Welcome to the APM People SIG newsletter October 2019

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Newsletter contents

  1. Introduction from the Chair
  2. What are we focussing on ... Leadership, Communications, Stakeholder Engagement
  3. Collaboration
  4. Joining the discussion #Peoplemakethedifference


1. Introduction from the Chair

As I write this at the end of summer it feels like the start of a new term for the APM People SIG. The elections back in July saw change for the SIG committee together with reassuring continuity and commitment. Oliver Randall decided to step down as Chair, and I have taken on the role. It is a new challenge for me but I am ably assisted by Ian Cribbes who continues in the role of Secretary.

Our September meeting brought together our new team for the first time. It was an opportunity to welcome new members to the committee, including Lucy Finney and Teri Okoro, and to acknowledge the ongoing commitment of returning committee members. It was also a chance to recognise the contributions from our wider team of active volunteers whose time and experience make a huge difference. I am very conscious that as volunteers we all have limited time to give, and it is only through collaboration that we can get things done.


Our extended APM People SIG team met for the first committee meeting in September.
L-R: Nigel Wright, Sarah Slater, Ian Cribbes, Teri Okoro, Oliver Randall, David Richardson, Tim Lyons, Fran Bodley-Scott, Gayle Howard, Mike Hunting


At the meeting I was struck by the diversity of experience around the table and the different perspectives that we bring to bear on the people-related aspects of project management. For example, the seemingly familiar topic of communication generated a passionate debate about how it can have a very different complexion depending on your project context and environment. The role for APM People SIG is to consider what these generic disciplines mean within a project context, and to use our various insights to produce information and tools that are relevant to project managers in all sorts of scenarios.


Fran Bodley-Scott
APM People SIG Chair  

 


2. What are we focussing on ... Leadership, Communications, Stakeholder Engagement

To enable us to support project managers as effectively as possible, APM People SIG is focusing on developing and sharing knowledge in three core areas:

Leadership
This is a new area of focus for APM People SIG and is being led by Tim Elliott and Annie Maingard. The aim at this stage is to identify the topics to focus on that will make best use of the skills and experience of the team.

Annie Maingard and Sarah Slater,
APM Women in Project Management Conference 2019

 

One area that is already being researched is SRO Leadership & Behaviours within the Military & Civil Service, looking at the way leaders operate in this culture, the complex interactions between organisations and across the different services, and the realities of SRO influence.

Another area that the team plans to work on is creating a competency framework to provide a path for building leadership competencies towards achieving Chartered status.

There will be more information on this in the coming months. In the meantime, we want to hear from you: what are the leadership topics that you think project managers need to understand better? Let us know - join the conversation @APMPeopleSIG.

Communication
The Communication Focus Group is all about helping projects to succeed through good communication: providing practical advice and guidance coupled with the theory that underpins good communication.

The team has been reformed this year by Ann Pilkington. The aim is to produce a project communication tool kit which will be in three parts:

  • Communications competences such as selecting appropriate channels, creating the right amount of good content, telling a story, using anchors and how to devise a campaign;
  • Using effective language patterns and some of the psychology of communication, verbal and non-verbal channels, human metaprogrammes and perceptions and how to use them;
  • Creating a comms strategy and plan, setting objectives and measuring effectiveness, the why, who, what and how of a comms plan, with template examples.

The guide should be ready to launch in January 2020, so keep an eye out for more information.


Stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder engagement has been a key area for APM People SIG for some years, so it’s been very encouraging to see the increasing level of attention being given to stakeholder engagement by APM and the wider project management community. For example, it was one of the first modules developed for the new APM Learning platform this year, and the topic chosen for the first APM book series to partner APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition. The APM stakeholder engagement resources website continues to attract over 13,000 visits every month from practitioners seeking information.

Keep an eye out for NewSE Bites, the monthly digest of relevant events and sources of useful information produced by the Stakeholder Engagement Focus Group. For example, the September edition includes links to a blog on How to Lead Change, Build Commitment and Inspire People, an article on digital stakeholder engagement, and a review of “The Entrepreneur’s Book” by Neil Francis, which is absolutely full of stakeholder related material.


3. Collaboration

We were delighted that Sarah Slater, APM Volunteering Manager was able to attend our committee meeting in September. Collaboration with the APM team is an integral part of the way we operate, for example helping us to engage with a wider audience through online and offline channels, social media, and webinars.

The APM branch committees are also valued partners, not only in creating events and helping us to share information, but also by providing insight about the topics that are most important to members. For example, over the past year the APM Thames Valley, London, Midlands and North West branches have enabled us to deliver workshops and presentations on topics ranging from “Beyond conventional stakeholder management” to “Engaging with a moving target” and “Stakeholders and Sponsors”.

Our plan going forward includes a one-day leadership seminar with the APM South Wales and West of England branch in November, a communications-focused workshop with Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire branch in January, and a joint event with Thames Valley branch and the Nuclear Institute on AI, cyber intelligence and its impact on project management.

Fran Bodley-Scott (left) and Ian Cribbes (right) ran a popular workshop on Stakeholder Engagement with APM Midlands branch in April.
Pictured here with attendee Ram Singh.

 


If you are interested in organising an event about leadership, communication or stakeholder engagement, get in touch. We have a number of well-received presentations and workshops that are ready-to-go, and recommendations for subject matter experts able to support your objectives.


4. Joining the discussion #Peoplemakethedifference

We would welcome the opportunity to learn about your ideas and opinions about people in projects. There are several ways to get in touch, learn more about what we are doing, and engage in the debate about how we can help improve skills and competence across the project management community:


APM People SIG stand at this year’s The Association for Project Management Conference London 2019 in May: the QR code for our new LinkedIn group proved useful for engaging delegates.

 

Posted on 30th Sep 2019
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