APM Board Election 2015 - candidate Q & A
- Please provide a brief overview of your background and experience as a project professional
- Please outline any previous experience as a company director or charity trustee
- What motivated you to put yourself forward for election to the APM Board?
- What qualities and experience will you bring to the APM board?
- What is your vision for APM going forward?
I am a self-taught project manager, who then gained professional qualifications and recognition, with 35 years of project, programme and change management experience in the UK, Europe and the USA. My projects include connecting 250 banks to a computer centre, introducing a computer system which changed the jobs of 1200 people, corporate rebranding for 11,994 people, a car hire booking system across 43 countries and managing the implementation of a Real Time Information system for 630 buses, with Next Stop displays, Announcements,. Driver VOIP radio and Customer Wi-Fi. My last project is to provide Wifi and monetising media on 650 coaches, agreeing the suppliers and resolving contract difficulties. I am PRINCE2, MSP and Change Management qualified, and been awarded the Registered Project Professional designation, a Fellow of the APM, Member of the Institute of Engineering Technology and Associate of the Institute of Physics.
I have been a leader of major projects in the UK and overseas since 1996 and became a Programme Director with BT plc in 2003. In this role I led the portfolio transformation for BT which enabled advanced services such as broadband fibre network and TV to be delivered in the UK and worldwide through its partners. In 2005 I became Director of Consultancy Services for a software provider and in 2007 I set up my first company, consulting and to public and private sector bodies. From this date, I have provided advisory and delivery services to companies in Asia and the UK, most recently leading the eEnabled Aircraft Programme for Cathay Pacific.
I have also been a conference speaker, writer and mentor to other project managers.
I joined CH2M after 34 years in the British Army with 20 years in Defence Acquisition. My last tour as a Major General included being the MoD’s Programme & Project Management (PPM) Skills Champion running the MoD’s PPM Centre of Excellence with a PjM licensing programme aligned to APM qualifications. Earlier PPM roles included being Programme Manager (at separate times!) for all Battlefield Training Systems, for the fleet of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and for all Armoured Fighting Vehicles.
Since joining CH2M in 2011, my experience has included time on major programmes that include: the London Olympic Park, the Thames Tideway Tunnel, the Ministry of Defence Equipment & Support organisation’s major PPM transformation programme and the Highways England Major Projects PPM transformation programme.
Higher education & qualifications include: a First Class Degree from St John’s College Cambridge in Engineering; an EMS in executive management from Manchester Business School; Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of both Institution of Civil Engineers and Institution of Royal Engineers; Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors; Cabinet Office High Risk Gateway Review Team Leader; as well achieving Registered Project Professional status with APM.
I am originally an engineer by training, I developed my project management career with Metal Box a multinational business in the packaging sector, travelling widely across Europe, USA and Japan to bring challenging global projects to successful completion.
I have two decades of experience as a project, programme and change manager working on many interim; consulting assignments across a wide variety of business types and sizes.
For example working with universities and venture funder spin outs to bring innovative life science developments to the marketplace; working with large manufacturers to improve product production and a two year medical device programme involving a high degree of complexity and uncertainty delivered for a major pharmaceutical client.
I have most recently directed a complex global regulatory change programme. Working over a nine month window with product development and supply chain teams in UK/Germany/ USA/ China the programme successfully replaced all European product for TTI group the owners of Vax, Dirt Devil and Hoover brands. This was followed by a further 8 month period helping the business initiate a global new product development and supply chain improvement programme aimed at delivering significant cost reductions, preparing for further regulatory change.
Business educated to Masters Degree.
Automotive. Worked in France long range planning department.
FMCG. Production Manager and Planner in Print industry, Tottenham.
Project Manager and Principal Consultant in Manufacturing Transport Aerospace Defence and Pharmaceutical Industries.
Internationally recognised Earned Value Project Control expert.
Chairman of the Village Hall for eight years, a Charity on behalf of the Parish Council. As a senior manager in BT I developed and delivered the Customer Service strategy for four years. Seventeen years as the Owner and Managing Director of Proftel Ltd (contract project management) and two years as part Owner and Director of the Miracle Shoe Company Ltd. Two years on the Consultative Council of the Professional Contractors Group and its Secretary for the last year.
I have a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and have been a director of companies in France, the UK and Hong Kong. I was also a Trustee of Headway East Anglia, a charity which provides support for people with acquired brain injuries and their families.
2012-2015: Trustee/Director APM Board – 2015 Deputy Chair of Board; 2014 & 2015 Chair of Strategic Policy Committee and then Portfolio & Performance Committee; 2013 member Audit Committee; 2012-2015 APM ProgM SIG Committee
2007-2014: Colonel Commandant Royal Engineers of which 2 years as trustee on the Royal Engineers Charities Committee.
2010-2013: Chairman of Trewince Lodge Owners Association, Cornwall.
1986-1989: Director of Moss House Residents Company Limited, Richmond, Surrey.
Less formally, many ‘company director’ equivalent MoD appointments.
I hold and have held roles such as:
- Consulting business director
- Previous non-exec director and trustee of APM and non-exec director of Ibis Trading
- Previous APM Deputy Chairman
- Work regularly with senior executives in corporate client organizations
- Member of a Swiss based charity
I have been a full director of a UK limited company since 1996 and I am a former director and trustee of APM. Completing current term 3 years as a trustee of which last two as Chairman
I now have the experience, knowledge and time to devote to furthering the professionalism of project management, also the desire to put something back into a profession that has provided me with a rewarding and stimulating career.
I would like to make a positive difference to the development of APM and to contribute in any way I can to the way that APM represents and champions the views of its members and supporters. I also believe that APM has a very significant international growth opportunity and would like to bring my experience of working in around 10 different countries and living in three outside of the UK, to the board.
I was elected to the Board in 2012 and having served on the Audit Committee, as Chair of the Strategic Policy and then Portfolio & Performance Committees and, for the past year, as Deputy Chair of the Board, I am acutely aware of the scale of the change we are currently undertaking to transform APM to be the UK’s recognized PPM professional body with Chartered Status: this is a ‘job not yet done’ and as a professional project manager I am committed to seeing it to a successful conclusion. Furthermore, I am working as an APM Board Member with the Major Projects Authority on the Government’s pan Departmental PPM Communities initiative to promote the cause and skills of PPM across Government – another project APM wishes to drive to a successful conclusion.
I previously served on the board of APM and was involved in our substantial governance changes some years ago. Having reached the end of my board tenure I took time to pursue other roles. I am passionate about our community networks (Branch/ SIG etc).
Much is changing in the project professional sphere providing lots of opportunities for APM. I now feel, with your support, I can offer further help drawn from my wide experience of business change and growth as APM moves into the next phases of development.
The need to strongly represent and support the mission of the Association. Namely the production and sharing of project management knowledge and its communication for the benefit of all. To be clear, a move away from our current commercial mindset toward one of social enterprise. A reshaping and reforming agenda.
A return to the basics of project management.
A recalibration of the relationship of the Association with its members so that the members are participants rather than spectators. Supported rather than managed.
Better representation of SIGS and Branches at Board with a clear chain of responsibility and authority.
My training and experience as a senior manager in a multi-national company and mentoring the Board of a Dutch company, combined with the skills honed managing many large projects and programmes in different organisations will bring a different perspective to the Board. I also bring enthusiasm and drive to see the APM grow in stature and size.
I have led international teams extensively and have worked for 3 years in a Chinese-run company, before moving to one which employs 14 different nationalities. I have led change programmes affecting people in 130 locations around the world and have negotiation experience on large international contracts in the US, Asia and Europe. This has given me some insight into multi-cultural challenges and in what representing APM with overseas bodies and outside of the UK requires.
The qualities and experience I bring are:
- Leadership, service and self-discipline from the experience of 34 years in the British Army in which I was fortunate to be promoted to the higher echelons.
- A balanced understanding of public and private sector commercial drivers from the experience of 10 years the Ministry of Defence’s equipment procurement & support organisations and 5 years with CH2M.
- PPM expertise with the APM’s RPP qualification and experience of 20 years in Defence Acquisition plus 5 years in CH2M
I am generally plain speaking “say it as it is”, but look to combine input from all to reach consensus while retaining independence of view with the ability to take collaborative responsibility on an agreed direction. I am pragmatic and practical in what can and should be achieved as an organization changes and grows. I have three decades of business experience in the project arena. Working with a large range of businesses of differing types and size gives me a wide perspective from which to contribute. I have a good understanding of APM history from my time as a branch chair and former board member.
I tend to use the five S’s of trusteeship to provide a focus on the duties of a trustee and non-exec director: Strategy, Stretch, Support, Scrutiny and Stewardship.
Above all I now have many years of history and experience with the Association and remember why and how things originated.
I have always worked within the SIGS and have a deep experience of being an engaged volunteer. There are few that do at this level.
I carry no other organisational agenda which means I can remain true to the values of the APM mission more easily than some.
The APM should continue the drive towards professionalism, improvement and consolidation, and a major milestone of consolidation is Chartered status. However this should continue to be underpinned by and extending a variety of PM apprenticeships and an increasing range academic qualifications, also introducing structured mentoring and developing links with other professional institutes, the IET in particular. The efforts and progress to achieve Chartered status should be independently, confidentially and externally reviewed to revalidate the actions so far and initiate new actions, although significant progress appears to have been accomplished this last year and the latter may not be required.
The APM needs to widen its appeal as it presently tends to be biased towards construction projects, yet there are many other important and attractive projects to showcase the project management profession, for example; corporate rebranding and international telecommunication networks. Strategic links to the STEM (the encouragement of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics in schools) programme and more Members supporting STEM activities will sow the seeds for future growth and assist in achieving the 2020 goals.
For APM to become the most influential and respected professional body in project management worldwide.
‘A world in which all projects succeed’ – this is the vision we developed for APM’s Strategy 2020 and this is the vision I am committed to helping APM deliver. Anything else threatens distraction from our unifying cause and dissipation of effort.
I am passionate to see the APM further develop and grow. APM should be the “goto” body for programme; project; change advice and development within the UK and more widely. Seen as the listening and trusted partner APM should be advisor on the big picture with close connection to the pulse of the profession, government and commerce.
APM should be establishing policy trends supporting the delivery of successful projects for the benefit of the economy and the profession long term. An energetic and forward looking body which through its members and every engagement as a business is an exemplar of modern professionalism, practicing what it teaches.
The APM should support collaborative communities of excellence that engage all that share a similar vision such that good project management becomes ubiquitous
Back to Basics.
We and those we work with will clearly understand what we can provide and its benefits.
That the work we do will help all levels of society without ‘bottom-line’ being the main driver.
Supported not managed.
It is not APMs business to tell people what to do. Rather it is to share and compare knowledge so they can make their own best choices. The power and authority for this should be returned to the Branches and SIGS who are best placed to identify and serve requirements.
Placing APM at the table when Project Management is discussed at high levels of government and commerce.