Avoiding Project Failure in Huddersfield

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Posted by APM on 19th May 2010

With over forty pre-registered attendees, the snowy night event at the University of Huddersfield in late February was extremely well received, chairman Philip Smelt reports. The presentation, entitled How to Avoid Project Failure Learning Lessons from the Past represented the APM Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire branchs first foray into this area of their regional coverage; and was delivered by Richard Schofield the Managing Director of Rider Hunt Management Services, an international project management consultancy based in Leeds.

Providing numerous examples and case studies of both historical and contemporary project failures, Richards presentation was aimed at Students, PM newcomers and Project Professionals alike. Throughout the talk Richard posed the question, why havent we learned the lessons of the past? as it became apparent that as a profession we are still making the same mistakes particularly when it comes to allowing Political and/or political interference on a project.

As well as providing clear direction on the use of approaches to help embed a lessons learned culture within a project, through for example the use of project closure tools or reality checks at key stages; Richard also explored the softer side of project management in terms of knowing when to say enough is enough, and holding that key conversation with a troublesome stakeholder or sponsor, that gets the project back on track. Richard also posed another question - just because it went over budget and took far longer to achieve, did the project really fail?

How Green is Your Project?

There is common consensus that organisations have a responsibility to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, in order to address the effects of climate change. The challenge facing most businesses is one of providing cost-effective quality services, against a background of economic downturn, volatile energy costs and an obligation to the environment to reduce its carbon footprint.

The project management profession is no exception. On 21st April at QA Consulting Leeds, Mark ONeill a Senior Manager in their service management division and author of the worlds first certificate in Green IT explained that with the IT profession responsible for the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as the airline industry, it is only a matter of time before IT projects are forced to consider the green implications of their chosen solution.

Mark went on to demonstrate to the attending audience of APM members how organisations need also significantly reduce their running costs, be ready to meet carbon emission and energy reduction targets and fend off the bad publicity and shareholder backlash that can come from being environmentally irresponsible.

Also speaking on the night was Peter Nesbitt, QA Consultings Senior Business & Strategy Manager. Peter detailed the importance of using a project management competency framework in the workplace, and went on to explain how Competency Role Profiling was assisting companies in realizing their employees full potential.

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