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PM News Round-up for April

Now the beginning of the year slump is out the way and it’s properly Spring, the project management world is buzzing with news. Here’s a summary of what I have found interesting this month.

APM conference speakers focus on the Olympics

APM have announced another senior speaker in the Olympic learning legacy stream at the APM Conference, which is being held on Wednesday 27th June 2012.

Caroline Blackman, head of organisation development at the Olympic delivery partner CLM, will be speaking at the conference, which has a whole stream dedicated to “the story of the London 2012 Olympic programme.” Other speakers at the conference include Richard Wright from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Dr. Andrew Davies from Imperial College Business School and Dr. Ed Hoffman, director of the NASA Academy.

Caroline Blackman

Caroline Blackman speaking at the Learning Legacy APM event earlier this year. Photo (c) APM and used under a Creative Commons licence

While I’m delighted that senior women in programme management are speaking at conferences and working on high profile projects, I’m a teeny bit bored of all the articles about project management at the Olympics already.

Portfolio management is on the increase

PMI’s annual Pulse of the Profession study reports that more than half of respondents frequently use project portfolio management in their organisation. This is up 5% on the results from last year.

Over two thirds of organisations have a PMO and almost two thirds have standardised their project practices across the enterprise. That’s good news for people who like standards. It’s also good news for PMO practitioners: even in a recession, when PMOs are one of the first things to be cut, executives are seeing the benefits and investing in project management.

“Our research indicates that organizations that keep a sharp focus on fundamental project management practices are realizing huge results,” said Mark A. Langley, president and CEO of PMI. “By optimizing strengths and improving on weaknesses in the core project management practices, an organization puts far fewer dollars at risk for each project.”

And the best bit of their study? 64% of projects successfully met their original goals and business intent in 2011. Whoop! Take that, Chaos Report.

Reminders for your Project Sponsor

If you need to train your project sponsor in what sponsorship means and how they can help you – this is the app you need.

myProteus has launched a mobile application which prompts sponsors to ask the right questions at the right time. If you want a project management guide in your pocket, there is also an app for project managers.

myProteus in the Apple app store

The myProteus Sponsor app in the iTunes store

John Roberts, director of myProteus said, “These new myProteus mobile applications take some of the most essential project management skills and insights available through our innovative online self-help portal and literally puts them in the hands of the real implementers of change in today’s organisations. Our experience has shown that only by demystifying project management and empowering employees throughout an organisation with the knowledge and skills required to manage projects effectively can sustainable change truly be achieved.”

Happy Birthday, Arras People!

Arras People, the project management recruitment specialists, are celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year. They’ve launched a programme of year-long prize draws, which must have taken some co-ordinating as there are some great prizes on offer each month.

Each month a ‘Ten in Ten’ prize draw will feature an Arras People sponsor – chosen because of their links to the project management industry and Arras People over the last ten years. There are prizes on offer from the Association for Project Management (APM), Gower Publishing, PMI UK, PMI Synergy, APMG, TCC Training & Consultancy, Parallel Project Training, DSDM Consortium and Management Concepts. Prizes include book bundles worth over £600, training courses, conference tickets and gadgets. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

Join in the birthday celebrations at Arras People website.

Gower partners with IPMA

My lovely publisher, Gower, has now partnered with IPMA to offer a collection of project, programme and portfolio management books. And IPMA members and friends (not exactly sure who qualifies as a friend) can receive a 20% discount on books ordered through IPMA.

Project Management in Schools: the journey continues

Last month saw the Final Student’s Presentation Day for the first ever PM Skills to Secondary Schools in the UK. According to PMI UK’s Simon Robertson, the event at Mill Chase Community Technology College went off without a hitch and the children were “stoked.”

I’ve written before about bringing project management skills into schools and I think it’s a great idea. This event was the culmination of the first PMI UK initiative in schools and Robertson said that Mill Chase will continue to use this approach throughout the school, so they definitely feel that the students have got something out of it.

Let’s hope that many more schools in the UK benefit from project management experience over the years to come.

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