Thursday 25 November 2010

APM Awards Ceremony

I've a hectic day's work for IBM today before heading off to the APM Award Ceremony in Central London this evening.

The award is for the new Project Professionals' Standard, hopefully to soon be chartered status.

Awards will be going to founder members of the Association's new Professional Standard Register and to those people who qualified as assessors for the standard.

I qualify on both counts I'm pleased to say!

The new standard will boost the professionalism of Portfolio, Programme and Project Management and reassure potential employers that they are engaging someone who is judged by his/her peers to be knowledgeable, experienced and professional.

I was delighted to be selected as a Fellow of the APM to help with the pilot process. It gave me the opportunity to put something back into the profession and to help create a meaningful standard.

It will be good to meet up again with all the other people who worked on the pilot. I'm really looking forward to the official launch next year!

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Never underestimate the importance of Stakeholder Engagement

I've always considered stakeholder engagement to be one of the primary skills I bring to the table on any assignment, which was why I volunteered to write the Stakeholder Management section of the upcoming revision of the Association for Project Management's Body of Knowledge.

Stakeholder engagement loomed large on each of the programme rescue assignments I undertook over the last five years, and it's playing a large part in my current role.

People are newly TUPE'd over to a new organisation, and so are understandably nervous and concerned for their futures, even though their futures can be very rosy in the new organisation if they embrace it.

The retained staff too are inevitably struggling to come to terms with the changes. There are new processes for them to learn, they can no longer "call in favours" from colleagues to cut the bureaucratic corners because those colleagues now need a Purchase Order, and some of the retained staff feel that the new outsourcing arrangement is a judgement on their past performance.

Add to the mix the fact that this is quite a political working environment and you can see why careful stakeholder engagement is so important.

Fortunately, I have an excellent programme sponsor, so, whilst my stakeholder engagement skills have brought most people on board with the new proposals, the sponsor's experience in dealing with one or two stragglers has been invaluable.

I'm always careful to remember that:

1. People must be won over
2. Logic alone won't do it
3. Neither will adhering slavishly to a methodology
4. Often the most sceptical once won over become the most evangelical.

Have a good day and keep that "Can do" attitude!