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Author Archives: John Thorpe

John Thorpe is the Managing Director of Arras People, the project management recruitment specialists

APM Salary and Market Trends Survey 2017 – A Review

With the APM (Association for Project Management) releasing their latest research report APM Salary and Market Trends Survey 2017 I took some time out to see what they have to report and how this stacks up against our own Arras People 2017 PMBR (Project Management Benchmark Report). The following are some of my observations: It’s the biggest! For some reason, all reports by the APM seem to come with this tag line along with “record numbers of respondents”. This went one step further to claim that it is “the largest survey of its kind in our profession”, unfortunately it failed ...

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Why Does a Project Management Job have Different Rates of Pay?

We have had a number of questions recently asking why some roles on the Arras People job board are posted with different day rates. The simple answer is that the changes implemented by the UK Government in April 2017 regarding off-payroll workers in the Public sector means that we have to do this. To re-cap, under the latest legislation it is now the responsibility of the Public sector hiring organisation to assess each role they are looking to fill as being either IN or OUT with regards to the legislation. Where a role is identified as OUT of the legislation, ...

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BBC Pay and Lessons for Project Management Professionals

Like many others I was interested and fascinated when the BBC, for the first time, published payments made from licence fee revenue to people working under a contract for services; specifically, those paid £150,000 or more were included. The resulting commotion across the TV, Radio, Newspapers, Twitter etc has been interesting to follow and for me reinforced some behaviours that project management professionals should always be aware of. Language Matters How many projects go wrong because the parties involved fail to normalise the language that is being used within a project environment? I have seen it so often when people ...

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Taxing Times for Project Management Practitioners in the Public Sector

The recent introduction of the updated Off-Payroll Workers (IR35) legislation for the Public sector which became law on the 6th April 2017 has caused much consternation for many project management practitioners involved in the supply of day rate labour. There has been a lot of noise, plenty of speculation, axe grinding and some really interesting observations. But now it is here, we thought it time to put together a simple (but quite lengthy) summary of our understanding of the legislation and how it will impact the workings here at Arras People. The Consultation: As background, Arras People have been involved ...

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Value for Money (VfM) in Project Resourcing

One of the ongoing challenges of recruiting project management practitioners is the desire for the hiring organisation to achieve Value for Money (VfM). This is especially so in the work we undertake in the Public Sector where VfM in some organisation seems to equate to the cheapest available resource! The National Audit Office (NAO) suggests that VfM is about “the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes. ‘Optimal’ means ‘the most desirable possible given expressed or implied restrictions or constraints’. Value for money is not about achieving the lowest initial price.” They go on to explain that VfM ...

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Contractors – Can You Afford a Further 11.5% Hair Cut on Your Revenue?

Contractors – 11.5% reduction in rates coming your way? Contractors in the Public Sector may be in for a double whammy if the proposals contained in the “Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation” is passed into law and becomes effective from April 2017. Not only will it change the status of some workers who use a Personal Services Company (PSC) into some kind of pseudo employee for the collection of taxes at source, but the added complication will be the payment of Employers National Insurance. Employers National Insurance contributions (EENIC’s) are paid by employers on ...

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IR35 Changes – New Threat to Your Wealth?

The latest initiative by the HMRC to collect additional taxes from the flexible workforce is going to further confuse the employment landscape in the UK. This initiative, known as the “Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation” which is currently open for consultation; is looking to change the status of workers who use a Personal Services Company (PSC) into some kind of pseudo employee. Whilst initially aimed at the Public Sector, if successfully implemented, it’s hard not to see it rolled out to the Private Sector too! According to the GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/employment-status/employee) a person’s employment status ...

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Let’s Be Agile Together!

As a project manager of many years experience, working both pan sector and discipline, whilst using many different flavours of methodology I have to admit that I am still struggling to position the “Agile” movement in terms of delivering projects. Coming from a manufacturing background I have exposure to Lean (make to stock) and Agile (make to order) and TOC in terms of delivering products. As I remember it, these were always positioned as “philosophies” which an organisation could choose to embrace. Having made their choice to follow a certain path, they then embarked on a top-down implementation of that ...

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