My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, I announce excellence in the management of projects

I had the honour of being amongst fellow directors of the Association for Project Management on Friday for the chairman’s lunch to witness President Martin Barnes award Honorary Fellowships to the great and the good of our profession.  With Sir David Higgins and Dame Sue Ion being amongst the six receiving awards on the day it really was a case of ‘Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen’.

Sir David Higgins
Sir David Higgins

Dame Sue Ion used to be my boss at BNFL when she was main board director for Technology and Operations and has been a fantastic role model to many in the industry.  A physicist by trade, she was a real exemplar of how to move out of the backroom (laboratory) into the boardroom, though she still stays on top of her game technically.

Likewise, Sir David Higgins, CEO of Network Rail, talked the engineering detail and recounted the work of Brunel on one of his lines while demonstrating the ability to flick a switch and take a helicopter view of city regeneration and mass transit requirements inBrazil.  David was of course CEO of the Olympic Delivery Authority, bringing in nearly £8B of projects to specification, within budget, and within time.  Why aren’t the newspapers celebrating that?

While talking ofBrazil, Stephen Hall is currently there as Head of Projects forIronOreBrazil, responsible for around $5B of investment projects.  Some of you may remember Stephen from his time with the Strategic Rail Authority.

Perhaps one of the first people in the world to obtain a Masters in PM, Mike Brown came full circle when he established the Masters in PM atManchesterUniversityas head of PM across Rolls Royce.  (I will be talking about NLP4PM on the People module of that course in June).  When Mike joined RR he was the only person there with a Masters in PM, whereas there are now more than 150.  He sees the day when RR will not employ PMs without this level of education and experience.  (To say that this is lifting the bar somewhat from people calling themselves a PM after 4 days training in Prince2 is somewhat of an understatement).

This is not the first time that David Wabaso has been on the platform with the President for an award, as he was ‘PM of the Year’ in 1995 for his work on the DLR.  Probably as a result of that, he is now Director of Capital Projects for London Underground.  Time to get your application in for PM of the year?

Simon Kirby, Director of investment projects at Network Rail, was also up for the same award.  Simon is responsible for several billion pounds worth of projects, including Thames Link, and has to date increased the success rate from 60% to 90%.

With leading lights such as these throwing their weight behind the profession and setting standards, surely it is only a matter of time before we live in a world where ‘Every Project Succeeds’.

For more detail see announcements on the APM website.

© Peter Parkes 2012