Building the future in partnership

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The APM Project Management Conference is fast approaching. As we start the detailed planning for the programme I wanted to share the theme and overall approach with the wider project management community and encourage participation in shaping the discussion

Last years APM Conference was organised around the theme of promoting, growing and nurturing leadership. There are many reasons why we need to focus on leadership: Modern organisations feature flatter structures, new technologies, rising complexity, greater collaboration and increasing interactions all requiring greater responsiveness. We also need vision and direction to drive our efforts.

But even with leadership in place there is still a long road ahead. Successful delivery in increasingly competitive and global environments requires us to align with organisational strategy, focus on practitioners, and create the right environment to foster the skills and attitudes needed to succeed at the grand challenges facing us.

The conference is the beginning of a conversation. Last year we tried to write Chapter 1 together. Now we are looking to widen the dialogue and involve the community in the discussion. The conference is an opportunity to get together and engage with some of the issues. As you will see in the coming months the dialogue will extend beyond a meeting in October. We will be using new technology to foster and encourage much needed discussion around the discipline. We ask you to become involved and play a part in shaping that discussion.

The next chapter is looking at building the future in partnership, enabling us to focus on the proactive ways in which our profession can help business. Project managers can play a larger part in influencing strategy, becoming involved in the concept phase, participating in decision making, and delivering benefits and value. To improve our effectiveness, there is a greater need for project managers to understand business and to get the business to understand what is and isnt possible. As a growing profession we should be influencing business, facilitating informed transformation and bridging gaps with sponsors and stakeholders.

Building a future in partnership requires us to become more effective in reaching out, influencing and communicating. To join the discussion and ensure that your voice is heard, we invite you to suggest topics, pose questions and share your views. Either post a comment below or email

Darren Dalcher

Posted by Darren Dalcher on 19th Apr 2010

About the Author

Darren is Professor in Strategic Project Management at the Lancaster University Management School, and founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management. He works to foster interactive dialogue about the integration of successful practice with theoretical research in the management of projects. He is the editor of two book series featuring Advances in Project Management, and a number of journals and has chaired the APM Project Management Conference for five years. He has recently co-edited the 7th edition of the APM Body of Knowledge.

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