Start a project wrong it will finish wrong, warns watchdog [Video]

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Posted by APM on 9th Sep 2013

Projects that start wrong will finish wrong.  It may sound obvious, but the National Audit Office (NAO) is emphasising how vital the initiation stage of a project is.

Tim Banfield, director at the public spending watchdog, discussed at the APM Project Management Conference in June how capable the government is at initiating projects.

“Very often government rushes into [a project],” says Tim. “They don’t consider the right things. Some of that is not having the right technical skills and some of it is about personal motivation.

“We are trying to shine a light on some of those issues and help government make better decisions.”

Tim, who will be speaking at the APM Programme Management SIG conference in November, believes there are a set of common problems that all project managers have to tackle. “The way they respond to them is going to be different,” he said. “But, you’ve got to start to think about those at the outset.

“You’ve got to build the time and the effort in, and then you’ve got to professionalise delivery to make it happen.”

Speaking in the Flexibility session alongside Tim was Barbara Chomicka, senior project manager at EC Harris. Barbara believes project managers need to be able to think and act differently as projects are becoming more complex.

She said: “Leaving aside the traditional concept of project management and the tools we use, we have to look in more adaptive and flexible ways of delivering projects.”

Project managers should look to embrace change by the way they manage the structure of a project. Barbara concluded by saying: “Having multiple scenarios allows for change to be embraced rather than perceived as a threat to a project.”

Watch more interviews with the speakers from the APM Project Management Conference 2013.

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