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Newcastle hosts APM volunteers' forum

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Over 70 volunteers gathered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne last weekend for the latest APM volunteers’ forum.

The weekend saw presentations and discussions on a number of different topics including APM’s approach to knowledge management, the definition of project success, improving meetings with the use of technology and APM’s plans for engagement with future professionals.

The three day event included a presentation by the APM Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire and APM South East branches on their recent study visit to examine how NASA manages their knowledge. One of the interesting discoveries made was, although many people at NASA did not use the formal lessons learned architecture, they still felt that they were learning lessons.

In the words of one senior person: “We don’t use our napkins, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t eating.”

APM Volunteers' Forum 2013Outgoing chairman of the APM Benefits Management specific interest group (SIG), Peter Glynne (pictured left with APM chief executive Andrew Bragg), received special recognition for his work in forming the SIG and developing it into an influential group with over 1,400 members.

Volunteers also took part in a workshop that looked at the definition of project success in light of APM’s vision of a world where all projects succeed. Aspects of the vision identified in advance included:

  • it may change as we know more
  • must be credible to all
  • one persons success is another's failure
  • depends where you stand
  • definition evolves over time
  • depends when you judge it
  • perceptions may alter when decommissioning or dealing with long-term impacts

The workshop itself generated some interesting points with the group identifying:

  • failure and success are not direct opposites
  • failure should be defined at the start of the project
  • is achieving three out of 4 objectives success or failure?
  • perception of key stakeholders is the true measure of success

The APM Northern Ireland branch followed up their case study from the last forum with an update that celebrated their success in recruiting the Northern Ireland Civil Service as APM band D corporate members.

The forum proved successful with one delegate saying: “It really was an excellent event and a great opportunity to network with the wider project, programme and portfolio management association members.”

Volunteer forums are held every six months with the next one due in September 2013.

Volunteering with APM is a great way to engage with the project management community. Discover the volunteering opportunities with APM that enable you to share your knowledge, experience and enthusiasm with others.


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