I performed an unusual role as an APM volunteer when I donned a dinner jacket to compre an ‘Oscars’ ceremony for APM North West. This year, the North West branch of APM ran a video competition open to project management students in the North West of England. To enter, student teams needed to submit a 6-8 minute video on the theme of 'project management' featuring a project in the region. The aim was to engage the student community in the local Universities and to showcase projects completed in the North West as well as promote the APM.
As this was the first year of the competition, the challenge was in engaging the local Universities. The committee prepared a briefing document with timescales for what was expected from the teams at different stages. Teams were required to submit a business and project plan and a handover and close out report as well as the video itself. To support the teams, each had an academic sponsor within their University and a mentor from the APM NW committee. The committee considered all the entries based on judging criteria and held the finals night at the University of Cumbria campus in Lancaster on June 6th.
There was great excitement as four finalist student teams along with their supporters arrived from the Universities of Cumbria and Manchester for the final of the competition on the ‘Oscars’ evening. We were also joined by local APM members including the committee members who had worked so hard behind the scenes to make the event a success. The lights were dimmed and the film screening began. The films were diverse in terms of the projects featured from the Rosehill Theatre and Workington Leisure Centre in West Cumbria to the Business School and University Library in central Manchester. All films were able to make a strong connection between the projects and the content of the APM Body of Knowledge. Following the screening, the student teams engaged in a lively question and answer session about their films and what they had learned.
In the end, there could only be one winner and the team from the University of Cumbria (right) came out on top. These students are all in the first year of a foundation degree in Project Management and study alongside their employment at Sellafield Ltd. Five of the students on the team are completing their APM apprenticeships and their level of knowledge of Project Management at this stage of their careers was very impressive.
Several benefits were reported from the competition. The APM NW branch committee were delighted with the high standard of the films submitted and enjoyed seeing projects from around the region showcased in this way. The University staff reported how the short film project gave the students valuable experience of managing a small voluntary project with short timescales. It also gave the students the opportunity to engage with local projects in the community and learn from projects in different sectors. The organisations featured in the film enjoyed working with the students and the resulting discussions about the projects featured. So, with interest in the competition rising we expect the video competition and Oscars evening to become an annual event. And, in the famous words of Arnold Schwarzenegger - 'I'll be back!'
Our thanks must go to the four teams; the Sponsors Therese Lawlor-Wright & Ian Stewart; Sheila Pankhurst, Deputy Dean of the University of Cumbria and Jacqueline Longrigg for allowing us the use of the University facilities and hosting us on the evening; Charles Dobson for the hospitality at the University of Cumbria who helped us organise the film evening, as well as helping with organising and motivating the students; my fellow committee members Mike Webster and Stewart Wragg who acted as mentors and judges and Ken Dawson for his support on the night; and Ryan Wilcox at APM who has done much behind the scenes to facilitate this competition.
APM North West Branch