Scottish Conference set to welcome Bloodhound director

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Posted by APM on 23rd Jan 2013

Richard Noble, project director of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Scottish Conference, which takes place in Edinburgh on 17 April.

The conference will be focused on how projects and project teams ensure clarity of what they are setting out to do and clearly communicate what they will deliver. This is a fundamental for all projects and the conference will also look at how diverse teams maintain their vision of delivery and how that is practically translated into reality.

Richard will talk about how creating a supersonic car that can hit 1,000mph in a matter of seconds isnt just about Britain retaining the land speed record. Bloodhound SSC provides a stimulating topic for schools with the aim of producing the next generation of engineers, scientists and project managers.

Richard will underline the importance for his engineers having a full understanding of project management, as it ultimately impacts project cost. Richard said: In our project we dont have managers, so everybody is doing their own project management. The problem is some are very good at it and some of them arent.

We have a very high level of fixed costs and all the time I drum into them the fact that if you make a mistake and we are delayed by one day then that is 12,000 gone. He stressed that in order to avoid this then everybody should be given the required project management skills.

Perfect planning

Paul Major of Program Framework will also feature on the agenda with a session entitled Start with the end in mind engaging the audience is more important than creating the plan!

When asked to describe his session, Paul said: Our training, our job descriptions and even industry regulators might tell us that creating the plan, establishing governance, implementing policy and process are all the hallmarks of a great project. Maybe they are, but are they the hallmarks of a successful project, one where the original vision, idea, dream or benefit was achieved?

When was the last time an end user or sponsor burst into your office and said I hear you have a great project plan, a brilliant blueprint, a fantastic project initiation document can you show me so I can tell all my team about it?.

Vision is only realised when something and usually someone changes, and people only change when they either have to, or want to. In other words organisations and the people in them will not change because you tell them to; no matter how nicely you prepare the document.

If were truly interested in realising benefits, creating legacy and achieving our vision then we need to learn how to inspire change, showing that there is something worth changing for. There is nothing more critical to ensuring that every project is successful because, to quote management expert Gary Hamel, in the absence of purpose, the only thing that will disrupt the status quo is pain. Do you really want to build a career on delivering pain?

Project managers or societys changemakers do you have a choice?

Change agenda

In late 2011, APM announced its vision of a world in which all projects succeed. At the time, APM chairman Mike Nichols said: The strategy sets an agenda that is uncompromisingly ambitious, creative and radical. Yet it can be encapsulated in just three words: all projects succeed that is to create a world in which this is taken for granted.

The conference will also be an opportunity to hear Andrew Bragg, APM chief executive, explain how the association is translating this vision into reality to achieve the target of delivery. Delegates will also get to here from Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar, Selex project planning manager Graeme McNaught and Dr Richard Blanchfield, UK delivery manager at NorthConnect KS.

Book today to save

Save up to 72 by taking advantage of an early bird booking discount available until 31st January 2013. APM members and employees of APM corporate members get a discounted rate of 132, while non members of APM pay 156 (standard rate for non members is 204) book today.

The Scottish Conference will feature:

  • Influential speakers sharing their experience of how they have translated their ideas into reality.
  • Interactive workshops with experienced practitioners from a range of industries. Delegates will be encouraged to contribute to the debate, ask questions and give their views based on personal experience.
  • A rich choice of sessions, ensuring the event is relevant to all industries.
  • Networking making contact with other project professionals and organisations to enhance your professional standing.

For further details, including how to book, please visit APM Events.

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