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The Golden Thread: project management in healthcare, charities and SMEs

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Association for Project Management (APM), has released the findings of its latest The Golden Thread report, which provides a sectoral analysis of the project management profession across three key sectors:

  • charity
  • healthcare and pharmaceuticals/life sciences
  • small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs)

The report, commissioned by APM and undertaken by PwC (prior to the coronavirus outbreak), reveals the contribution of projects and project management to the UK economy across these three sectors, the number of project professionals employed, the types of projects each sector is typically focused on, skills gaps, challenges, future expectations and the way forward.

The charitable and SME sectors are areas where project management activity is clearly important but which the research identifies as sectors where there is a desire for greater support and expertise. Charities need project expertise to deliver the projects which they use extensively as an instrument to deliver their charitable purpose. This activity is often stymied by lack of expertise, apart from the largest and better resourced charities. With SMEs, many are central to projects – they may be projects themselves or part of larger project supply chains – yet lack the necessary resource to utilise project expertise properly.

John McGlynn, APM chair said: “Our research found that both of these sectors are working to professionalise their project management capability, particularly where you have experienced project professionals moving into these sectors for the first time. We wanted this study to benchmark these two sectors to get a better picture.”

The healthcare sector (incorporating pharmaceutical and life sciences), was identified as an area where project professionals are – and will increasingly be – central to successful project delivery. Throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, project managers in the health sector have faced many challenges to repurpose current activity whilst pivoting to deal with the immediate impact of coronavirus.

Read the sector report


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