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APM People Specific Interest Group (SIG)

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Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) discuss particular aspects of project management to further understanding and good practice.

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About this SIG

People: All project-based work relies fundamentally on the ability of people to work together.

Leading a group of people so they can become a high-performing team is, some would argue, the most important skills that a project professional needs to develop.

Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition  

The SIG has a vision of ‘Inspired and inspiring project managers’ and a mission to raise awareness, inspire thinking and influence opinion around people and project management. Our primary focus groups are: Communications. Leadership and behaviours. 

Our primary objectives are to:

  • promote the inclusion of people aspects of project management;
  • research and promote tools and techniques;
  • provide support for project leaders and teams;
  • provide support for performance improvement.

We plan to achieve these by:

  • engaging with other SIGs, Branches, the wider PM community and other like-minded bodies and organisations outside APM;
  • engaging with the Stakeholder Engagement Focus Group where you can find various resources about stakeholder engagement.
  • presentations and workshops;
  • proposing, conducting and encouraging research into people aspects of projects;
  • building our reputation as a centre of excellence for people aspects of P3M delivery;
  • communications and publications using appropriate media.

Relationship building

Our aim is to lead the project management community forward in the areas of project and organisational culture, communication, structure, leadership and teamwork. We encourage relationships to be built through networking and educational events.

People are then able to share knowledge, experience and insights, leading to the development of innovative approaches and best practice. This knowledge can then be disseminated throughout industry via the APM.

Learn more about volunteering opportunities

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SIG member volunteers

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Active Listening Toolkit

APM’s People SIG has developed an Active Listening Toolkit to help with the early engagement of stakeholders.

The toolkit includes everything you need to create Active Listening Panels (ALPs). The aim of each ALP is to find out what is important to key stakeholders, how it relates to your project and how they feel about it.

Included below is a:

  1. Scoping Document – to set objectives for the panel
  2. Timeline – to integrate the ALP with your own project
  3. Attendance Pipeline – to manage invitations and messaging
  4. Facilitation and Question Set – to help run the session
  5. Internal Intelligence Briefing – to share findings with the board

There are also tools to promote ALPs.

Featured resources

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Opinion piece - Communication planning

The guide has been designed to provide a simple framework that can be used by project managers and communicators supporting projects.

Download white paper 

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Fearless change - Bringing your people with you on the journey: Conference learning legacy package

This joint SIG conference tackled the complex problems of how people respond to change.

SIG Podcast series

News by this SIG

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A creativity strategy modelled from Walt Disney webinar
Introducing the approach to tackling project problems, a well-documented process that Walt Disney used to good effect when developing ideas. It’s known as ‘Imagineering’ and involves approaching a problem from three different perspectives: The Dreamer – generating alternatives and possibilities; The Realist – helping to define actions and steps; The Critic – evaluating payoffs and drawbacks.
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Making communications land - how to leverage the best mediums webinar
Reviewing how an awareness of your change delivery environment might impact and influence your selection of communication channels and their ultimate effectiveness.
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Applying a structured approach to project outcomes to increase their chances of success webinar
The project environment is all about creating change from something to something else. There is always an expected outcome or outcomes. This explored how to make project outcomes more effective and ‘ecological’ in the sense of not threatening other aspects of the project or organisation by setting targets that cannot be delivered without major disruption.
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Creating environments that set project managers up for success podcast
Conversation about the importance of understanding the root cause when projects aren’t performing.
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The use of ALPs for change: Fearless change
On Wednesday 8 March the APM facilitated a conference, with Trish Thurley and Christine Castle presenting on the use of ALPs for change.
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Soft skills for change: Fearless change
On Wednesday 8 March the APM facilitated a conference, with Marion Thomas presenting on the soft skills for change.

Blogs by this SIG

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Autonomy in Civil Service Teams – what stops it and what to do about it?
Following The link between personal autonomy and project performance (apm.org.uk) by Sam Jefferies, I’ve been using my own experiences in the civil service to consider how we might apply that same thinking. 
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How to make your project ‘sticky’ (1)
The purpose of a project is to create change. To be successful, this change has to ‘stick’. Whether it’s new infrastructure, processes, systems or technology, the new future must be permanent and sustained. It’s only when change is embedded that outcomes will emerge and benefits will be realised. 
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Soft skills for success
Nurturing skills such as quality of trust is essential to a project management role. So what are the top qualities for career growth?
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APM’s sustainability conference round up: you can make it happen!
Think about what you love; hedgehogs, standing next to a clean stream, your family and community, the security of having a job – how much do you love it? How would you describe that love, that desire, to someone or to an alien visiting?
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What’s the Point? Planning with Intent
Using this idea of intent as a basis for shared meaning is extraordinarily useful in any complex environment because it gives those people delivering the project the authority and the boundaries for independent thought. The whole point of managing projects effectively and efficiently is that you know where you are trying to get to, but you allow those delivering it a level of discretion in terms of the best way to get there.
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Is organisational change in ICT strategy and the organisation’s capacity to change aligned?
Many organisation’s operations have been severely shaken these last few years due to forced changes in business practice and customer behaviour. This has shone a light on how ingenious adoption and adaption of the latest technology provides strategic advantage. The need to be even more efficient and effective, delivering enduring benefit and value for customers and stakeholders, has highlighted many gaps in corporate information and communication technology (ICT) capabilities.

Contact this SIG