A joint all-Ireland report published yesterday by the Association for Project Management (APM) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in association with Deloitte has revealed that as the economic climate continues to force organisations to change, those responsible for leading change have become more focused than ever on managing benefits to maximise value.
The report, entitled Delivering the Prize, is the outcome of a survey conducted by APM and CIMA with members working on business critical projects and investments in both private and public sector organisations across Ireland. It was published at a joint conference held in Belfast. Welcoming the study, keynote speaker Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said: “This event comes at an opportune time. Leading change and delivering real benefits in such a difficult economic climate presents a huge challenge.
“It is more important than ever that we make the most of the limited investment available for major change initiatives. I therefore welcome the focus that this conference and the report bring on the effective leadership of programmes and projects that will deliver change and realise tangible benefits.”
With 88% of survey respondents citing cost reduction as the No.1 strategic driver of projects and programmes, the report highlights that tougher financial challenges is enhancing how organisations approach investments in change. Chairman of CIMA Ireland, Patrick Barr, who is head of governance and financial planning at the Department of Justice said: "The organisations that will come out on top of this economic situation will be those that have focussed on delivering value for their customers through the improvement of business performance. In the context of the continuing economic challenges it is perhaps an indictment of certain business cultures that many have only come to this realisation with the impact of tougher times."
Peter Glynne, chairman of the APM Benefits Management Specific Interest Group added that in the current economic climate, the demand on business managers and change leaders in both the public and private sectors is to ensure that any change to 'business as usual' is driven by a positive and measureable impact. He said: "The report highlights the importance of a closer partnership between project and finance professionals to ensure that the benefits from such investments are realised. This conference is an example of the commitment of our two professions to sharing knowledge and best practice and to a closer way of working amongst our members."
APM and CIMA have a combined Ireland membership base of 14,000. Conference speakers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland included senior directors from Deloitte and the Strategic Investment Board as well as the Irish Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
Pictured from left to right: Patrick Barr, chairman of CIMA Ireland; Leslie Warren, chairman of APM Northern Ireland branch; Finance Minister Sammy Wilson and Andrew Bragg, chief executive of APM.