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Can you beat a project that gives you a special feeling?

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I’m a kinaesthetic learner, which means I learn by doing and respond to things by how they make me feel.

The APM Project Management Awards aim to recognise all that is great in project management. One of the challenges is how to judge a competition with diverse entries and many different objectives. For me, aside from the classic time/cost/performance triangle, the key is how a project makes you feel.

Oxford win in 2010I was recently at Wembley Stadium to see the Conference Play-Off Final. It’s an impressive place; the seats are comfortable, the queues are short, it has escalators. Most importantly, the surroundings made you feel like you’re involved in a special occasion. Wembley was harangued in the press for its delays and cost overruns, but The Wembley Experience, is unique for a beleaguered Oxford United fan like me.

Of course, it’s not just buildings; IT projects can offer a better customer experience; marketing projects generate awareness and interest, social projects can improve or even save lives. The awards, like project management, are pan-sector, and the feeling of a successful project, is universal.

A striking thing about previous winners of the project manager and young project manager of the year is the regard their clients have for them. They talk of the project manager as a friend and confidant.  Project delivery is one thing but engaging with people to give them the feeling of confidence and assurance makes a difference.

White Young Green win in 2007The awards ceremony creates an experience for the guests, sponsors, finalists and winners. To quote Andrew Bragg, its where “project management meets the Oscars”; a brief we attack with gusto. There are easier ways of handing out awards, but the feeling of achievement is what we’re trying to create. So we invest in staging, lights, music, a presenter, the iconic trophy and over 450 people cheering on your success. Winning is unprecedented within the profession.

Back stage where the winners have their photo and interview with Project magazine people give each other high fives, talk excitedly, and, importantly, text their parents. The adrenalin rush that all the hard work has been rewarded; you can’t better the feeling of being the best of the best.

So whatever your project or sector, if you want to get that winning feeling, why not enter this year’s APM Project Management Awards by the 24th June?


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