Farnborough Chapter members and guests enjoyed a lively presentation given by David MacLeod 'But in the real world' - a discussion on best practice project planning and how it can work in a deadline driven business world.
David explained that the APM Body of Knowledge represents best practice thinking in 52 different knowledge areas; if we all followed its advice and employed the techniques, our projects would run perfectly! However, it may be best practice, but in common practice, business project managers run into significant difficulties, particularly when it comes to managing projects to tight (infeasible) deadlines and trimmed (impossible) budgets.
On David's project management education courses, delegates agree that the planning techniques they learn are really good, sensible stuff but their questions are always prefaced by: But, in the real world as they then go on to bemoan the lack of appreciation among senior managers and sponsors of the challenges of managing a project. Why do business sponsors and senior managers feel that it is necessary to place infeasible constraints on project managers? Has a regular flow of project failure stories so worried senior executives that they feel obliged to set stretch targets for projects and revert to an all stick and no carrot approach? Davids talk looked at how project managers can, and must, continue to do the job properly and still remain in employment.
A copy of David's presentation can be downloaded below.