It's like nailing a jelly to the wall

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Posted by APM on 18th Jan 2012

If you attended the launch of the 2nd edition of Directing Change: a guide to governance of project management at the APM Conference on the 20th October 2011 you would have discovered how to nail jelly to the wall. Yes its possible! David Shannon, chairman of the APM Governance SIG, gave a graphic demonstration. Simply plonk the jelly into a box and hey presto - you can nail jelly to the wall. Why mention this? Because project management is like jelly. Its shape changes depending on who is holding it, and on many other influences. Key pieces can easily get lost - never to be recovered. Its consistency can vary: warm it up and its looser, cool it down and its more robust yet, more often than not, you cant quite put your finger on it.  By placing project management within a holistic framework and ensuring it is contained it can be properly supervised - just like plonking jelly in a box enabled it to be nailed to the wall. The framework for project management is governance.

The re-launch of the Directing Change guide started, on the day, with about 50 people attending. The numbers grew until there was standing room only and the audience had swelled to over 120. David Shannon and Brian Wernham presented at the re-launch and they were ably supported by Suzanne Davison and Jordi Martinez Ros: all active and enthusiastic members of the APM Governance SIG. 

The 2nd edition of the guide has been the culmination of many months of intense activity by the Governance SIG.  It has two very senior and influential supporters in Dr. Neville Bain, chairman of the Institute of Directors, and Ian Watmore, who is the permanent secretary in the Cabinet Office, the Governments chief operating officer. Ian is also chair of the Major Projects Authority and feels that the Directing Change guide provides professional guidance that can help top management get the best results from change by understanding how to govern project management well.

At the re-launch event, a number of executives from organisations expressed their interest in starting a governance benchmarking club. The intention is to collect qualitative and quantitative measures of good practice in governance from different organisations and share the output.  In addition, the Governance SIG will assess the impact of the new Directing Change guide so as to judge the benefits it brings to organisations and working with the club feed back results of anonymised surveys, application experience, and related thought papers to members.  More about this initiative will be available soon from the APM Governance SIG. Furthermore there are many other initiatives being considered for next year including running conferences and seminars, reviewing our other two publications: Sponsoring Change and Co-Directing change, and extending the application of our international Study Tour findings from last year.

The Governance SIGs vision and aspiration for the future is:

All projects succeed through well-directed governance.

If you would like to become a member of the APM Governance SIG and/or become more involved in what we do please contact us.

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