Strategy, Risks, Ethics and Accounts

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A heady mix for the latest meeting of the APM Board.  Despite the title this was not a lesson on the risks of fiddling the accounts of the APM but a list of topics we discussed to help move the APM forward.  It was also a chance to celebrate a lot of the good work that has gone on in the last two months, and be clear about the vision of the work we have lined up over the summer (if you can call the last couple of weeks summer with all the rain we have had). 

In the morning we discussed the APM strategy and put some more input to how we are going to make this a reality.  There is a lot to do some activities having more impact and benefit in the short term others in the medium to long term, but we agreed a way to help find a way through this with the clarity of thought needed (thanks to Graham Hawkins, the leader of the APM in-house PMO). More to follow later on this exciting future for the APM and the profession.  As part of good governance, we reviewed the strategic risks and opportunities for the APM and the profession, identified new ones, and like all good project professionals made sure we had plans in place to manage the new ones and that the plans for current risks were still valid.  I am pleased to say that we identified many new opportunities and identified some upsides to a number of risks.  I have to say that some of the risks were very heavily disguised opportunities and took a while to uncover.

One of the key topics for me we discussed was an update to the Code of Professional Conduct.  Every year we review this to make sure it is still relevant, has stood the test of time and is still fit for purpose.  With all the recent stories in the press about ethics and bribery commitment to this code is a critical part of being a member of the APM that demonstrates to the public, client and other stakeholders our professional integrity and how we, as an association manage it.  I am pleased to say that it is still robust and we made a few minor updates to tidy it up and account for recent developments in society and the law.  As part of this review we identified one or two other things to put on the to-do list.  This to-do list included how the APM can support members with a number of tools, guides and training to help them think about any ethical dilemmas they may encounter and how to articulate any decisions they make so they are understood by all. 

The Board meeting was also a chance to catch up on all the activities that have happened over the last few months such as the progress with the Registered Project Professional (RPP).  I have completed my application for RPP and am mid-process now, so fingers crossed!  We heard that many more companies are now looking to use RPP as the benchmark for their own internal standards, and client organizations are looking at it to ensure the quality of the people working on their projects.  We also heard how the work is going on the development of the new Body of Knowledge 6th edition.  So far over 1000 people have been involved in its definition and production.  This is a mammoth task to get to a shared understanding of, and common structure for the knowledge needed in project management.  A special thanks to Gill Hancock and Esther Fry from the Ibis House team for guiding and negotiating their way through this and keeping everyone on track and engaged.  Project professionals have been known to have strong opinions about this. 

In case you wondered the Accounts part of the title was the approval of the annual report and accounts, another successful year for our APM in difficult economic times.

I hope you have a nice sunny summer and may all your projects be successful. 


Alistair Godbold

Posted by Alistair Godbold on 21st Jul 2011

About the Author

I am a Senior Consultant with the Nichols Group and a Programme Manager with over 30 years' experience delivering projects and programmes. These have ranged from large multi-disciplinary high integrity safety related systems in regulated environments, building and relocation, through organisation wide business change and IT projects. I have also advised companies on improving their project control and delivery effectiveness, setting up Programme Management Offices, project control systems and processes with the accompanying governance, skills and behaviours.

I have conducted a number of project and organisational reviews, designed and led a group providing assurance for a portfolio of over £14bn. I have led the development of individual Project Management capability, competency and organisational maturity and worked on projects and reviews in the UK, Australia and in Brazil. I have worked in a wide range of industries including; aviation, rail, nuclear and mining. I have a BSc(Hons) in computer science, and MBA in project management, I am a Honorary Fellow and Fellow of the APM, the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Royal Society of Arts Manufacturing and Commerce. I am also an RPP and a CEng.

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