dealing with
Crash and Learn
With prices low,
dependence on oil
has become a painful
of the country’s export
revenues come from oil.
Average price of Venezuela’s mix of heavy
and medium crude oil
Average price in 2014
Average price in 2012
“In an adverse
vision of the
—Jeans Delgado, PMP, Digitel,
Venezuelans line up to
sign a petition to recall
Maduro in April 2016.