Grasping the opportunities of the project management decade

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Posted by APM on 19th Oct 2011

Advantage was taken of the visit to Hong Kong of the Vice-president of APM, Tom Taylor, to arrange an extra presentation at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club on 6th October 2011. The presentation entitled Grasping the opportunities of the project management decade or The history of project management was attended by 25 members and guests.

Tom is a senior project professional consultant. He is an experienced project manager, adviser, lecturer, author and occasional broadcaster. He is also a member of the APM Sustainability in project management working party, contributor to the APM website and author of Sustainability interventions for managers of projects and programmes with some serious opportunities, challenges and dilemmas.

The presentation began with the history of project management (PM) through the ages up to the arrival of project management, followed by some key performance indicators (KPIs), and concluded with an APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) update. Tom firstly looked at the PM history as an independent profession. Backin 2000, it was only needed in specialist sectors. Effective project managers are, however, needed in todays world by all sectors and they will also be needed in all life in the future, say in 2020. The PM journey progresses from unusual, universal to nationalised, and from unproven, in demand to ultimately expected. (Note the results of the survey conducted in the meeting show that the progress is satisfactory and slightly beyond the middle way, overall.)

In earlier days, the Egyptians followed critical sequencing with supply chain management to build pyramids. The Romans adopted quality assurance, consistency, innovation and plagiarism. In the 19th Century, the Victorians started with mass production and safety, engineering and infrastructure, and management and contract. In the 20th Century, people created work study and measurement (using Gantt Charts), managed conflicts and major projects. The post-war period saw the importance of hard systems and soft skills, focused on space exploration, and oil and gas complexity with a growing Body ofKnowledge (BoK) until the arrival of PM as a profession. The profession creates and owns a distinctive BoK, according to the APM Body ofKnowledge (section 7.9 Professionalism and Ethics). More importantly, Individual members should follow standards of professional ethics and behave in a manner appropriate to the profession.

Turning to the KPIs for PMs arrival, Tom suggested recognition, adoption, and application in both private and public sectors, change management via PM in all sectors, education through school to Further/Higher Education and to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and established recognised qualifications. He further suggested close relationship of project and programme management with finance, engineering, human resources, information technology, etc., multi-national corporations and international bodies, narrowing of products and elimination of weaker elements, and survival through recession. KPIs should also be treated as part of the popular culture.

Tom informed the meeting that there were a number of ways to become a RPP. Starting from 1st March 2011, APM has been accepting applications for this new pan-sector standard for project professionals. It will assess all elements of the APM Five Dimensions of Professionalism (Breath, Depth, Achievement, Commitment and Accountability) in a single standard thereby enhancing professional status and recognition. The first part of the RPP application is an assessment of the portfolio of evidence of managing complex projects within the last eight years. The second part is the professional review, which will take about 45 minutes and will be based on the portfolio of evidence.Successful candidates need to demonstrate competence in 29 core PM competences and have 35 hours of CPD within the last 12 months, among other PM skills. According to Tom, it will take 40 to 60 hours to prepare an application. Act now and get the fruitful result by the end of next year.

Posted in Hong Kong
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