BoK7: We have a final structure…now to writing

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It may seem like an unambitious claim for the output from a project to satisfy ‘most of the people, most of the time’, but to me, as editor of the refresh of the APM Body of Knowledge, it seems a realistic ambition – and the latest round of consultation suggests that we are on track to deliver. 

In September we shared the underpinning principles for the seventh edition of the APM Body of Knowledge and storyboards for the planned 70 topics. This was done in face-to-face clinics with representatives from APM specific interest groups (SIGs) and online via Citizen Space.

Professor Darren Dalcher (academic advisor) and I have gone through each of the comments (hundreds of post-its and pages of written feedback) and we now have the final structure that will take us forward into the full writing process.

One of our principles is that each topic will have a two-page spread in the final printed version, ideally, with a description of the topic on the left-hand page and a diagram and recommended further reading on the right. 

Listening to feedback from this consultation has taken the topic number from 70 to 80 to reflect that some themes needed more words, e.g. we had three topics specifically addressing aspects of assurance, but we now have four; or to do justice to an important topic, e.g. we will address virtual teams now separately to teams in general.

We have also learned things from the consultation that do not directly address the topics, but that will be important in introductions to chapters and sections in order to clearly position the content for the reader. For example, to make it clear how the whole APM Body of Knowledge applies equally to ‘client’ organisations (those investing directly in the project, programme or portfolio) and to ‘supplier’ organisations (those whose business is to deliver projects for their clients).

If every reader of the APM Body of Knowledge was happy with all of it, that would be amazing, but I’ll be very happy with most of the people, most of the time and the quote below from an attendee at the SIG clinic sums up my views about the project, and my intentions to engage, listen and respond to what we’ve heard.

“With the feedback we've seen this morning, people are listening and wanting to absorb as much of the feedback as possible. I accept you'll never please everybody; it's not a popularity contest, but it's been taken seriously and to see that, is great and reassuring.”

“The way that the consultation process has worked with feedback, with this session and what they're planning to do in the future, shows that the APM is taking this topic very seriously, wants to engage with the membership and the community generally and is listening.”

Now to writing…

Read other blogs in this series:

Find out more about how we’re updating the seventh edition of the APM Body of Knowledge.

Ruth Murray-Webster

Posted by Ruth Murray-Webster on 18th Oct 2018

About the Author

Ruth is a Director of Potentiality UK providing leading-edge risk and change consultancy services to clients across sectors. Ruth was formerly Director of Change Portfolio at Associated British Ports; Director of the Risk in the Boardroom practice for KPMG LLP and 10 years as a Director of Lucidus Consulting Ltd. Her work on risk appetite and risk attitude with David Hillson is widely published. Her doctoral research focused on the accomplishment of planned change from the perspective of the recipients of change rather than change agents. Ruth was awarded Honorary Fellowship of APM in 2013 for her contributions to risk and change.

Ruth was Editor of the 7th edition of the APM Body of Knowledge and is a member of the APM Professional Standards and Knowledge Committee.

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