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Reflection and action is the key to professionalism

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As our regular board blogger, Alistair Godbold, was unable to attend Septembers board meeting, Im pleased to be able to step into the breach for this month and give you an insight into the latest APM board meeting.

It wont have missed your attention that the one thing APM is very strong on is the need for professionalism in project management. A key part of professionalism is to reflect on our practice and ensure we take action to continue to improve. Practicing what we preach is a value we subscribe to in APM; so it was particularly important and interesting, and an essential part of my own personal continuing professional development, to take part in an independent board effectiveness review during the summer.

The findings of the independent assessment were presented to the board at its meeting in September, and the board are now putting its recommendations into place.

It is perhaps surprising to be reminded that it is only five years since the associations governance structure transitioned from the previous Council to its the current, streamlined, board structure. The board constantly work to improve the way they work and provide APM with strategic direction. Similarly, the majority of the executive team at Ibis House are relatively new appointments who bring new and extensive experience to the table. So in many ways were still settling into a way of working that is most beneficial for APM and its members.

The association is becoming more professional and benefited from the new structure. The board are elected in order to bring a range of experience and skills to the association, but there is always room for continuous improvement. The review considered that board members are a group of committed and analytical individuals. As unpaid volunteers, it is essential that we trustees are as effective and efficient as we can be. That means the quality and performance of the executive at Ibis House is equally important, and through the review, evident. Im sure that you have seen the benefits of this in the development of APM in recent years.

There is, as always, room for improvement. We need to identify the additional skills required in the boards composition and will be undertaking a high-level audit of existing skills to help achieve that.

Our pre-board meetings with the executive remain a valuable opportunity for open discussion and were committed to maintaining that dialogue so that we are working in collaboration with the team at Ibis House.

Above all, we must work to improve communication, both internally and externally with the membership, particularly with reference to strategic direction. This includes listening to the members and their needs and building on the fact that a large number of board members already dedicate time to attending SIG and branch meetings, including the upcoming forum in York.

Of course, all APM members have the opportunity to influence the future direction of APM and the profession by voting in this years board elections. We have six candidates in total for four available places, their details can be found on the APM website where theres an opportunity to ask the candidates questions and learn about their background and their vision for the association. Voting closes 28 October 2011, with the AGM on the 7th November.


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