Sarah Coleman

Director, Business Evolution

Sarah Coleman has over 30 years’ experience in projects, programmes and transformation.  She helps organisations shape, design and deliver business critical projects, programmes and transformation across the private sector and government in the UK and internationally.  She started her career in Information and Communications Technology and now works with a portfolio of corporate clients and with government, including the Infrastructure and Projects Authority as a Transformation Associate and High Risk Reviewer for the GMPP. The APM has described her as their leading pracademic, fusing together the academic with extensive and current practitioner experience.  

Sarah is a Fellow and former Non-Executive Director of the Association of Project Management, and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. She holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, and is Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University and Lincoln University.  She is a published author (Organizational Change Explained, Kogan Page 2017; Project Leadership, Gower 2015; Dealing with Power and Politics in Business Analysis and Leadership, Kogan Page 2013), P3M coach and conference speaker on all things project, programme and transformation.  She can be contacted at

Session title: Distilling the essence of project leadership

Session synopsis: Researcher and author Sarah Coleman will explain the APM’s newest research publication into project leadership competences.  Interviews across five multinational organisations (BAE Systems, IQVIA, Jacobs, Shell and Siemens) provided the perspective from practising project leaders, aspiring project leaders, heads of profession, project sponsors and clients to help focus, develop and refine our understanding of project leadership for capability building for project professionals and their organisations.

We wanted to identify, highlight and share those particular project leadership competences at a time when projects are becoming a strategic issue for organisations and for ‘mega projects’ commissioned by governments and other clients.  With major projects representing high cost, becoming more complex and increasingly using extended supply chains and multi-geographical virtual teams, they also represent high risk. 

The research has a three-strand approach connecting academia, industry and project practitioners to ensure that the findings reflect the project leadership challenges that industry is currently facing.

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