Thursday, 6 November 2008

APM Conference Speaker Presentations

You will find here links to the presentations from the APM Conference.


Keynote address: Dr Neville Bain, Institute of Directors

Track 1

The project management mid-life crisis - David Daly

Corporate saviours or corporate scapegoats: objectives for project managers - Geoff Whittaker

Keeping up: aligning project management with real business - Elizabeth Harrin

Tomorrow's project and programme management leaders - Martin Price

How well do project sponsors operate? - David Shannon

Managing up the organisation - Randy Englund

Track 2

Project success through stakeholder management: Rail Defects Management System - Barry Chesterman

Project manager as diplomat - Leon Lau

Approaches to complex project management - Michael Cavanagh

Reduction of complexity by system orientated management - Dr Walter Kroy

Track 3

Introduction to project planning - Neil Curtis

Prioritising project risks - Martin Hopkinson

Project management and transformational change - Anthony Lewis

Old destinations or new directions for programmes - Kevin Parry

Practical agile project delivery - Dr Peter Merrick

Iterative practices are easier than agile methods - Tom Docker and David Tuffs


Track 1

Delivering complex projects: it's not just about the project manager - Simon Henley

Step back from chaos - Harvey Maylor & Steven Carver

Keynote address: Sir David Normington, Permanent Secretary, Home Office

Jonathan Simcock, Executive Director, Office of Government Commerce

Ethics & subjectivity part 1 - Eileen J Roden & Donnie MacNicol
Ethics & subjectivity part 2 - Eileen J Roden & Donnie MacNicol

Track 2

Using professionalism to ensure you have the right people - Bob Assirati, OGC

Project networking - Janet Smart

Project management for business start-ups - Richard Newton

Directing change: a model for business improvement - Paul Major

Building project professionalism across DWP - Ian Anderson & Tony Teague

Assessing potential in project managers - Neil Mooney & Jane Hodgen

Track 3

Properly effective conference calling - Penny Pullan

Disparate projects disparate sustainability opportunities - Adrian Pyne

Boost the benefits delivered from complex projects: some practical frameworks that enhance the
value delivered - Graham Kennedy

How blank is the paper? - Ruth Sacks

Managing programme complexity: a case for change - Chris Hodson & Bob Warner

Friday, 31 October 2008

What do complex projects tell us about project management? Bill Crothers, ID Cards Programme

Picking up on the “goldfish bowl” description, Bill Crothers of Identity and Passport Service said the National ID Cards Programme was under constant scrutiny from a range of stakeholders, including those most affected - the UK public.

The £4.6bn programme, due to be rolled-out in part in autumn 2009, is full of complexities. On technical side there are issues over security, data capture, transmitting data and integrating legacy systems. The resulting database, described as a “the biggest of its kind in the world”, contains fingerprint/biometric and biographic data such as names and addresses.

The programme is also highly controversial with its own pressure group. “We have one chance to get it right,” said Bill, “or it could end up as a beautifully documented disaster.”

Key to success is managing supplier relationships, which Bill says will “make or break the programme”. A big part of this is empowering suppliers. Under procurement framework five big software providers, plus 40-50 sub-contractors, will be encouraged to work together under programme of financial incentives/penalties.

A big part of this is behaviour. Bill said that behaviour of the different parties would be documented and “360 degree” feedback used to determine strength of relations. No fixed prices would apply to contracts as this creates “dysfunctional behaviour”, instead competitors encouraged to work together to achieve targets. “The less we pay, the more they earn,” he said.

Behavioural assessment is subjective not written into multi-million contracts. “We don’t expect criticism of other suppliers,” said Bill. “Behaviour is as important as price.”

Do you have experience of working in a situation where companies collaborate? 90% yes.

Did rival companies fully co-operate? 60% no.

Does the customer has to smarter than the supplier? Yes 50%.

We know how to break complex projects down into manageable chunks but do we know how to put them back together? 70% no.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

How do you find that something extra? Assessing potential in project managers – Neil Mooney, Provek and Jane Hodgen, Tata Consulting Services

Tata Consultancy needed more programme managers and wanted to recruit from within by ‘talent spotting’ among existing project managers and identifying what was needed in training and development to make them good programme managers.

Training, recruitment and assessment consultancy Provek was called in to help. A three-step process was used:

1. An online assessment benchmarked against APM levels and industry norms and including personality indicators, which was then management reviewed. From an original 130, this identified 55 to go through to the next stage.
2. A scored CV, focusing on experience and asking what skills candidates thought they had. This was also management reviewed and 8 people progressed to the last stage.
3. A structured interview, exploring beyond the CV and which helped to shape the training programme

Even those who did not get through to the final 8 benefited from the process, as the feedback helped them to see what they needed to do to fill the gaps in their own development and skills.

Since then, Provek has aligned its first-stage assessment scoring to IPMA levels A-D. Tata Consultancy feels the process could be further improved by having more management and HR reviews before deciding on the final selection.

What is the difference between project and programme management? For Tata Consulting, the answer was the number of projects and people an individual was managing. But there is a school of thought that says the best programme managers have never been project managers.
Developing programme managers should include leadership training and senior stakeholder management.

Do you believe you are a better than average project manager? Yes 75%
Have you objectively compared yourself against other project managers outside your own organisation? Yes 45%

How do you find that something extra? Building project professionalism across DWP - Ian Anderson, DWP and Tony Teague, MD, Human Systems

Managing complex projects calls for more than basic skills, yet the ‘tough’ skills that make the difference, such as leadership, are in short supply. The focus needs to change.

Research has identified the top three skills that can make a difference:
· A competent project manager
· Processes and planning
· Clarity about technical objectives

The increasing demand and short supply of skilled project managers means that organisations need to grow their own, such as through project academies.

At the DWP, post project reviews revealed that if a project had gone wrong, it was usually people that were the main reason. The department’s project capability is being improved internally through creating communities of like-minded people who develop a common standard of learning and development.

Through sharing knowledge and best practice internally, with other government departments and with outside organisations, benchmarking and assessments to place the best people in the right projects, a supportive infrastructure and with champions to drive this change, the DWP is now moving towards an academy structure.

Among the aims are to be seen as an exemplar and an employer of choice.

Has the project management profession focused too hard on technical processes and skills at the cost of tough leadership skills?
Yes 90%

Do you believe that project management skills are wholly transferable between sectors and organisations?
Yes 65%

Directing Change – a model for business improvement. Paul Major, Program Framework

Is persuading senior directors that there should be a change specialist on the board ‘mission impossible’ or an opportunity to move your organisation forward?

The role of change managers is to make the business successful, not merely making incremental tweaks. There is also a need for speed, especially in today’s economic climate which itself is changing day by day.

Project managers are change managers. Their skills should be in the boardroom, directing and driving operational change that is successful and sustainable – a ‘Chief Creator of Competitive Advantage’.

Because being better at business as usual is not enough. Now you need to become the best at not only doing the right things, but also doing things right.

The challenge for the project management community is to take this message into their organisations, raising the profile of the profession and taking effective change management out of the back room and into the board room, so that enterprise project management become enterprise change management.

Do any of your organisations have representation on the board for change management?
Yes 65%

What new horizons can we see? Project management for business start-ups – Richard Newton, consultant

The skills and mindset of a project manager are an important tool in starting up a new business – and it is business start-ups that could take us out of the current economic downturn.

Start-ups are dynamic, uncertain and volatile, awash with emotion, uncertainty, ambiguity and assumptions. Tasks are difficult to identify or estimate and resources are limited.

On the plus side, the people involved are highly motivated, decisions are made fast, there are fewer sacred cows when it comes to prioritisation, clear accountability and progress, all mixed with passion and ideas.

Credibility and confidence is needed especially when chasing funding. A project manager can help to develop this by being the honest voice of calm and reality and by bringing clarity, structure, problem solving and robust processes to the table.

A pragmatic approach, being action and outcome orientated, keeping plans as simple as possible and the ability to drive ruthless prioritisation and fast decision-making are all great project management attributes for this world.

It’s not for the faint-hearted – you need to be flexible and go in with your eyes open. If you can’t take the stress, don’t do it!

Do you think project managers can add value to a start-up business?
Yes – 100%
As a project manager, would you relish the challenge of that kind of environment?
Yes - 75%

Managing programme complexity - a case for change. Chris Hodson and Bob Warner

"Like living in goldfish bowl,” was how Chris Hudson and Bob Warner of Remploy described attempts to overhaul the business model and integrate more disabled workers into mainstream employment.

For the past 60 years Remploy has placed 95% of disabled workers in its own factories but this was costing money.

Bob said: "The loss per disabled employer was 20k per year, whereas the cost of placing them in mainstream employment is 5k.”

But there were considerable challenges, not least from within the organisation where previous attempts to change working practices had met with resistance and even resulted in candlelit protests from Remploy employees outside the House of Commons back in 1999.

Remploy’s strategy was to first guarantee no compulsory redundancies and then manage the process of change internally. This involved bringing project managers up to speed and breaking the complex nature of project into manageable parts.

The result is a fourfold increase in numbers of disabled workers in mainstream employment and a further 20,000 expected to enter into jobs over the next five years.

“One of the lessons learnt,” said Bob, “was that the active management of project complexity leads to acceptable levels of project risk.”