Posts Tagged ‘APM’

‘Take a look’ at David Hart’s article in APM’s Winter 2015 Project magazine

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

eye-321961_1280David Hart discusses Visual Management

For our colleagues who are APM members, please ‘Take a look’ at Winter 2015 issue of Project magazine from the APM.  Page 62.

E AND H’s David Hart along with Egor Sviridenko from Targetprocess discuss how visual tools can offer a different way of presenting information and enabling control of projects, programmes and portfolios.

Communications Survey

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The APM People SIG have a survey to learn about communication on projects.  Share your experience and take the survey here:

APM Lens Presentation

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Last Monday I joined my APM People SIG colleague Rob Sadler to deliver a presentation to the Coventry Branch of lenscollective the APM, about the new Lens Collective – A guide to seeing different perspectives in project management.  Read more at: and

Is the Project Management Profession Relevant for UK Plc?

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I’ve recently been nominated for election to the Board of the UK Association for Project Management (APM).  There is a discussion forum on the new APM website where members can ask questions of the candidates (

We were recently asked a very incisive question about the relevence of the profession and the APM in today’s world:

I’m fairly new to the APM and my perception is of an organisation and a profession ready to make a step change in how it demonstrates ‘relevance’ for UK PLC.  Do you share this view and if so, what does that mean needs to happen?

My answer was: No – and Yes.

The APM is already demonstrating real relevance, and has credibility, in its role in developing the knowledge, expertise and competence of practitioners.  The qualifications framework and move towards Chartered/Professional status provide a broad-based approach for developing the skills and expertise that the UK needs – and this is now widely recognised, even in sectors that perhaps don’t have a traditional project management culture.  We are at last demonstrating to a wider audience that effective project management is much more than just process or methodology.

However, the APM also has a more strategic aspect to its mission, which is more about where and how the profession (and the disciplines we espouse) can actually contribute most benefit for, as you put it, UK Plc.

It is this second area, the ‘strategic fit’ of our profession within the wider environment, where I think we perhaps do need to look again at where we are going, and maybe a step change is needed.  The benefits of effective project, programme and portfolio management (PPPM) approaches often aren’t appreciated by senior executives – and recognised change experts are still saying that taking a PPPM approach to organisational change often adds no value.  I’m not sure what the answer to this is, but what needs to happen within the APM initially is a debate about what we are here for and where we should be positioning ourselves to best deliver the public benefit set out in our mission statement.  Are we just about the development of technical and professional skills – i.e. in project management – or are we actually about enabling organisations to deliver effective and beneficial change?

It would be interesting to hear what others think.

Where are the People Skills?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

A few weeks ago I was in a meeting where someone asked the question “why has project management focussed on process and forgotten that it is actually people that deliver projects?”

Is the hypothesis posed by the question true – is it people that deliver projects and has the profession focussed too much on process?   I think it is.  How many times have we been into organisations where everyone has PRINCE2 – yet no idea how to deliver projects in the real world?  Project management job advertisements seem to universally ask for process-based qualifications.  There was even a Programme Director role I saw advertised recently, with responsibility for major capital programmes running into hundreds of millions of pounds, which asked for PRINCE2 accreditation.  I may be missing something, but quite which of the PRINCE processes would have been relevant in such a role escapes me.

Reflecting back on my own career I thought that although I couldn’t necessarily answer why we have focussed on process, I might be able to shed some light on how it has happened.  Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s we did our formal management training, which was largely generic, covering both operations and strategy.  Some of us, in professions such as civil engineering, also studied project management, which seemed to focus on planning, particularly critical path analysis and Gantt charts.  Managers who were considered ‘good’ managers in other disciplines would be given projects to run.  In the late 1980’s early 90’s, with the failure of a number of large projects (particularly in IT), we began to realise that successful project managers needed something more than general management and planning skills.   New tools, techniques and processes were developed, evolving into PRINCE (now PRINCE2) which the project manager could use to supplement a generic management skills base and the developing Body of Knowledge.

In recent years these ‘methodologies’ as they are often called have become the required accreditation for project managers.  The basic skill-set that used to be a prerequisite for any professional management role has somehow been forgotten in project management.  As a profession, and particularly as we move towards chartered status, we need to bring it back.

Surely, if I want to be a good project manager then I need to be a good manager first.  Project managers need specialist skills and knowledge to be effective in their profession – but fundamentally they need to be good managers, and that is really about knowing how to manage people.