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Unlocking project success: Addressing strategic misrepresentation to transform data-designed projects

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Transformative success rates: Imagining successful data designed projects. A round table evening held in London on Monday 22 May 2023, uncovering effective governance, strategic misrepresentation, and positive change.

Programme and project success rates are doggedly low. Transformative improvement is possible with data enabled investment decisions. This event sought to identify methods and tools to prevent the seldom discussed topic of strategic misrepresentation (some would call it lying).

According to Oxford Global Projects, in collaboration with Oxford University, around 48% of programmes and projects deliver to cost, 7.5% to time and cost, with only 0.5% delivering to time, cost and benefits.

This was the second event in the series “Effective governance, unlocking data and project success”, and explored how Nobel Prize winning economics theory has evolved into governance enabled project data analytics, imagining a world where we have data designed and enabled projects, using the historical data to inform investment decisions. A round table format enabled the panellists to address this seldom discussed but incredibly important question. The question of how to prevent people from mis-representing data in order to achieve their own purpose, how to prevent people from lying. 

Strategic misrepresentation is something we all need to mitigate, particularly in a world with data designed and enabled projects, striving to improve project success rates.

This was a joint event between the APM Governance and APM Enabling Change Specific Interest Groups, supported by the APM London Branch. 

The event and series support the project data analytics taskforce principle that 'all projects are data designed and data enabled'.

Attendees benefited from:

  • Conceptualising the problem with project success
  • Understanding key solutions, for example reference class forecasting
  • Helpful develop insights as to the solutions we can deploy to mitigate strategic misrepresentation
  • Discussion and networking with peers on this topic.

Attendees developed their understanding of cause to project failure, “outside view” planning and contribute to the discussion on how effective governance can enable organisations to better utilise data and enable successful projects.


Panellist members and content contributors

Mark Vincent, Director, Applied Change

With 25 years’ experience delivering large and fast paced business change, Mark and his company Applied Change are pioneering ways to help business leaders implement the changes that matter to them more quickly, more easily and with less stress.


Jonathan Daley, Programme Director, Great Western and Wessex, Department for Transport (DfT)

Jonathan Daley is a Chartered Project Professional who oversees a portfolio of rail enhancement projects within the Department for Transport. He has over 20 years’ experience of leading and delivering major projects in the transport and health sectors.

Jonathan is a member of the APM Governance Specific Interest Group and leading in the Strategic Misrepresentation workgroup which aims to shift the profession towards de-biased investment decisions.


Martin Samphire, owner of the 3pmxl Ltd

Martin is a committee member and former APM Governance SIG Chair. He has authored or co-authored guidelines for Governance of Project Management, including 'Directing Change', 'Governance of Multi-owned Projects', 'Sponsoring Change' and ‘Directing Agile Change’. He authored chapter 19 on Governance in the 2nd Edition of the Gower Programme Management Handbook (2016). He is also a member of a voluntary group, the P3M Data Club.

With over 30 years’ experience, Martin is the owner of the 3pmxl Ltd consultancy. He is also an Associate Director of Deepteam, a consultancy that helps customers improve their achievement of strategic goals through Business Integrated Governance (BIG).

Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton, Fellow of the Association for Project Management, member of PMI UK and Spain Chapters, and an Axelos P3M3 Assessor

Emma is a PMO, Project, Programme and Portfolio specialist with extensive experience in the change management industry and a particular focus on collaboration, reminding us that we should be human first and change champions second. She is involved extensively with a number of organisations; notably the Association for Project Management, Project Management Institute, Project Management Without Borders, Project Managers Against Poverty, and PM4Change. Emma-Ruth organises Wellingtone’s two flagship annual events; the FuturePMO conference and Project Management Day of Service.


Greg Krawczyk, Strategic PMO Manager with Age UK

Outside of his day job as a Strategic PMO Manager for Age UK, Greg is a volunteer with the APM’s Governance Specific Interest Group (SIG). Greg has a passion for project success and recognises governance as an enabler to data designed projects, a transformative solution.


Follow @APMEvents for upcoming event information.

 Twitter:  #apmgovernance   #apmchange   #APMLondon

APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition reference

Section Description
Establishing governance and oversight 
Organisational Culture 
Integrated planning



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