Listening to the profession

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I admit it. I am, on occasion, guilty of procrastination. And yet, I call myself a project manager the epitome of efficiency in most other peoples lexicon. In this case, Im guilty of putting off writing this blog.

I procrastinated because there were several events I wanted to happen before I did put fingertip to keyboard and because I wanted to get the words out in the right order. For me, not a wordsmith (I once failed an English exam because my essays were too terse and cogent) that involves stopping for long enough to catch all the ideas running through my mind and spin them all together.

I never normally have this problem when its an issue that you need to deal with in a work situation it specifically happens when you want to put a positive story on paper. I think we live in a world where recognition is valued so dearly that sometimes, we appear to forget to give it because we get swept away in the frenzy of problems and issues. It is so much easier to tune into the issues that need sorting tune rather than listen to the successes.

So in the last Board meeting we reviewed the outcome of the annual APM Conference I was lucky enough to be able to go along to the conference as a stream presenter and was once again stunned at the professionalism of the event. It was a true trade event with trade stalls and thought provoking presenters. Whereas our local events serve the purpose of furthering the science of project management through local interaction and continued professional development the APM Conference is an externally focused high-profile, slick event that promotes the image of project management as a profession, benefiting all members as a whole.

I was also lucky enough to go along to the Volunteer forum on the joint Branch & SIG day in Chester. I got a lot of energy from that day. Whereas the conference made me proud of my profession, the Volunteer forum gave me the opportunity to hear from so many other passionate volunteers and I feel honoured to be able to call myself part of that group. Were a profession of doers and it was fascinating to hear of that which is being done in different parts of the country mobilisation of the Thames Valley, promotion in the North East and engaging with corporate members in the North West. I often forget that when I have a problem I could just send out an SOS to the volunteer membership to find out who has expertise in that area and Im sure I am not alone in that!

Finding myself in a situation, on two subsequent occasions, where I was able to shut off the external electronic influences that disrupt my concentration I was finally able to listen properly. We, the APM, are doing well - both locally with passionate and knowledgeable volunteers across the country, and nationally where we are running high-profile events.

Statistically we have over 400 ,000 individual visitors to our site per year , we are referenced on the BBCnews, and featured in theTimes, Telegraph and City AM, and we have a vibrant volunteer and membership community. Those are excellent statistics.

Yet, we are not sitting on our laurels we continue to see where we can improve our contribution to the furtherance of the science of project management whether that be through new studies/publications, using our existing channels more effectively. We are also acknowledging our successes - last year the APM celebrated its 40th Anniversaryand next year the Women in Project Management SIG celebrate their 20th the APM was one of the first professional bodies to promote diversity in this way and acknowledge those that have furthered the profession.

We continue to listen we are looking forward to the cross-pollination that happens when you work closely with other professional bodies and to learning from external and internal experts and curious learners all to further the science of project management so that we can keep up the good work and surpass our current excellent statistics.

So, when will you make time to listen so you can learn from your own successes and surpass your own current excellent track-record?

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Posted by Fernande van Schelle on 6th Nov 2013

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