It’s something of a cliché to say that a lot can happen in five years, but it doesn’t change the fact that we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. The past 12 months have served as a powerful reminder of the scale, speed and often unexpected nature of change – but also, crucially, about the importance of adaptability in delivering successful outcomes.
When Association for Project Management (APM) launched its current five-year strategy – ‘Inspiring Positive Change’ – in 2017, we recognised the challenges faced by the profession at that time and that we needed to continue to adapt. Many of those challenges remain, but it’s the unexpected and enormous impact of the coronavirus pandemic above all else that has emphasised the importance of adaptability. As a business, we haven’t been immune to the effects of the pandemic, but I’m pleased to say that our situation remains strong and positive going forward, in large part because of our ability to embrace change and respond quickly.
This five-year strategy is now nearing its end and is currently being reviewed. In our capacity as a modern and progressive professional body, and the chartered body for the project profession, we recognise the need to continue to adapt. Doing so will enable us to provide the highest standards and framework to build a community of credible, capable and trusted project professionals delivering effective change in all sectors to all stakeholders.
There has been much to celebrate over the past five years, and we have already come a long way in our journey to deliver the key objectives set out in our strategy:
- Chartered standard – successfully position, develop and launch the chartered standard to become the accepted benchmark standard for project professionals.
- Membership growth – accelerate the growth, diversity and global reach of APM’s membership by engaging with new sectors and communities.
- Knowledge and research – advance the art, science, theory and practice of project management with innovative knowledge and research.
- Organisational innovation – define and build APM as the model of a sustainable professional body for the 21st century.
- Collaborate and engage – accelerate the universal adoption of project management by people delivering change through collaboration.
Key achievements in attaining these strategic objectives have included continued progress in establishing our chartered status as the leading global standard for project practitioners, growing our membership to over 34,000 individual members and launching the APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition alongside a major refresh of qualifications and learning content. We have commissioned ground-breaking research on the impact and future of the profession and, just recently, launched our inaugural Festival of Education and Research, celebrating excellence and achievement in project management academia, education, and research. We have a thriving network of branches and special interest groups, shaping our profession and raising its profile, and give members opportunities to network with each other through award-winning events and our online community platform, APM Hub. And, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 2020 saw the roll out of our online qualifications, ensuring project practitioners have been able continue their professional development journey. Due to the effectiveness of our current strategy, we anticipate that the new strategy, launching in 2022, will build on this through enhancements and refinements, to continue in helping us support our members and the wider project community in line with our charitable objective.
The review process involves taking account of the valuable feedback and insights that project professionals continuously provide to us. I would like to thank everyone who has already contributed to our new strategy by participating in a range of research activity, such as our Projecting the Future series, The Golden Thread and our annual Salary and Market Trends Survey.
We’ve also just launched our annual Membership Research Survey, keep an eye out for an email in your inbox with a link to complete the survey. The findings from this will also feed into the strategy review process. We’re grateful to everyone who has already contributed so far, and look forward to receiving any additional insight that may be received.