East, west, north or south which ever direction you travel from the Holiday Inn (Regents Park), our favoured venue, is ideally located with one tube journey away from the major mainline stations. Andrew Jones, travelled from Leeds to deliver his presentation entitled ’Project Planning – a career path’. To a well attended event he started by giving an overview of his understanding of what project planning entailed.
To the relief of many in the audience he only briefly mentioned Gantt charts and project planning software, being a firm believer that these are only tools to aid the planning process. He pointed out that in some instances a hand drawn diagram or one produced using spread sheet would convey the information more clearly than a large Gantt chart printed out on several large sheets tapped to the wall.
Andrew continued by discussing the importance of the understanding the contracts such as NEC3, the penalty clauses, knowing the stakeholders and the importance of incorporating the risk factors when planning is undertaken. Training and qualifications were described and he pointed out that there were many organisations such as APM, PMI, CIOB, AACEI, ECITB amongst others, who catered for project planners needs.
Finally the career path to becoming project planner was discussed and the possibility of a planner to become project and vice versa was considered. Andrew pointed out that he started out as a project manager and changed his career path by becoming a planner. Other paths open to planners are Forensic planning, specialist planner and training and development.