Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Public Sector Project Management 2009

Yesterday I attended the Public Sector Project Management 2009 conference at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Chaired by Tom Taylor, Vice President of the Association for Project Management (APM), the conference gave delegates a chance to hear the latest thinking in Portfolio, Programme and Project Management thinking and a chance to network and swap experiences and concerns with their peers and vendors of solutions and training.

Networking was a topic brought up by Eddie Borup, Director of the Best Practice User Group (BPUG). The BPUG holds three large events a year aimed at Project Managers which include plenty of time for face-to-face netowrking.
"I want to hear what experts have to say," he said, "but I want the opportunity to talk to them and ask them questions too."

Much of the conference focussed on new products from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), in particular the resources on:
  • Portfolio Management (PfM).
    "We will hear a lot about portfolios," said Tom Taylor, commenting on the current economic climate. "You won't be seeing the huge projects we've been used to; there will be lots of small projects run as a portfolio."
  • Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O).
    "It is the last piece in the jigsaw," Lead Author of the OGC materials, Sue Vowler told delegates. The manual has been released and a Foundation qualification has been written. The Practitioner level qualification is in development with a likely curriculum release in the Summer.
  • The new revision of Prince2 is a refinement rather than a re-write.
    "Project Management has grown so quickly over the last 20-30 years that we no longer need to add to our knowledge, we need only to apply it and refine it," Tom Taylor noted.
The conference was sponsored by BPM and staged by Ten Alps Events.


Lindsay Scott said...

Interesting quote that we don't need to add to our knowledge of project management just apply it and refine it. I disagree, it's only recently that there has been a real focus on programme offices, through the new P3O framework but
P3O is only the start, there is still a way to go to get PMOs embedded and sucessful within organisations. As long as there are people, processes and systems in project management, there will be new approaches, new ways of doing things and hopefully new knowledge

John Burke said...

I know what you mean Lindsay, although the remark was made in the context that a programme office would fall outside the management of an individual project which is what Prince2 is concerned with.

I agree with you though that any knowledge whether previously known or not, will always be new to somebody and the successful project manager will always be eager to hear about different approaches and their relevance and probability of success to his or her particular work.