April 2011 update from the APM's Best Practice (SIG) community


(This article is reproduced from my April submission to the APM’s newsletter to volunteers).

Alongside five other colleagues from the APM board, I was over in Belfast 8-10th April for the Branch forum – more about that in Russel’s column. As a personal note, with this being my tenth consecutive forum since chairing London Branch, I have seen it go from strength to strength and get tighter integration with us SIGs and also the Education Network Advisory Group (ENAG) under Stephen Hall.

We have our own SIG forum in London on the 12th May. Two representatives from each of our 12 SIGs will attend for a day, with a dinner the evening before. For the last year the board and executive have been developing our new strategy which I will be presenting this for discussion, alongside a workshop on how we SIGs can help to deliver a strategy where ‘Every project succeeds’.

As a founding committee member of the Governance SIG I am pleased to say that we have a formal process for creation and adoption of new SIGs. After approval by the SIG steering group to go to the next stage, the full forum will hear a proposal from the thousand strong external ‘PMO SIG’ for adoption by the APM. Our SIG community has gone from strength to strength, with adoption and creation over the last few years of SIGs for: Portfolio Management, Benefits Management, Assurance and Governance. Looking back, doesn’t it seem strange that these are relatively recent additions ?  What other SIGs would be of interest ?

Peter Campbell and Irene McDonald have stepped down from the SIG Steering Group (SSG) on rotation, as all elected members do on a rolling three year cycle like the main board. Both are up for re-election alongside three new faces. The newly elected members will be announced for the next meeting of the SSG to be held prior to the forum. A new SSG chairman will be nominated as first among equals by the newly constituted committee.

For the first time, having listened to our feedback, authoring of the APM BoK 6th edition has been carried out mostly by the SIGs. As well as the numerous contributors and reviewers from the SIGs, I would like to thank Gill Hancock and the product development team in Ibis House for their perseverance and diplomacy in managing the divergence of our culture and viewpoints. A new draft is out now for review. As a member of the steering group for the BoK, I would also like to ask my fellow members to cut them some slack, as there is no ‘right’ answer in any of this.

Several of us from the SIGs were up presenting at the second Scottish Conference in Edinburgh in March which was a great success and well supported by corporates.

The result of the competition for the 4th annual study tour has been announced and was awarded to a joint bid by the Assurance SIG under Roy Millard and the East of England Branch under Charles Willbe. There was much crying into Guinness in Belfast from the many other entrants.

We will be hearing more of the study tour, past and present, at the 3rd annual ‘Knowledgeshare’ event being run in London 29/30th June. The event has now been promoted to a ‘category A’ event on our calendar, alongside the annual awards and annual conference. A chairman for the event, Nick Johns has been appointed from the SSG and an organising committee has been formed. The working theme for this year’s event is ‘Turning theory into practice’ to stimulate link with the HEIs, and Stephen Hall and Brendan D’Cruz from ENAG are helping to make this happen. This year all of our SIGs will be taking part and fliers will be going out soon. I expect it to be oversubscribed, so get booked up.

On the topic of events, it was good to see the Value Management SIG stepping up to the mark and organise a one day event in March which was well attended. Contracts & Procurement SIG sold out a further two one day events on ‘NEC3 and contract law’. Earned Value have their 16th annual conference on 14/15th June, and Women in PM on the 16th, both in London – I will be speaking at both.  Its great to see the SIGs doing so much outreach – maybe we should be doing some regional events ?

Peter Parkes 15th April 2011
APM Board Champion for SIGs