Free Professional Development in London in October

It’s back in London next month – Project Challenge – the seminar and exhibition show at London’s Olympia.

project-challenge-programmeIt’s a great show to get up to speed on what’s happening in the project management market as well as gaining some professional development time with the different seminar sessions that are on throughout the two days.

Arras People aren’t there this time – but pop over to PMO Flashmob’s stand and say hello to me if you’re there.

There’s so many different seminars I’d love to go and listen to but somehow I won’t find the time because I’ll be manning the PMO Flashmob stand.

But if I could, these are the ones I’d pick over the two days:

The CEO Survey – the view from above

Michael Cooch from PwC will be kicking off the first morning – I expect this one to be standing room only, here’s the overview:

PwC has spoken to over 1,400 CEOS around the world across a diverse range of sectors and industries.

CEOs are concerned about over-regulation, cited by 79% of CEOs – making it the fourth year in a row that it’s risen. Geopolitical uncertainty has become the second biggest concern, cited by 74% of business leaders, a figure that may be greater in light of ‘Brexit’.

Michael will explain what this means for portfolio and programme managers, how CEOs look to face uncertainties, build on opportunities and get the best value possible from ongoing transformation.

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Following on from Michael:

Can you cut it in Project and Programme Management?

Ian Clarkson from QA is always a good one to see – he really knows his stuff, here he’s talking about making programmes and projects work in your organisation:

Human rational behaviour is shaped by a scissors whose blades are the structure of task environments and the computational capabilities of the actor”. Herbert A. Simon

Can this quote provide an analogy of how to embed project management in organisations?

This session explores this analogy and discusses the factors that are needed to make project and programme management work for your organisations.

Free registration

Stakeholder-led project management: Changing the way we manage projects

Fiona from CITI is talking about a hot topic in project management – managing stakeholders!

If stakeholders matter at all then they must make a difference to the way we plan, structure and execute projects. Thought-leaders CITI Ltd provide a stakeholder-centred analysis of projects and explains which identification, analysis, communication and engagement models are relevant to different types of projects. This has relevance from an office move to transformational change of business and can even include complex social change.

Based on case studies from around the world, CITI consultant Fiona Magee illustrates what goes wrong when stakeholders are not engaged successfully, and what lessons we can learn from these examples.

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Into the afternoon and I would opt for:

The Intelligent Organisation: Realising the value of information

Dr John Beckford leads this session and he’s not someone I’ve heard before – I like the sound of him being provocative and entertaining, ideal for after lunch:

John Beckford introduces the core ideas of ‘The Intelligent Organisation’ and shows how the synthesis of people, process and information delivers gains in effectiveness, reducing costs while increasing customer satisfaction and improving the bottom line.

Applicable to all sectors, ‘The Intelligent Organisation’ is a radical model of organization built on exploiting the information generating capabilities of
contemporary technologies. John will illustrate his talk with examples and case studies drawing on international applications of these ideas in transport, water, utilities, social care, paper manufacturing, pharmaceutical research and professional services.

John manages to be academically rigorous in his thinking whilst also being provocative and entertaining.

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Final session of the day and I’d love to see:

Portfolio Management: The rock star of change

Craig Kilford and Stephen Jenner are backed together again (authors of Managing Portfolios – MoP) and talking portfolios:

Portfolio Management has become a rock star that everyone seems to be talking about today …this because portfolio management is crucial for strategy execution, it helps executives make more informed project investment decisions, it helps everyone understand which projects are most important to deliver and at the same time, it boosts the energy and the overall happiness of the team.

As authors of the AXELOS Global Standard “Management of Portfolios”, Craig and Steve discuss Portfolio Management’s rise to fame as well as zooming into some of the solutions to the big challenges that people and organizations face when moving to a portfolio management state of being.

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Onto the second day:

Managing in the mixed economy – agile and traditional approaches working together

John Sheffield from Pcubed takes to the stage for a bit of Agile:

The programme is a business transformation that relies on a technical solution to enable it. There are fixed deadlines that have very large commercial implications. The programme purpose is to execute a corporate strategic objective (and not just some technology).

The programme cannot succeed without the technical solution, but the business transformation (process, organisational design, etc.) is equally important. The organisation does not have any experience in delivering a programme of this scale using in-house agile development techniques, but the CIO is keen to introduce widen its use. Hear Pcubed’s opinion on how to manage in the “mixed economy”.

Building a Learning Organisation: How better talent management increases project delivery success and reduces risk

Obviously I’m going to opt for anything that mentions talent management in relation to project management:

People deliver projects; not processes, technologies or tools. It’s no coincidence that those organisations that recognise and invest in the development of their people report more successful project delivery performance. However, many organisations still lack an enterprise-wide approach to knowledge management and talent development, particularly related to project management.

This session looks at strategies for improving and sustaining individuals’ project management skills and competencies and how to create an organisation-wide culture of sharing and learning lessons to drive project success and reduce the risk of failure.

Heading into lunchtime and next up:

Driving transformation through engaged teams

I love listening to Ranjit Sidhu – she’s all about change management, here she’s talking about team management:

Organisations need to change to remain competitive. If change is not managed well, there can be a negative impact on morale, performance, culture and the organisation’s bottom line results. Transformation is different to ‘a project’. There’s no point spending large budgets on ‘delivering’ new systems if the additional work isn’t done so that people feel comfortable using them. It’s essential that people are supported along on the journey

In this session Ranjit Sidhu identifies how companies can manage and empower the teams and leaders responsible for change. She addresses key themes for effective organisational change and achieving successful transformation.

Kraljic – is there benefit in using some standardised tools in the production of your business case?

I must admit, I’m like a magpie when I hear or see something new – and Kraljic caught my eye!

The presentation talks to some of the advantages of using the Kraljic Matrix. Cath Convery from Explosive Learning Solutions frequently runs workshops and training on strategy documents and recognises that for some learners understanding the theory behind what you are doing is an important step in true learning.  This presentation uses case study examples to talk through one of the tools that is often used in the writing of the Commercial Case in the 5 Case Model.

Final session of the day, and it’s one that I’ll get to see because it’s…

HighlyEffectivePMOSeven habits of highly effective PMO Managers

This is one I’ll be presenting alongside Eileen Roden, hopefully a must-see for any PMO practitioner:

Inspired by Stephen Covey’s inspirational book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People®, we take a look at the role of the PMO Manager and share what makes a highly effective PMO Manager in the profession today.

Touching on different aspects of a PMO Manager’s career, this session will give PMO practitioners at any level; inspiration, ideas and practical ways to forge ahead in their career.


So in the course of two days – free entry at that – we have a mix of Agile, PMO, Change Management, Business Cases, Portfolio Management, Stakeholder Management, Organisational PM, Data Management and some thought leadership stuff – sounds like a good investment yes?


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