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Project Management

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Independent publication by 02 / 08 / 2015 # 330 raconteur.net We're rockin' all over the world 02 With a grand heritage of Victorian engineering excellence, the UK leads the world in delivering modern-day megaprojects Be nimble, be quick, be agile 07 Being nimble and quick in business is vital as the pace of change accelerates relentlessly and agile project management takes the lead Seven top trends coming your way 05 As the value of project management is increasingly recognised, what are the emerging global trends crucial to delivery? Technology to turn the plastic tide 08 Clearing plastic polluting the oceans is a problem of massive proportions requiring a professional project management approach Flexibility is key in project delivery Project management is moving towards lean processes and agile business practices, reacting swiftly to a rapidly changing landscape OVERVIEW DAN MATTHEWS F or years the project management profession has been beset by nig- gling problems. Even today experts claim it is not fully accepted as a separate profession and therefore is starved of talented candidates or at least good re - cruits with the right mix of skills. The challenge, they say, is that people know how to become engineers, architects and sys- tems developers, but the path towards pro- ject management – the discipline that binds everything together – is much more elusive. Gradually this issue is being addressed with more representation by lobby groups, better in - dustry qualifications and the development of or- ganisations with a remit to certify project manag- ers. But the process is no- where near complete. And while these issues are being ironed out, new challenges are appearing. Each new twist in consumer technology, for example, seems to warp the job into a new shape. Richard Goold, partner at business transfor - mation consultancy Moorhouse, says: "Pro- ject management will never be fully evolved as the very nature of the market will ensure that new skills and an increasing versatility from project managers are essential. "It is not a cookie-cutter approach, but the ability to lead things that have never been done before, and against the back - drop of an evolving competitive, regula- tive and legislative landscape, which could change the course of what is planned with very little warning." With social media and 24-hour rolling news, people now have more direct ways to learn about major events and raise concerns. In ad - dition, increased competition in the private sector and dwindling public-sector budgets require a complete rethink of how organisa- tions are financed and run. These and many other developments make project management a fluid con- cept. What it was yesterday is not what it is today. Even highly qual- ified practitioners must go on learning or risk turning into the indus- try's fusty dinosaurs. It's really important they do. They are the people creating our transport infrastructure, constructing and safe - guarding our buildings, maintaining healthcare systems, rehabilitating criminals, securing our borders, delivering global aid relief and making sure we are all fed, educated, pro - tected and entertained. Two relatively new concepts profession- als must wrestle with are lean processes – doing more with less – and agile business – the ability to prepare for, anticipate and deal with changes to projects in a construc - tive way without the whole thing collapsing around your ears. "The move towards agility and lean- ness is a feature that has been noticeable professionals plan for a colourful tapestry of political, financial and technical problems. Bringing these qualities together with strong leadership, open channels of com- munication and advanced project manage- ment software with other technology, allows teams to complete startling plans of great vision, scale and ambition. The Olympics and Commonwealth Games in London and Glasgow are two famous ex - amples of projects from recent history that were executed to acclaim. But these are just two internationally renowned achievements among many over the last few years. "In terms of outcomes, the World Health Organization's Global Malaria Programme has to be top of the list," says Mr Stephens. "In 2014, it achieved a major objective set in 2000 to halt the growth in malaria incidenc - es and malaria-caused deaths. "The programme has faced major challenges from economic, political and climatic insta- bility in many of the sub-Saharan countries that are the key targets for the programme. But clarity of purpose and commitment of the stakeholders has seen the damage caused by international neglect since the 1960s reversed. "By developing standard approaches not only for prevention and treatment, but for capacity building, monitoring and control, the programme has enabled local malaria programmes to succeed." Paul Hilton, a technical director at manage - ment, engineering and development consult- ants Mott MacDonald, has another candidate. "The Lee Tunnel is a fantastic project being delivered with great success by Thames Water as part of their Tideway programme," he says. "Many Londoners are unaware that four shafts big enough to hide the Gherkin in have been sunk in East London. Through good collaboration and focusing on innova - tion, the contractor and designers were able to outperform on a very tight project." With feats of organisational excellence like these, it's surprising to hear experts claiming project management has still to make progress. It is equally surprising to hear that professionals have as yet no route to chartered status, unlike accountants or surveyors, for example. Matching project management to these more established and identifiable careers will take time, and it is arguably being thwarted by the changing role of what a project manage - ment professional does, as well as debate of what defines the role as separate from others. "With more qualifications and a big move towards professionalising the industry cur - rently in motion, we should see progress to- wards project managers who are fully aware of best practice and with leadership qualities that can deliver change matching the public's aspirations," Mr Hilton concludes. Although this publication is funded through advertising and sponsorship, all editorial is without bias and sponsored features are clearly labelled. For an upcoming schedule, partnership inquiries or feedback, please call +44 (0)20 3428 5230 or e-mail info@raconteur.net Raconteur is a leading publisher of special-interest content and research. Its publications and articles cover a wide range of topics, including business, finance, sustainability, healthcare, lifestyle and technology. Raconteur special reports are published exclusively in The Times and The Sunday Times as well as online at raconteur.net The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources the Proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher. © Raconteur Media Distributed in In association with ALISON COLEMAN Freelance specialising in business, management and employment, she contributes to the Daily Express and Sunday Express. Pictures supplied by Getty Images CHARLES ORTON-JONES Award-winning journalist, he was editor-at-large of London- lovesBusiness.com and editor of EuroBusiness. JOHN LAMB Former editor of titles including Computer Weekly and Information Week, he publishes Ability magazine on technology for disabled people. DAN MATTHEWS Journalist and author of The New Rules of Business, he writes for newspapers, magazines and websites on a range of issues. JIM McCLELLAND Sustainable futurist, his special- isms include built environment, corporate social responsibility and ecosystem services. CONTRIBUTORS BUSINESS CULTURE FINANCE HEALTHCARE LIFESTYLE SUSTAINABILITY TECHNOLOGY INFOGRAPHICS raconteur.net/project-management-2015 RACONTEUR Publishing Manager David Kells Digital and Social Manager Rebecca McCormick Head of Production Natalia Rosek Design Alessandro Caire Vjay Lad Kellie Jerrard Production Editor Benjamin Chiou Even highly qualified practitioners must go on learning or risk turning into the industry's fusty dinosaurs Share this article on social media via raconteur.net PROJECT MANAGEMENT for at least the last five years. The hunger for these approaches in the public sector is now also gathering momentum," says Peter Brookes-Smith, managing director of software developers Objectivity. Agile and lean are both a response to growing awareness of the innate risks that come with large-scale projects. Dotcom crashes, property bubbles and financial meltdowns have served to make the indus - try wary and respectful of the dangers. "Recently, the most noticeable change has been the increased importance accorded to risk management within projects," says Craig Stephens at enterprise resource plan - ning software business Epicor. "This is a consequence of a more mature understanding of the nature of projects and a clearer picture in the mind of project leaders of what could jeopardise project success. It is also an acknowledgement that risk is an inte - gral aspect to any project and a willingness to dedicate resources to tackle these risks." Building flexibility into project plans means they don't fall over at the first sign of trouble. Committing to lean budgets limits overspend. An understanding of the risks involved helps Managing Editor Peter Archer TOP THREE REASONS FOR PROJECT FAILURE: REGULAR THEMES SINCE 2004 Source: PwC 2014 Bad estimates/ missed dealines Bad estimates/ missed dealines Poor estimates in planning Poor estimates in planning Scope changes Scope changes Lack of executive sponsorship Change in scope mid-project Changes in environment Insufficient resources Poorly defined goals and ojectives Insufficient resources 2004 2007 2012 2014 PROJECT MANAGEMENT BY SECTOR Digital & technology Energy & resources Financial services Government & public sector Infrastructure Manufacturing Other sectors Private health & life sciences Retail & leisure Transport 8% 14% 32% 20% 2% 8% 2% 4% 4% 6% Source: MCA 2015 The Lee Tunnel will connect with the Thames Tideway Tunnel Picture: Thames Water

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