This article is the first in a series of profiles and interviews of the APM Women in Project Management Specific Interest Group committee members. Further profiles / interviews will be released during the autumn of 2014 on this page. If you are interested in getting involved with APM and / or this group please click here for further details.
Name: Teri Okoro
Current role: Director
Previous role(s): Principal Architect, Programme Manager
Number of years in Project Management: 20 +
Teri is founder of TOCA a design and project management consultancy. Also member of the Construction Industry Council Diversity Panel and the APM Professional Conduct Committee.
Q. How did you come to work in project management?
A. I worked in the architectural practice of a large organisation and as prinicipal architect I had to manage the programme. In time this role excluded design, with responsibility for project management of larger design and build schemes. I subsequently obtained the RIBA Certificate in Project Management / APMP and became an APM member.
Q. What attracted you to the project management profession?
A. Though my entry was somewhat accidental, I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to influence and lead on the delivery of projects and programmes with the bonus of a built or remodelled structure as an outcome. I thrive on meeting and exceeding expectations, also broadening the definition of project success as well as the project stakeholders. There is a buzz at the the inital stages of any project with the formation of a new team; capturing and maintaining that energy through the ups and downs to the end. That requires skill in drawing on the strengths of each team member but it is a worthwhile endeavour.
Q. Have you ever changed the industry or sector in which you work, and if so how did go about doing this?
A. Construction has provided a wide variety to date, including residential, commercial and healthcare. I have however worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Working within my own consultancy has provided opportunities within diverse sectors and more recently internationally in emerging markets.
Q. What tips would you give to someone interested in a career in project management?
A. It offers a challenging and rewarding career. Increasingly organisations deliver their stategic objectives and change through projects and programmes, so there are opportunities in a wide range of sectors, with increasing diversity in personnel and opportunities to progress. Maintain your passion, have a vision and be visible, dont be frightened to take measured risks, learn from your successes and failures and youll achieve beyond your initial expectations.
Q. Why did you decide to become involved in WiPM?
A. I attended a few WIPM events the first was the 10th Anniversary Conference. I appreciated the opportunity to network with women from a range of sectors and was also struck by the enthusiasm and friendly welcome of the committee. I responded without hesitation to a call for new committe members a few years later.