Stephen, who joined the board in November 2016, is currently the deputy head of project management capability at Sellafield Ltd. He is a Registered Project Professional (RPP), and a Chartered electrical engineer.
From 2013 to 2017, Stephen was the chairman of the APM Planning, Monitoring and Control (PMC) Specific Interest Group (SIG).
In 2002, he joined Sellafield Ltd. as an electrical engineer before moving in project management in 2005, working in the Major Projects Directorate responsible for delivery of many infrastructure type projects.
Before working for Sellafield, Stephen was a senior manufacturing systems engineer at Pirelli Cables, formerly BICC Cables and now called Prysmian Cables.
In addition Stephen is a lecturer at the University of Warwick, and a professional supervisor on the Worked Based Learning Master’s Degree in Professional Engineering at Aston University and Kingston University London. He mentors project managers and engineers in various industries, including rail, petrochemical, manufacturing, nuclear and conventional power generation both here in the UK and Indonesia.
Stephen is a member of the Agile Expert panel for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the USA, working on the Appendix of their Cost and Scheduling Guides.
Other publications Stephen has had a significant input include:
- Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) guide
- Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control Guide, July 2015
- Agile and Earned Value White Paper, Published November 2014
- Earned Value Management handbook, 2013
- Scheduling Maturity Model, 2012
Stephen also develops project management simulation software.
APM board member interview
- Why and when did you decide to go into project management? As my career progressed in engineering and I took on more responsibility for leading the engineering team until I became a Project Engineer. This required more project type work and less technical engineering. After taking voluntary redundancy I went back to engineering but found myself getting involved with the project management side which I had become to like more. In my new organisation the disciplines have clear boundaries so I requested a change from an engineer to a project manager.
- Who was your first employer? BICC - they made cables, eventual were sold to Pirelli. I left Pirelli and joined Sellafield were I work today.
- What are your career highlights? There have been many highlights, from leading the development of a vertically integrated manufacturing executing system at BICC, to installing the first containerised seismic substations on Sellafield site, to being promoted to deputy head of project management capability. I became chairman of the PMC SIC in Dec 2013 and was elected onto the APM board in November 2016.
- When did you become a member of APM and what are the main benefits? I first joined APM in 2008. The main benefits is the knowledge I have acquired and the network of professionals I have established.
- How important are professional project management qualifications? Very - they show both an achievement of level in knowledge and also experience. This makes putting the right person in the right job easier for employers and gives the individual the recognition they deserve. The competency frame helps to identify the gaps, which you can then address.
- How did you decide to stand for election? I thought about what I had to offer. Discussed with my wife and work to make sure I had their support. The final push was from other people who asked if I had ever considered joining the board.
- What difference do you make to APM as a board member? I like to think I bring new ideas and experiences, for example I suggested to the board we use the VMOST framework to describe the Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics having experienced its use at Sellafield Ltd. This method has been adopted by the APM board.
- What keeps you interested in project management? The challenge, the opportunity to learn and the satisfaction of delivering change. I like the research and innovation too for example, PM Logistics and Quantum PM. I like the idea of PM being taught in schools and colleges so people leave school saying "I want to be a project manager" rather than something they get promoted into.
- What advice would you give to someone starting out in project management? Join APM, as a student or associate. Join the PMC SIG (other SIGs are available) and get involved.
- Who has been the most influential in your career? Probably my Dad. He has always pushed me to be the best I can. And my mum, I just want to make them proud.