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For our Board meeting in May we were kindly hosted by Thales at one of their offices in Basingstoke. They not only gave us an overview of how project management plays a key role in their business, but also what they are doing to further improve this. They also showed us how the standards, qualifications and CPD of the APM supports them (special thanks to Jim Luffman and Andy Macintosh for a very engaging talk).  Many of us never realised the breadth and range of exciting projects and delivered by Thales, train signaling systems to missiles, periscopes to personal systems for soldiers.  The whole board and I were very impressed with the comprehensive approach and the many successes they have had so far on their project management journey. After we had the opportunity to ask questions and understand a bit more about the business we all donned lab coats and attached anti-static strips to our shoes and were treated to a tour of the production facility. Many of us have worked in or run production facilities, but we were all enthralled by the rigour and control that went on. Some of what they produce has to be able to withstand 50G on take-off and over 1000G on impact, and still function first time every time! I bet there are many people who wish their phone could do that.

In the afternoon we had the board meeting. In addition to some of the day to day governance issues necessary to ensure the operations of the APM are fit to serve the membership and the profession of project management we covered a number of other items. One of the items we covered was how to manage risks and opportunities for the APM. With 13 project professionals in the room as board members we had at least 14 opinions and arrived at a set of improvements to our current process that will serve us well. In March APMs CEO Andrew Bragg and I attended a meeting of 50+ project management professional bodies that make up the International Project Management Association (IPMA). IPMAs objective is to make sure project management all over the world is moving forward and that the standards and qualifications provided by the individual organizations are recognised internationally. It was clear to me that the APM is not only the largest member association in the IPMA but the most professionally run and mature. This represents another opportunity for the APM which I hope to be able to report on in the coming months.

One of our key projects that is progressing well is the update to the Body of Knowledge. I have first-hand knowledge of this one as I am an author and reviewer (but not reviewing my own contribution!). There are so many people that have given their time, energy and expertise to this. The product that will emerge will be a credit to the APM and to the in excess of 1,000 people that have been involved in its creation. This is due to hit the streets early in the new year.

In April a number of other board members and I attended the Branch forum in Belfast chaired so ably by Russel Jamieson. It was also excellent that the forum included a Civic Reception hosted by the City of Belfast which offered a prestigious platform to launch APM Registered Project Professional, and to celebrate the first three project professionals in Northern Ireland to achieve this special accolade, namely Leslie Warren, John Arbuckle and Paul Cooke.


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