The finals night of this year's Thames Valley branch Project Challenge competition was held on the 23rd April 2013. In a close run contest, the AWE team 'AWEsome Investments' was declared the overall winner.
The team also took away the award for 'Best presentation', beating strong competition from the second AWE team 'Srotavonni' to win by two votes in this audience-scored category. Congratulations 'AWEsome Investments'!
Congratulations also go to the British Airways team, 'Revolution' who won the award for 'Best poster' on the finals night.
The judging panel was unanimous in their praise for this years entries saying, The standard overall was so high that teams who did not reach the final should not be downhearted.
The 2012-13 competition built on the strong foundations laid by the inaugural contest in 2011-12. The first year saw four entrants whose final night presentations attracted substantial levels of interest from corporate members in the Thames Valley region. This year, 13 teams submitted initial proposals. A change in the competition format allowed all teams to take their projects from concept to delivery, with four selected to present their projects during the finals night.
The topic for this year was 'Innovation'. It was left to the entrants to interpret this and identify projects in which the theme was easily identifiable. The competition consisted of four stages: teams submitted short initial proposals including a high level description of their project, details of team members and confirmation of an internal company mentor to provide guidance. The second stage required a 5000 word interim report followed by an 8000 word final report in the third stage. Cumulative assesment over the first three stages allowed the four strongest teams to progress to the finals night where they were required to give a 10 minute presentation.
The 'AWEsome Investments' winning entry set out to build a new tool for their organisation, to provide an innovative, interactive, process for producing project business cases both more quickly and more concisely than their current method. The team of four, Ruth Vickers, Samantha Riddlesden, Amy Connor & Emma Floyd, did this through a rapidly developed Visual Basic tool that leads project managers through the requirements for AWE business cases. With the majority of work being done in their spare time, the team addressed all the topics that any large project would need to address. The end result was a useable beta-stage application that is currently undergoing further trialling and improvement. The final product Bizassist will be incorporated into future training for project managers in AWE.
In the poster contest all three entries detailed excellent products however the British Airways team impressed the judges by including more detailed information about their project and what they had gained from it. The team of five participants, Rachel ORegan, Timothy Wood, Cordell Sutherland, Abdul Noor & Adrian Clarke-Head considered new ways of presenting the roadmap for future product projects in the Branding Division. They arrived at a more effective pictorial representation which now includes prioritisation.
The standard of entry in this year's competition was universally high and clearly demonstrated the hard work put in by the teams. Details of the 2013-14 Project Challenge will be made available here in due course and we look forward to an even bigger, better contest next year! If you would like additional information on the Thames Valley branch Project Challenge please use the link above or contact firstname.lastname@example.org