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project DECEMBER 2016–MARCH 2017 / $8.95 INC GST



CONQUER WITH CULTURE Leaders debate how to break up your ‘tribes’

BOOST BUSINESS ETIQUETTE Are your communication behaviours stuck in the past?

A STEM STEP-UP School students learning project skills with racing cars and submarines







Workplace-behaviour experts share their tips to help you communicate better




face of changing industries, continual learning in many forms is essential

8 MEET THE MEMBER National Trust

Tasmania Property Manager Kelsey Timms


There are many personality indicators, but is there one that typifies a project manager?


Understanding what makes cultures tick will help you deliver better projects


A mature program culture is essential to give your projects the best start in life


These innovative projects inspire new ideas and ways of working

46 A STEM STEP-UP School students

have fun learning about complex projects


Books to supercharge your career


of change success improve when all stakeholders have their voices heard


In our third annual AIPM conference roundtable, we challenged delegates to consider how to effect winning cultures in their own organisations




conference concurrent speaker highlights



remote archaeological dig takes tourists 10 million years into Australia’s past

50 THE AIPM UPDATE 52 THE OFFICE Managing risk


PM SOFTWARE Smart productivity hacks for your favourite project software 34 WHAT MAKES A PROJECT A

SUCCESS? Australian research tackling project benefit management

through collaboration 54 CHAPTER CHAT 56 TALKING POINT Keith Chidley on

building organisational capability





We asked one of Australia’s most experienced technology writers to find useful productivity hacks for some of the most popular projectmanagement software. Check out Iain’s tips, page 30.

This 25-year veteran photographer, who has worked for News Ltd and Fairfax, captured images of our roundtable participants as they explored how cultures impact project-delivery success, page 16.

A top Australian science fiction writer, John delves into how high school students are exposed to bleeding-edge tech in submarines, F1 race cars and solar railways to teach projectmanagement basics, page 46.

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 FIRST WORD WHO ARE WE? Project Manager is the magazine of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

Level 9, 139 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 (02) 8288 8700 National Manager Marketing and Communications Michael Martin @The_AIPM linkedin_aipm Published by Hardie Grant Media Level 7, 45 Jones Street, Ultimo NSW 2007 (02) 9857 3700

Deputy Managing Director Clare Brundle Publisher Alison Crocker Managing Editor Sophie Hull Editor Nate Cochrane Art Director Dan Morley Designer Luke Atkinson Production Alana Young Advertising Manager Kerri Spillane (03) 8520 6444 Cover illustration Sébastien Thibault Print Bluestar Web Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily endorsed by Project Manager magazine or the publishers. All material is copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publishers.

LEH SIMONELLI CHAIR, BOARD OF DIRECTORS oming off the high of the Inaugural Regional Conference held in conjunction with the International Project Management Association (IPMA), two challenges stand out for me in the year ahead: broadening our base, and securing the support of industry and government for project management as a profession. Diversity and inclusion are critical to deliver ever more complex projects, as also explored in our roundtable this issue (page 16). In all equity and fairness we must ensure our membership reflects the sweep of our project-management community including those from different backgrounds, cultures and orientations. Consider my experience: I’m a migrant who adapted for independent living in a different culture. And as an institute, it would be incongruent to unconsciously slow the carriage of people into our ranks. Project management is all-encompassing, so we will realise better strategic outcomes by opening ourselves up. This is why elevating culture and gender inclusiveness was a plank in my platform as AIPM President and you’ll hear more on this from us in 2017. We are exploring a range of initiatives and we look to you to inform this critical debate. The other takeaway is that we must seek pledges from industry and government to advocate for our profession. At the conference, and for the first time, our partners IPMA issued a communiqué calling on its 66 member nations “to formally recognise the profession of project management and dedicate certified project-management resources to deliver their commitments to… stakeholders”. Together, with a broader professional base of individuals from more diverse backgrounds, and deeper engagement with organisations, we will make our 41st anniversary as an institute a watershed year in the history of project management in this country.


UPCOMING ISSUES April–May: We are seeking article ideas, project case studies, news items and experts to interview. Please email a short summary of your idea to Managing Editor Sophie Hull at

Leh Simonelli, FAIPM

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DAVID FLYNN AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS TRAVELLER WWW.AUSBT.COM.AU As the editor and founder of Australia’s most popular independent website for business travellers, David Flynn spends much of the year up in the air and listening to the advice and concerns of frequent flyers. What do you take with you? I write a wardrobe checklist separate to my overall packing list. I list each day I’m away and write what I’ll wear: pants, shirt, jacket, shoes for mixing outfits —eg two shirts for each pair of pants (in humid climes I pack more shirts). I carry foreign cash and a Qantas Cash debit card that I load from my bank account every week. When foreign exchange rates are favourable, I shift Australian dollars to the card’s virtual wallets for destinations I often travel to and I use to order foreign notes online before I fly out. Best frequent flyer program? For Australian airlines it’s a line-ball call between Qantas and Virgin Australia. For international trips, it’s Qantas Frequent Flyer and the oneworld Alliance, which grants Qantas Platinum and Gold frequent flyers first and business class airport lounge access, heavier checked luggage, priority check-in and sometimes express lanes. Singapore


Airlines’ KrisFlyer is a super scheme for redeeming points on premium cabins but it’s harder to earn points in Australia. Fastest way into the lounge? Watch Up In The Air; protagonist Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) nails fasttracking. Also check in online so you can head straight to airport security. Use express lanes—frequent flyer status may be all you need to qualify. And avoid lines with families with young infants (older kids are okay and families or groups usually check in faster than the same number of solo flyers).  What’s in your carry-on? An AC adaptor for my laptop, USB cable for smartphone/tablet and universal plug adaptor. Charge at the lounge (in case airline seat power is not available) and if your checked luggage is lost at least you can still work and stay connected. I have a Berocca before landing in the morning for the vitamin B, and 5mg of melatonin (over-thecounter in the US) and valerian for fast knockout— natural sleeping tablets so I don’t wake feeling like a zombie. And Bose noise-cancelling headphones to blank out annoying background sounds. Ways to avoid deep-vein thrombosis? Wear compression socks, elevate the feet, move around and drink plenty of water.

Frequent flyer David Flynn recommends a wardrobe checklist for efficient packing.

CRAIG PLATT FAIRFAX TRAVEL EDITOR WWW.TRAVELLER.COM.AU Being paid to travel might seem like the glamorous life of a jetsetter but it takes a toll on your body and personal relationships. Platt shares his tips to stay sane when you’re always on the road. How do you maintain a family life? My partner sometimes comes with me and we’ve personally covered her flights and expenses. Both of us travelled extensively even before I had this job. But with FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp it’s easy to stay in touch. It was different even in 2005 when you had to go to an internet café to send an email but now with wi-fi everywhere and smartphones it has changed immensely. What’s your inflight routine? I prefer to relax instead of work. I like to sit on the aisle to stretch my legs. I don’t drink alcohol because it dehydrates me and doesn’t help me sleep. On overnight flights, I don’t eat because it also stops me sleeping (but I’ll eat if it’s close to the meal time at departure or destination). I also brush my teeth at night and in the morning because it makes me feel fresher. I tend to watch trashy films that don’t require too much concentration so I can fall sleep mid-way. And don’t be afraid to speak to other passengers if they’re irritating you—cabin staff are trained to deal with any aggression you may encounter.

Images: iStock

What apps and devices do you use? On a recent trip to Mauritius I took just my iPhone and waterproof camera for snorkelling and for a trip to the Galapagos Islands in May I took my DSLR with a zoom lens. But smartphone cameras are usually good enough. I just bought a $300 2-in-1 laptop hybrid to browse the web, write and back up my phone. And with cloud, so long as you have internet access, you can access storage, apps and data easily. Plus you can’t lose your data even if you lose your device and the latest version is always right there. I’m wary of Google Maps, because it’s a data hog (PocketEarth downloads the maps to your device before you go). Google Translate is amazing: it translates foreign-language signs in real-time and you don’t have to be online. I even used it to guide my way through a tricky ATM transaction in Argentina. It’s astonishing. Your packing philosophy? As long as I have my passport and credit card nothing else is essential. Everything else can be replaced. I never pack valuables in checked luggage having had my luggage rifled through in Johannesburg, and even in Australia there’s been criminal activity with baggage handlers. Everything goes into the carry-on. And always pack extra shirts.

SPOTLIGHT: 3D DRAWING ON THE WEB The power of Trimble SketchUp’s 3D drawing software is now a web application accessible through almost any device with an internet connection. Powerful object creation, extrusion and solid modelling tools previously only available on the desktop are now on-demand through modern browsers. Each my.SketchUp beta account has 10GB of personal model storage to access anywhere. Users can also get started modelling right away with the thousands of objects already created and held on the online 3D Warehouse. This light web version of SketchUp has most of the features of the paid desktop versions. If your project calls for rapid prototyping with clients and stakeholders, my.SketchUp could help you get on the same page.

Above: SketchUp makes 3D drawing easy and accessible for all. Below: Off the shelf virtual reality accessories could assist with stakeholder understanding and buy in.

VR FOR BEGINNERS Once the domain of government, defence and research agencies with budgets for multi-milliondollar computers and billion-dollar projects, virtual and augmented reality and 360-degree video are now accessible to the masses off-the-shelf. While dedicated systems such as Oculus Rift guarantee state-of-the-art experiences using high-end PCs and optics, the ubiquitous smartphone is good enough for most pedestrian uses. And as a way to inform stakeholders and gain their buy-in for complex projects, it’s really a case that seeing is believing. To anchor the phone for use, third-party holders strap to the user’s head, turning the device into a visor. One of these inexpensive devices, the 3SIXT headset, is a lightweight 378g unit that works with iPhones and Android smartphones between 12cm and 15cm. It has dials to adjust pupil and focal distance from 55mm to 75mm for optimum viewing and is comfortable for short periods (although first-time VR users may experience motion sickness or discomfort, so sitting is recommended). Go to for more information.

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NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS TO DRIVE AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTIVITY Infrastructure Australia has added four projects valued at $6.02 billion to its Infrastructure Priority List that identifies nationally significant projects. The nation’s independent infrastructure adviser says they are vital to relieve productivity bottlenecks that threaten Australia’s standard of living and competitiveness. The four projects are: $2.25bn M80 Ring Road upgrade (Vic) High Priority Project, which aims to fix road congestion for the 160,000 vehicles that use the 38km road daily. $2bn Perth–Forrestfield Airport Rail Link (WA) Priority Project, which aims to lift availability of public transport to Perth’s east and airport thereby cutting road congestion. $1.5bn Moorebank Intermodal Terminal (NSW) Priority Project, which aims to increase freight by rail in southwest Sydney. $252m Adelaide–Tarcoola Rail Upgrade (SA) Priority Project, which brings forward by up to 25 years the re-railing of 600km of track to lift capacity in anticipation of projected national freight volumes growth. Infrastructure Australia CEO Philip Davies said transport congestion could axe $53 billion a year from Australia’s GDP by 2031 and increase road-travel times in major capitals by a fifth. “Adding these projects demonstrates they are sound investments that have the potential to address some of the nation’s key infrastructure challenges, such as urban congestion and the need to improve national freight connectivity,” Davies says. “The M80 Ring Road upgrade will provide additional capacity on a vital corridor that connects major population centres in Melbourne’s north and west to the CBD, and facilitates access to the city’s port, airports and other major roads.” In the case of the Perth-Forrestfield FAST STATS railway, improving public transport to the airport will ease congestion as passenger numbers double over the next COST TO 20 years. And the Intermodal Terminal AUSTRALIAN at Moorebank’s updated business case GDP FROM shows it will enable more rail freight to CONGESTION transit Port Botany, which accounts for BY 2031 almost 30 per cent of Australia’s container trade and is expected to grow further.



The WA Government has approved the $540 million, 5km Roe 8 highway upgrade from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road south of Perth, part of the $1.9 billion Perth Freight Link extension. The government says it will create 400–500 jobs in the consortium led by CIMIC Group and its subsidiary CPB Contractors, with Georgiou, WA Limestone, GHD, AECOM and BG&E. Locals opposing it slicing through the sensitive Beeliar wetlands have dragged the project through the courts and staged protests, drawing a government commitment of $45 million for projects to offset its environmental destruction. The Australian and WA governments are providing $1.5 billion.

WHAT WE’RE READING: NUDGE Anyone who has led an organisationwide change program knows how hard it is to get everyone onside and moving in the same direction. But what if you could implement a series of tiny tweaks to behaviour that, when taken together, resulted in big wins? That’s the thesis of Nudge, a book by behavioural theorists Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein that has attracted the attention of none other than outgoing US President Barack Obama. Nudge proposes a form of Libertarian or ‘soft’ Paternalism that encourages people to make the right choices. It contrasts with more coercive and carrot-and-stick approaches often employed by organisations. And like many other recent studies of human behaviour by the likes of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, Nudge suggests that people are irrational, driven by prejudices, biases, logical fallacies and generally shoddy thinking. To get people to make what you think are the right decisions, rather than force them to be something they’re not (ie rational), Thaler and Sunstein say it’s best to play to their weaknesses. A way to do this is to offer choices that default to what you want people to do, especially when the answer is complex. “People will need nudges for decisions that are difficult and rare, for which they do not get prompt feedback, and when they have trouble translating aspects of the situation into terms that they can easily understand,” the authors say. It seems to work. In its recent annual report, the Obama Administration’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) found success in using nudges to “streamline access to programs and improve government efficiency”. In addition to improvements in “government program integrity, efficiency [and] saving taxpayer dollars”, examples of successful project outcomes included more: Students going to college and better managing their loans Veterans taking advantage of education and career counselling Small farms gaining access to credit Families securing health insurance. To learn more about how social behaviours lead to big changes over time, check out the Obama Nudge team at

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I strongly believe it’s important to engage with project professionals early in their careers. KELSEY TIMMS AAIPM PROPERTY MANAGER NATIONAL TRUST TASMANIA

ince completing a degree in environmental design and architecture at the University of Tasmania in 2015, Kelsey Timms, AAIPM, has already built an enviable CV. She completed an internship in project management with Rhett Higgins Construction and has experience in the private sector in commercial project delivery. She currently manages a large group of volunteers on a historic site and, as chapter councillor for AIPM, is continuing to build her CV while rubbing shoulders with top project-management professionals.


Was project management always your chosen career? In high school I wanted to become an architect. I organised a work placement for myself with a great local architect and went on to study architecture at university. After studying for three years I eventually figured out that what I loved about the role of an architect was the project management, not the design and drafting. Where have you learnt the most about project management? I learnt more about project management in my first week onsite on a commercial project [than three years at university]. I was working under experienced project managers and sitting in on lots of meetings and seeing how they dealt with things. It’s just so great to see how someone with 30 years’ experience deals with a scenario.

My last holiday… Japan. I love that country so much, mostly for its endless supply of takoyaki. Favourite author… Haruki Murakami. All his books are set in Japan and having lived there for a year the cultural references throughout the book remind me of my second home. Favourite TED talk… The Power of Introverts. I relate to it well in that I’m quite introverted in my private life but the moment I begin work I just switch off the introvert in me.


Has your role as chapter councillor for AIPM helped your career? My main role at the AIPM is to build member engagement. The largest benefit for my career has been the opportunity to rub shoulders with some impressive project management professionals. Our Tasmanian members come from a broad variety of backgrounds. I’ve met some fascinating people and heard about some unimaginable projects. I look forward to the events and try to soak up as much knowledge as I can from each speaker. How can emerging professionals make the most of AIPM membership? It’s very early days for my involvement with Young and Emerging Project Professionals (YEPP); a national task force is currently being formed and I aim to be the Tasmanian representative within this. I strongly believe it’s important to begin engaging with project professionals early in their careers, even while they are still completing their university studies. There is so much value and career development that can be gained through the networking and training events held by the AIPM. In my short time I have met some incredible project professionals who have provided me with mentoring and support through the early stages of my own career.

Interview: Libby Hakim


What have you learnt in your current role? As the interim Property Manager at The Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site, I manage 25–30 volunteers as the only paid employee onsite. Volunteers can sometimes have completely different motives for working on a site than a paid employee so I’ve found it’s important to identify individual priorities and find a way for volunteers to feel that their input is valued. That being said, I’m incredibly lucky to work with a group of people who are passionate about the heritage site and have gone above and beyond in the best interests of the site.

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WORLD READY HOW UNDERSTANDING WHAT MAKES CULTURES TICK— INCLUDING THEIR SUBTLE CUES—WILL HELP YOU DELIVER BETTER PROJECTS WORDS NATE COCHRANE hen Maryam Omari suggests TV is a great way for people to learn about local cultures, she speaks from personal experience, as someone who has adjusted to living on four continents since she was a girl. “What comes through the TV screen in a particular country is telling in itself of accepted norms,” she says. Omari, Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University in Perth, migrated as a teen to the US where she studied science at university before arriving in Western Australia in the mid-80s. While completing qualifications including a degree in zoology, a Master of Business in human resources management and Doctor of Philosophy in business,



she built a reputation as an expert in cross-cultural studies and workplace bullying. And now as Dean of Edith Cowan’s School of Business and Law, she has forged a relationship with the AIPM to reposition the study of project management outside fields such as engineering, by embedding it in a Masters of Business Administration to reach more future decision-makers. Omari says students must travel to immerse themselves in other cultures because classrooms won’t prepare them adequately. “It’s merely through life and work experiences that people can learn. You can’t read about it; you need to experience it and that comes from being in the environment,” says Omari.

Maryam Omari (pictured top right) says students must travel to gain important cross-cultural communication skills.

“That’s why it’s important for students to travel, go on student exchanges and experience different cultures. That’s what makes them world-ready.” She says her study of international cultures is a passion that stems from her experience: “I just love being with people from different cultures and finding out about their sense of humour. It’s such a rich and interesting area.” Omari says project managers must be alert to the language not spoken when they engage overseas, especially in ‘high-context’ cultures such as Asia, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe, especially Eastern Europe. This is where even a bipolar ‘yes/no’ conversation adopts many shades of grey from ‘Yes, absolutely’ to ‘Maybe I’ll consider it’ and even ‘I hear what you’re saying but I’m not doing it’. In these cultures, non-verbal cues are also key to understanding what someone means, and misunderstanding what’s actually going on can have outsized impacts on scope, costs and time to delivery. She tells the story of a Japanese student who, tired of being expected to take out the rubbish in a shared household, confronted her flatmate, pointed at the bin and said, “The rubbish is full!” The Australian flatmate, from a literal (‘low-context’) background looked blankly and replied: “So why not put it out?”, which infuriated the Japanese woman who was actually saying that it was time for her Australian flatmate to step up and take out the bin. While this is an amusing anecdote, it’s these sorts of small disagreements and misunderstandings that mount over time and may threaten projects and business relationships, Omari says. When running projects in other cultural settings, she advises Westerners to be mindful of issues that may intrude on successful delivery, such as: Non-verbal cues Ambiguity of translated words (especially yes and no) Intrusion on physical space (especially touch) Body language Eye contact Use of silence to indicate respect and reflection rather than lack of interest Attitudes to time (fluid in Latin, Middle Eastern and African cultures)

Image: iStock

INSPIRING NEXT-GEN PMs As part of her work at Edith Cowan, Omari has teamed up with the AIPM to build future project leaders. Working with industry partners, she says, is the best way to ensure students leave their undergraduate studies “world and work-ready”. “A lot of the research we do at ECU is applied; finding solutions to real-world problems. This

A multicultural workforce enriches the culture of the country and organisation.” relationship with the AIPM is very important to us and we want to see it expand into new areas of research.” Edith Cowan currently has two AIPM Endorsed Courses: the Master of Project Management (MPM) and Graduate Certificate of Project Management, with one more under assessment. “It’s important for us to have touch points for endorsement of our courses. We’re very keen to grow the relationship with the AIPM and work further on joint projects.” She says interest in project management at Edith Cowan, which has run such courses for a decade, is booming. This is helped by the flexible learning delivery on campus in evenings and external classes, she says. While the undergraduate qualification is the “only such course in WA and one of only a few in Australia”, Omari says postgraduate interest is also rising. “The MPM includes all aspects of the Project Management Body of Knowledge and advanced subject matter where we seek to provide a critique of its application and content,” Omari says. “Our recently signed memorandum of understanding with the AIPM on research cooperation will encourage close linkage of research and practice in the postgraduate program.” The course credentials are backed by the requirement for full-time staff to have a PhD in a relevant field and practical projectmanagement knowledge, she says. Omari says that by virtue of successive waves of migration to these shores, there’s a great wealth of talent and experience available to project managers in Australia, which is one of the nation’s great strengths. “[But] I don’t know if organisations are maximising the benefits they can get from having a multicultural workforce,” she says. “It’s good for work and enriches the culture of the country and organisation; it’s the spice of life. It adds such an element of interest to everything we do.”

WANT MORE? Check out and search “project management” for information on courses.

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A heritage-listed building received more than a facelift when Sydney architect Tzannes completed The Brewery Yard project—it was literally re-energised. Tzannes constructed a tri-generation plant area below the public square to fuel the precinct, and placed the cooling towers (which manage the plant’s waste heat) on top of the historic building. The development includes 2,200 residential apartments, as well as retail space and public parkland. Careful space planning ensured future flexibility for venue use while conserving the building’s historic fabric. “The most sustainable thing we can do as architects is design in a way that retains and reuses existing buildings,” says Director Alec Tzannes.


“This project is an exemplar for reuse of historic structures to serve new needs and demonstrates how new highly energy-efficient technology can be elegantly integrated with an important historic structure.”





Flow Hive is a honeycomb frame designed with channels so honey literally comes out on tap. With no direct handling to collect honey, beekeepers don’t need to suit up and the bees remain safe from accidental harm. This Australian invention, by father-son team Stuart and Cedar Anderson, raised upwards of US$3 million in capital on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, including US$250,000 in the campaign’s first 15 minutes alone. With more than 8,000 initial contributors as stakeholders, the pair needed to ensure the quality and speed of production met expectations. More than 30,000 subsequent international orders proved their ability to deliver.

Funded and commissioned by AUSVEG and Horticultural Innovation Australia, and awarded to the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics, the RIPPA project comprises research and development of a

farmhand robot to alleviate labour shortages in Australian agriculture. The acronym stands for Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application, and together with VIIPA (Variable Injection Intelligent Precision Applicator), it is capable of autonomous high-speed location and treatment of weeds using a directed micro-dose of liquid. The project was not just about developing a labour-saving device, it has applications as a data collection bot for farmers, demonstrating that a project to solve one problem can anticipate future requirements. RIPPA is currently under trial in farms around Australia.



It may be smaller than a shoebox and carry a tiny payload, but the UNSW-EC0 satellite shoulders some big expectations. It is part of the worldwide QB50 project that will see 50 cube satellites (CubeSats) from different research organisations, for different purposes, deployed from the International Space Station to collect data from the little-known thermosphere, between 200 and 380km above the Earth. Completed on a budget of just $250,000—with in-kind support and volunteer labour worth three times that—the University of New South Wales team kept costs down by using 3D-printed thermoplastic parts in its design. If viable, cheap, easy-to-produce CubeSats will make future space research more accessible to Australian scientists. “The implications of this project is very, very important for Australia,” says project leader and UNSW Senior Lecturer Dr Elias Aboutanios. “The skill base that we’re building, the knowhow, is priceless.”

Images: Tzannes Associates/John Gollings; Flow




Professor Leann Tilley’s Eureka Prizewinning team found a way to help popular anti-malarial drug artemisinin do its job: by combining it with an anti-cancer compound. Mosquito-borne malaria kills about 500,000 people around the world each year. The solution leveraged expertise in biochemistry, mathematical modelling and statistics. “If you want to solve major world problems such as anti-malarial drug resistance then you need input from people with different expertise,” says Tilley, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute. In addition to the university, Tilley’s team received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund, with in-kind support from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, in total worth more than $1.5 million. In 10 years the program has seen a research project develop into a viable solution that now enters drug development and advocacy phases to see it used in the field. Its stakeholder circle has



widened to include the World Health Organization and the governments of malaria-affected areas. Getting these parties to understand and use the solution has become a project in itself. Importantly, what Tilley’s team has learnt about malaria can be used for other types of drug resistance. “There’s a lot of evidence about the importance of using combinations rather than just one drug when you’re treating any kind of disease. Another lesson for people wanting to help solve major global health problems is: if you want to save the world, keep up your maths and then join a crossdisciplinary effort.”



When the New Zealand Post Group approached Massey University with 30,000 used and discontinued corporate uniforms, little did they know a design project would become a fashion enterprise. The project saw Jennifer Whitty and Holly McQuillan from Massey’s School of Design develop techniques to turn waste fabric into innovative clothing designs. Thanks to seed funding from the Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Innovation Fund, the duo created Space Between, an enterprise that brings together the New Zealand Post Group, uniform manufacturer Booker Spalding and Earthlink, a not-for-profit providing work for people facing workplace challenges, to produce ethical, socially conscious fashion in an industry where obsolescence usually creates waste. The result is upcycled casual womenswear, which is available for purchase online.

1 The Brewery Yard combines a heritage site with cutting-edge sustainability technology. 2 Cedar (left) and Stuart Anderson with the invention creating a buzz in the beekeeping world, the Flow Hive. 3 The solar-powered RIPPA robot uses sensors to autonomously kill weeds and examine crops. 4 Dr Joon Wayn Cheong, one of the UNSW researchers developing a QB50 satellite.

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THE WAY OF THE SEAL: THINK LIKE AN ELITE WARRIOR TO LEAD AND SUCCEED By Mark Divine, Reader’s Digest Although he tends not to read many self-help or business books, Matt Lane, MAIPM, Retail Portfolio Project Manager at Brisbane Airport Corporation, made an exception for The Way of the SEAL. Lane’s partner had been given the book by one of her clients and decided to give it a try. Written by a retired navy commander, it talks about being a true leader rather than simply a manager. From it, Lane has learned to focus on key objectives and activities for the day, week or month and not be sidetracked by distractions. He enjoyed reading something that wasn’t specifically aimed at project managers, but that still held lessons for his professional life. “It has been good to get my head out of that space for a little while and look at things from an alternate perspective,” he says.

LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD By Sheryl Sandberg, Knopf As a Program Director at Department of Science Information Technology and Innovation, Margaret Kimber, MAIPM, was given Lean In by a partner at Deloitte, which was doing some work around assurance on her project at the time. The company encouraged her to read it so she would start promoting her capabilities more. Reading the book was one of the things that prompted her to enter the AIPM awards. Kimber says her staff had suggested nominating her and she’d refused, insisting her focus was on the project itself, but the book helped convince her otherwise. “I started to think about that book and thought, you know what? It’s about not just saying ‘Oh, that’s just my job and that’s what I do’. Start recognising that you are actually different… It’s not only about management, it’s about leadership and being a strong woman.”

Images: iStock

OUR ICEBERG IS MELTING: CHANGING AND SUCCEEDING UNDER ANY CONDITIONS By John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber, Penguin Random House Selected by David Banks, MAIPM, General Manager of Strategic Projects at Telstra, Our Iceberg Is Melting is a valuable read not only for those managing projects, but for getting organisations into the right mindset for upcoming projects, remodelling and transformation. “This is a great book to get project individuals and stakeholders to understand the need for change,” he explains. “Using a simple analogy of penguins living on an iceberg, this story talks about how a young penguin convinces the rest of the penguin colony that their iceberg is melting and that they need to look for a new home.”

RESILIENCE THINKING: SUSTAINING ECOSYSTEMS AND PEOPLE IN A CHANGING WORLD By Brian Walker and David Salt, Island Press Reading this book, Tamara Cummins, CPPM, Project Manager at RPS Project Management, learned to apply resilience thinking to her projects, ensuring the systems and people she was working with could adapt to changes and ride out any storms thrown at them. “It talks about a very real example of a reef in the Caribbean and how we’ve affected it, and how it’s come through and it’s changed its environment and it’s survived,” she says. “It hasn’t solved the problem to exactly how it was before, but it’s changed and it’s morphed and is surviving in a different form. And that’s relevant to me because I’ve had projects at the moment where I have had to completely restructure how the contract is delivered.”

GOOD TO GREAT: WHY SOME COMPANIES MAKE THE LEAP... AND OTHERS DON’T By Jim Collins, HarperBusiness Tony Boyd, CPPD, Program Manager at the Queensland Government’s Public Safety Business Agency, came across Good to Great on the recommended reading list for the leadership team in his former role at Boeing Defence Australia. He found it provided excellent guidance and motivation to help everyone perform to their potential. “It’s easy for all of us to get caught up in the day-today machinations of life and lose sight of the bigger picture, whether in work or life generally,” he says. “Reading books such as this reminds us of just how much capacity we have to do better and can provide the motivation for yourself and those around you to strive to continually do better.”

WANT MORE? Also try: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland, Crown Business Learn to improve your productivity by embracing agile concepts such as iterative improvement and interactivity. Master Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Organizing Your Life with Evernote by SJ Scott, CreateSpace Capture ideas on the fly and better organise your projects by mastering this popular app. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey K Liker, McGraw-Hill Learn from Toyota’s revolutionary method of refining its manufacturing process and creating a leaner, but not meaner, way to harness its employees’ strengths.

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ROUNDTABLE DELEGATES Left to right: Steve Wake, Chairman, APM UK. Leh Simonelli, FAIPM, CPPD, Chair of the Board, AIPM. Nicole Nader, MAIPM, CPPM, Director of the Board, AIPM. Bill Young, LFAIPM, CPPD, President apfpm. Professor Yvonne Schoper, Executive Committee, German Society of Project Managers. Yvonne Butler, FAIPM, CEO, AIPM. David Banks, General Manager Strategic Projects, Telstra. Chris Jenkins, Country Director and CEO, Thales Australia.

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ulture is a major contributor to successful project delivery, and managing cross-cultural flows of knowledge is a core competency for any project manager. In the AIPM roundtable during the Inaugural Regional Conference in October, a select panel found that culture manifests in different ways, from national and ethnic approaches to the world, to the guiding themes in organisations and groups.


NATE COCHRANE: How do you define a harmonious culture? YVONNE BUTLER: It’s very different according to the age of the organisation and the industry sector in which you’re working. For me, it really is about a ‘no surprise’ face, giving people permission to make mistakes and then support them in the way forward, and saying what you mean and doing what you say. YVONNE SCHOPER: It is something emotional. It is an unconscious state that gives you this feeling of fighting or striving for something. It can create a lot of power and energy but also in a negative way; so there are two aspects that are pretty fascinating. BILL YOUNG: Culture is a lot about feelings and that’s why it’s difficult to articulate. It is not only the way we think and behave; it is how we feel and it’s a very powerful part of culture. In China, you can read the China Daily paper and pick out the word harmony on almost every page. It promotes a lot of different feelings.



Yvonne Butler, AIPM CEO.

2 Steve Wake, APM UK Chairman.

LEH SIMONELLI: Emotional intelligence emerges as a theme when considering communicating across cultures. And when you ask about harmonious culture, words like ‘respect’, ‘open dialogue’ and ‘trust’ come to mind. How do you measure that? STEVE WAKE: The Association of Project Management in the UK, of which I’m chairman, has a very focused program of continuous development of board behaviours and when we meet every two months, we read through a set of values. The whole thing is persistence, persistence, persistence. DAVID BANKS: In corporate organisations there are old tribes, whether it be in IT or networks, in Telstra’s case. Our programs clearly identify that common goal or purpose and drive the culture for the project around delivering that business outcome. NICOLE NADER: When considering culture, the first word that comes to mind is ‘respect’ for everyone you talk to and deal with. A lot can come from starting every relationship with that in mind. NC: How do you measure a successful culture? CHRIS JENKINS: You need an engaged and committed

workforce that’s proud of what it does and isn’t fooled into thinking it’s performing when it’s not. One that understands what performance looks like, and is very proud of scoring high results against metrics. For instance, a tangible sign is how our safety performance moves in lockstep with business performance. It might seem that overlays a process


When considering culture, the first word that comes to mind is ‘respect’ for everyone you deal with.” — Leh Simonelli burden, but it’s not so. Safety and business performance tracking jointly create harmony because workers understand the company is focused on them and their safety. LS: In a project-management context, two decades ago there was a laconic attitude to occupational health and safety in a project. But there has been a change of attitude and behaviour. CJ: When Thales acquired Australian Defence Industries and I [became CEO], people didn’t have a sense of responsibility for their daily work [and safety]. Management would deliver guidance but on the shop floor they had to stumble through, which was chronically terrible. ADI’s lost-timeinjury frequency rate was through the roof. There was the idea that you cannot get safety down to a benchmark in a dockyard. But once you get people believing that they own the task they do each day—and that it’s enjoyable and rewarding to finish the day successfully—business performance and safety [rose] while growing the business, customer confidence, profitability and so on. NN: Chris’s story is inspiring because of his eightyear journey; we’re probably at about year oneand-a-half of that. ASC has made transformational decisions to dedicate budget line items, teams and project managers to safety transformation, diversity and inclusion. ASC started a safety transformation program five years ago with a theme that it was okay to speak up.

BMW’S TALE OF TWO AUTO TOWNS Yvonne Schoper spent more than a decade as a project manager at luxury car marque BMW. She explains what happened when the carmaker expanded to factories in the US and Britain. “We had a challenge in BMW to develop the first American factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, especially building a supplier network of just-in-time parts. BMW decided not to go to Detroit and instead chose the deep south for its high-tech plant where there was just cotton and tobacco, and a low-skilled workforce. They got the land for $1 but this area was in decline. Financially, it made sense but BMW is a premium product that demands highly qualified staff. We were challenged to build a corporate culture in a greenfields [site]. And suppliers laughed because we asked for 300 parts a day or what they made in half an hour. But we said, we want it in 10 times the quality that you do for other carmakers. At first, they didn’t understand how to invest 10 times the money to get better quality parts. However, it was a successful program. Contrast to when BMW bought Rover, Rolls Royce and Mini in the 1990s on what was a brownfield operation. Rover had a few owners before us so the corporate culture was demotivated, not seeing a future and in desperation. And we didn’t succeed there.”


workers employed at BMW Spartanburg



FACTORY START-UP fastest in US automotive history


vehicles, average daily output

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We want to get to the bottom of how to help people get this sense of inclusion, meaning and belonging.” — Yvonne Butler

NC: What is your ROI expectation? NN: When it comes to people’s feelings and

emotions, that is the hardest thing to capture. The greatest thing we learned was that staff feel much more comfortable speaking out now. They don’t feel like there’s a penalty for identifying something, or not enacting a piece of work that doesn’t look safe. Even if it means challenging a supervisor. NC: How do you engender a culture of inclusion? YB: The AIPM does a lot of work on diversity:

cultural, gender, political, religious and sexual preferences. I recently asked a colleague: ‘Where do we think we are?’ At the macro level, she said, ‘We’re ticking boxes. We’re compliant but we’re not genuinely embracing it’. So there are policies, quotas and metrics that allow people to feel they are culturally diverse and inclusive, but if you push underneath, although an organisation has values and behaviours, what drives it are the norms in each business unit and they may be quite different. We want to get to the bottom of how to help people get this sense of inclusion, meaning and belonging. SW: I’m trying to start an ‘open-door’ policy to bring people proactively into the workspace. We need 1.4 million more project managers by 2020 and I know that we won’t pull that many members in by doing what we have done before. Instead, we must diversify our message to appeal to other communities beyond just LGBTI to industrial sectors and schoolkids. How we do it at the moment fosters a population of only 25,000 project managers and 600 companies; and they’re white engineers. YS: Diversity brings more than just a 2 per cent efficiency increase; it also brings new solutions, new ideas, new processes. We know these nontangible effects must be managed very carefully because of the complexity of a diverse team. As a woman in an engineering, macho environment, if you have the feeling, ‘Yes, I’m appreciated for being different’. And as leaders, we say, ‘We want you in this team because you are different, because you think differently’. NC: What are the rules for operating overseas in other national and ethnic cultures? BY: Every joint venture in which I was involved in China was frustrating. We would have very structured, thoughtful business processes and detailed contracts for joint ventures. But our


3 3 Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia Country Director and CEO. 4

Bill Young, apfpm President.

counterparts would push them aside to talk about where we were going for dinner or karaoke. And you get a growing feeling of distrust or frustration. So I stepped back from that arrogant way of thinking, to see the world is made up of many cultures, and we’re all built and think differently, but everyone brings something interesting and good to the table. NC: This was their way of building trust? BY: In their minds, they were building the whole


relationship, and finding out who you are, who’s your family, where you’re coming from, why you like China and so on. Because that matters more than the contract or the signature; in China, contracts are not that important. They never have been historically because their Confucian culture is about loyalty and relationships, so the contract is very kind of artificial and unnecessary if you’ve got a good relationship. DB: When you’re running a project, it’s not just people here in Australia; you’ve got teams in India, the Philippines, China and each culture has its own way of working. NC: What about changing internal corporate cultures? DB: Telstra is multiple different companies with different hierarchies. There’s network engineering,

where the company came from, which sees itself as the pinnacle. But Telstra just sold the network to the NBN. You’ve got the IT and Agile people, and then the business that just thinks IT and network don’t know what they’re doing and everything costs so much. So it’s really bringing those cultures together. And Telstra was very tribal. Everybody was in a different building. No one got together face to face. Everything was done by email. You could see the two-facedness of people saying ‘Yes, positively’ one minute and ‘No way am I going to do that’.

5 Yvonne Schoper from the German Society of Project Managers Executive Committee.


6 Leh Simonelli, AIPM Chair of the Board.

PROJECT MANAGERS NEEDED BY 2020 — Steve Wake, APM Chairman


NC: How did you get people working together across tribes? DB: We came back to basics: writing common goals and letting everybody know. And then the project team understood where they fitted in, and having a key metric reinforcing how we were progressing. Then tactical things like collocating people; once you sit down with someone or share a drink, it’s very difficult to say, ‘I’m not going to help you’. YB: In cross-border teams, where you can’t get together and you have to rely on technology, what’s the impact of that? Can there be a virtual culture that’s different from a physical culture? DB: If you’re doing these big projects there are times when people must be face to face. It’s a false economy not to invest in travel... unless they’re fully engaged they miss things. If you say the Philippines is too far, we’re not paying $10,000 to fly someone, [realise that] it could cost you millions of dollars when you’ve built and designed the wrong solution. CJ: I work in Australia for a French company 20,000km away with offices in the UK and North America and so people have to travel. But the younger generation is much more capable of meaningfully interacting in virtual ways than I ever was or will be. Organisations must recognise this is transformation time when they force change. If we’re going to attract the next generation, our organisations will have to be considerably different from what they are now. The next five to 10 years is critical. So embrace digital and virtual. NC: How do we encourage the next generation of project managers? NN: Groups like Re-Engineering Australia guide high school students along STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] pathways, to open their eyes, ears, hearts and minds at a much younger age than any of us knew these things even existed. Defence and high-tech companies need to watch these students and take part, sponsoring and embracing those programs. CJ: Parents are telling their kids, ‘Don’t get involved in those sectors because manufacturing is dying in Australia; look at the automotive sector, resources have gone bust so there’s no engineering there;

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 COVER STORY 7 David Banks, Telstra General Manager Strategic Projects.


do something else’. But I say, engineering changes the world and makes it what it will be in the future with very safe energy, and an environmentally friendly place. But we’ve got to look like the industry the next generation aspires to be part of. NC: So how do you reform a toxic culture? CJ: Remember that people who want to be part of

a high-performing culture are being held back in some cases, because when there’s a bad culture there are executives responsible. When people underneath them are locked into that horrible culture, that demeans the value of their lives and enjoyment. So as soon as you show that you’re serious about relieving that, the release of positive vibes in the company is incredible. DB: In Telstra, there were older people who had all the knowledge and perceived power. The manager knew their behaviours were not right but we couldn’t afford to let them go. It was a confronting question: do you try to change their behaviours? We tried but eventually had to let them go. People then saw we were serious about changing the culture. And we didn’t miss that perceived knowledge they had because those below stepped up. LS: As AIPM chair, I’m here to be a catalyst for change in a professional atmosphere and framework. We went through a massive cultural change in the last 10 years. But as a profession we need a massive shift because we’re failing in some aspects, succeeding in others. Our change last year to the AIPM constitution was revolutionary.


WHERE DOES CULTURE COME FROM? Cultures are pervasive and influence how we see the world. They manifest in how we create our individual and group identities stem from our shared: l Nationality l Ethnicity l Social class l Religion l Geography l Generation l Organisational role l Other affiliations Managing cross-cultural communication while respecting other cultures is critical, especially for successfully delivering modern, complex projects.

NC: So what is the big picture to effect better cultural change and communication? SW: Cross-cultural communication is far richer and more complicated than you can start to imagine. In a sense, it’s nice to know every culture struggles with culture. DB: It’s a complex and multidimensional question and it’s not just geographical boundaries; it’s all types of boundaries. And it will get harder as the next generation interacts with the current generation—and all of that will be driven by technology. And we need strong leaders who aren’t threatened even though they might have the most to lose from cultural change. BY: The new-age project manager needs to have a strong cultural intelligence. We’re living in a world now with 65 billion passengers flying in the next 15 years, as many flyers as in the first 100 years of aviation. That change is incredible and will result in 65 billion cultural exchanges. LS: The project-manager competency needs to shift, needs to increase. Does that come before we shift the industry? Again, I’m crudely calling it an industry becoming a profession. And we know there are eight types of intelligence. Cultural and spiritual are only just coming into the gallery now, as opposed to the emotional stuff. So these are questions we need to consider. CJ: To invoke change rapidly, have a burning platform; and if you haven’t got one, create one. This is how we change from a resources economy reliant on commodities prices to a self-sustained global player in technology, service provision and so on. We will not have the country we have today and the quality of living we have unless we make that transformation. And we need to engage our workforces, governments and organisations to make this change as quickly as possible. NN: Transformation and real change are always a long process. I want the AIPM to more quickly embrace and enact what future PMs need and want. The true inspiration and change will be learning more about what makes that next generation tick and how we can keep them and make them want to work in our profession and in our companies. YB: It’s important for the AIPM to open up this discussion. We have to do a lot more thinking and working across sectors and every level of person involved in project delivery. We’ve really got to shake this up. YS: We must think of enlarging the individual competence of the project manager as someone who manages all these facets of diversity: cross-sectoral, cross-company, cross-functional and cross-national. So cultural competence becomes a core competence of every project manager and also of organisations.



REDUCING CHANGE RESISTANCE Matthew Donald, MAIPM, a PhD candidate at Western Sydney University, took a different view of people’s behaviour within projects, examining the factors that contributed to change resistance. He discovered it went beyond disgruntled employees and poor process, two factors most people assumed were the main culprits but barely troubled his survey results. Instead, the perpetrators were bad leadership, poor management and overwork. It all made sense, he said. “People are busy. If you manage their workload, it reduces resistance to your project.”


Images: Richard Barren Photography

SCOPING VOLUNTEER WORK When Murray Gough, MAIPM, CPPD, Director of Gough Watson Business Services, landed in Sri Lanka for a volunteer position, he had no directive from his sponsor, the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. So Gough worked with his client, the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce, to scope three months of work. Rather than delivering Chamber projects, as might be expected of foreign volunteer project managers, Gough sought to improve project-management capability within the organisation with basic training—a hard ask with a significant language barrier. His recommendation for volunteer project managers in a similar position? “Define your assignment while on site.”

PROJECT LEADERSHIP “No one ever said ‘it was the best project ever and it was all because of PRINCE2’,” said Colin Ellis, author of The Conscious Project Leader, presenting on the same theme. “The very best projects are the result of the person who leads them or the environment they create; always has been, always will be.” Ellis employed a strident tone with a humorous touch in his session on why project leadership trumps methodology as a key success factor every time. In the past 15 years more and more money has been dedicated to project-management development but the bulk of that goes to training in a methodology. He believes it should instead be invested in improving emotional intelligence. “We’re more than a collection of badges. Don’t let the methods take credit for all the work that you do.”



Resistance is just one of the risks stakeholders can present in a project, To catch up on said author Dr Lynda Bourne, CEO these sessions and and Managing Director of Stakeholder more, conference Management, who spoke on ‘Risky attendees can view stakeholders: exploring the connection the presentation between risks and stakeholders’. slides at www. “All stakeholders are potential risks. If you don’t take into account the behaviours and the expectations of people you’re focused on, you’re always going to be in crisis mode,” she warned, adding it was sometimes easier to view these stakeholders through a risk lens. One way to mitigate stakeholder issues is to include them in the process. “If you ask people what their views are and how to fix it you’re actually going to get a far better response, a far better solution.”

CONNECT AND INFLUENCE The most influential people in your organisation aren’t just at the top, according to research by Kate Anichenko, a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Her session on ‘Formal organisational networks and informal project networks: implications for project performance’ traced her study of formal and informal networks. She found that the flow of information did not always follow expected hierarchical structures but was often conveyed through informal personal relations within an organisation. Fortunately, this was a good way to strengthen a project team. “In a decentralised structure everyone is connected and we’re probably going to observe more trust within the project team,” she explained. Having an insight into the actual dynamics between people can then be leveraged to improve efficiency and productivity, and add value.

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wo hundred kilometres north-east of Alice Springs and a nine-hour drive up the Lasseter, Stuart and Plenty highways from iconic Uluru, Australia’s latest tourist attraction in the Red Centre is taking shape. The $3.97 million Alcoota fossil beds and visitors’ centre straddles cultures to provide a place where guests will one day experience an archaeological dig that delves up to 10 million years into our distant past yet offers clues to our near future. When it’s completed in 2018, the centre will have a shaded area, educational walking track, campsite with picnic tables, ablutions block and other conveniences to encourage visitors. A major focus


1 Dr Adam Yates says Alcoota is a window into Australia’s past. 2 Most fossils on site belonged to animals heavier than 100kg.

Images: Barry Skipsey/Newspix; Wikimedia


The challenge for Yates and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory now is to make lifetimes of scientific enquiry real for the public, to encourage visits to Australia’s red heart.”

Sciences at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), says this is no reason for us to be complacent. “A message to be woven into this is for the future. Some people might take the false view that climate has changed and things got arid or wetter and floods and droughts have happened and it doesn’t matter; it all works out in the end,” Yates says. “We have to be wary of change that’s very rapid because things don’t adapt. And that’s the lesson from those animals trapped around that waterhole—they died en masse. We have to be careful [today’s humans] are not those that die around the waterhole.” Most Alcoota fossils belonged to animals heavier than 100kg and some “were spectacularly big”, he says. For instance, the world’s biggest bird, the flightless male Dromonis stirtoni, was up to 750kg. “They were Australia’s answer to the camel; a dryland browsing animal [niche] was filled by a bird.”


is its interpretative content to help the lay public make sense of one of Australia’s most significant archaeological sites. Adam Yates, the latest guardian of the dig that dates back to 1953, says the fossil-rich area on the isolated Alcoota cattle station is a unique “window into Australia during a time of change from a wet climate to the dry climate we have now”. Scientists estimate the around 200-metre long fossil bed resulted from a local extinction caused by a sudden drying out that caught early megafauna unawares. These animals included marsupials the size of rhinos and a bird that was like the love child of a camel and an emu. Although “rains, floods and droughts have been part of the Australian landscape for millions of years”, Dr Yates, who is Senior Curator of Earth

The story that paleontologists have meticulously etched out of the ground hypothesises a harsh drought in the Miocene epoch of the Tertiary period some 8 million years ago caused big, vertebrate animals to cluster around a lonely and increasingly stressed and polluted waterhole, a process known as ‘tethering’. As their over-grazing depleted local browsing food such as grasses, and water dried up or was contaminated, they died off as a group. Soon after, possibly within a handful of years, heavy rains lashed the area and flash floods swept the animals’ bones into a plain where they were overlaid by sediment and millions of years of soil deposits to form the many layers we see today at Alcoota. The challenge for Yates and MAGNT now is to make lifetimes of scientific enquiry real for the public, to encourage visits to Australia’s red heart. “We’re trying to develop a narrative that is easily understood so you don’t need specialist knowledge.” Apart from information walls, the project is evaluating augmented reality that uses special glasses or smartphone headsets to superimpose




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1 Unearthing 8-million-year-old bones requires patience and meticulous care. 2 The remote project site is about 200km from Alice Springs. Alcoota

Alice Springs

I have very clear parameters around what we’re tasked to do. Otherwise we’ll never achieve the initial goals.” 3D computer graphics over vision of the real world. Visitors will also be able to see bones left in place and protected, to understand how they came to be there and how they were preserved before extraction.

ROCK SOLID THROUGH NEGOTIATION AND SCOPE What also makes the project special is that it’s an active paleontological dig for three months of the year, says MAGNT project manager Darlene Lion. It’s on a remote excision from a cattle station while located on Aboriginal land so a full-time caretaker is not feasible, which means site security is an ongoing concern. “We’re hoping to build something that’s practical and provides shelter for people because it’s very cold in winter and in summer the [temperature is in the] mid-40s,” Lion says. An early design that called for air-conditioning was deemed impractical owing to the power required, although solar panels are being considered as an alternative to the diesel generator now in use. The lack of drinking water is also a constraint, with visitors required to supply their own. Lion says consultation and negotiation with the


Territory Government, pastoral lease managers and Indigenous landowners was essential for a successful project but it also slowed progress. She says success is more than just building a facility; it means economic development for the Indigenous people of the Engawala community, many of whom now work the cattle station. “Some Indigenous employment [being] created and visitors turning up either on a seasonal or year-round basis” would qualify as success. “Providing Indigenous opportunities is very important.” While Lion is cognisant it could spark tourism in the area (a caravan park is about 90 minutes’ drive away), her mandate is to deliver the visitors’ centre. There’s no spare cash for operations or further development and the budget is “drawing on other project funding and resources to make it happen”, she says. “I have very clear parameters around what we’re tasked to do. Otherwise we’ll never achieve the initial goals, which are the installation of the improved visitor amenities and development of Indigenous employment. “To do the rest is a longer-term objective” for others to expand on the scope.




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A lot of reporting on projects is completed on the basis of what the person doing the reporting thinks their manager wants to hear, instead of what is actually happening.”

day concluded that the tunnel section was 60 per cent complete, which confused senior managers because there was no basis for this claim. “You looked at the report and thought ‘was it 60 per cent complete in terms of time taken [or] funds consumed?’ Because with 1km completed, it certainly wasn’t 60 per cent complete in terms of the milestone of a surfaced section of tunnel,” Bayliss says. “The only way the project manager found this out was by conducting a physical inspection after his analysis revealed problems with the way progress was being reported. So in terms of analysis, some of it comes down to experience.” Becoming an expert in using these tools and in project management itself is no easy task. “The journey from green belt to black belt doesn’t happen overnight and it does require a level of curiosity, pulling information apart and putting it back together,” Bayliss says. “It is about looking at the trends, the patterns in the data and having a network of people around you to be able to call on to say ‘is that right?’ and being able to triangulate data effectively.” aximising the value of projectmanagement software is about exploiting the deep functionality in your preferred software tool and the culture of the projectmanagement organisation. “A lot of reporting on projects is completed on the basis of what the person doing the reporting thinks their manager wants to hear, instead of what is actually happening,” says Prescience Technologies’ Loretta Bayliss. “And that creates an enormous level of risk and danger. It also prevents you from tackling issues as they arise.” Bayliss points to the value of human experience and intuition in complementing these tools, citing a project that required building a 5km section of tunnel. A scheduled inspection found that only 1km of tunnel was surfaced, yet reporting the following


Become a project-management sensei with these expert productivity tips.

MICROSOFT PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT Microsoft Project Portfolio Management is a popular software application for PMs. But Laith Adel from EPM Partners says many may not realise how useful its work or effort estimation and planning functions are. “Part of any project manager’s role is to not only plan the timelines aspect of a project but to account for the effort involved in delivery,” says Adel, General Manager of Microsoft PPM specialist consultancy EPM Partners. “There is a big gap in project-manager skills when it comes to using tools for estimating, planning and tracking the effort for a particular project.” The application takes project managers beyond

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 SOFTWARE HACKS start and finish dates. They can use the tool to measure and manage the effort required from resources assigned to tasks in the project, says Adel. “Microsoft Project has a feature called effort driven calculation that is not apparent to the user just by looking at a basic Gantt chart.” Go into the “task details” view where a project task is broken into time and effort (or “work” in MS Project parlance). “Once we show project managers how to get to the task details and read these two different elements, it’s an eye-opener for them.” It enables PMs to manage resources and people, including estimating the effort available to be dedicated to the project and conduct testing. This helps the project manager see if a project will end on time. And the app enables a PM to test and compare effort against individuals’ roles.

ATLASSIAN JIRA Atlassian JIRA is a popular tool for tracking issues and progress of projects, especially in Agile software development. Atlassian Development Manager Nick Pellow says teams that use JIRA well continually review their processes, and customise the software to their needs. But Pellow says project managers miss out on a key productivity gain from workflow triggers that automate how support tickets progress from one status to the next (see for instructions). You can also save time using Epics and Quick Filters. Epics capture a big body of work as a user story that is comprised of smaller stories and may span projects.

“Epics mean different things to different people,” says Atlassian Team Lead Brydie McCoy. “They can be used as colourful tabs or categories and sometimes they’re a feature, units of work, or ongoing themes like engineering performance.” Filtering by Epics allows you to focus on a stream of work. Go to the Backlog where you’ll see Epics listed on the left side of the screen. Click an Epic to see its issues, or reorder it in the Epics list by dragging and dropping. And across the top of the screen you’ll see Quick Filters to narrow in on an issue—such as those that haven’t started or are unestimated—using a JIRA Query Language search.

ORACLE PRIMAVERA Oracle Primavera manages capital projects and programs, IT portfolios and change programs. But Loretta Bayliss, Managing Director of Oracle consultancy Prescience Technology, warns that basic skills and competencies in project management and high-quality inputs into the tool’s reporting and dashboard functions are prerequisites for getting the most from it. She says PMs need to learn how to plan for human and material resources, and understand earned value. Traffic-light indicators for reporting “are really beneficial for senior stakeholders”, to help see at a glance what’s going on in a project, Bayliss says. Global changes and user-defined fields are effective to calculate values from the system fields in Primavera P6. And by using global changes to set flags for traffic-light reports, businesses are alerted to cost blowouts (see for instructions).





Atlassian JIRA

Cloud: $10 month for up to 10 users; $75 per month for 15 users

Issue and project tracking with agile tooling for software teams

Software development

Basecamp $29 per month for internal teams $79 per month if using Basecamp with clients Enterprise pricing starts at $3,000 per year

Web-based project management tool


Microsoft Project

Cloud solutions: Project Online Essentials $9.80 per user per month (Professional and Premium also available) On premise: Project Professional $1,789. Project Standard $1,049 Project Server [through partners]

Project, portfolio and asset General management

Oracle Primavera

Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management US$2,750 Primavera P6 Professional Project Management from US$500 Primavera Risk Analysis US$9,500 Primavera Contractor $1,295 Contract Management, Business Intelligence Publisher from US$400

Enterprise project portfolio General management


US$9.99 per user per month for Trello Business Class

Kanban-based work and personal management software



WANT MORE? Trello has boards, lists and cards so PMs can organise projects and improve productivity and collaboration. The integration between Trello and sales pipeline tool Pipedrive lets you manage projects effectively once a deal is signed. Read more at blog.pipedrive. com/2016/09/ pipedrive-trellointegration. Basecamp is another popular web app for project management and collaboration. Learn more tips and tricks and get an inside look at the new version at basecamp. com/help/2/videos/ becoming-abasecamp-pro.

AIPM Certification NOT JUST

your average

PROJECT MANAGER I wish I had done AIPM certification.






eeting time, cost and project quality are no longer the cast-iron indicators of a project’s success. There is plenty of opportunity to refine how a project is managed to meet targeted benefits—and by whom. Dr Ofer Zwikael, Associate Professor in the College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University, is researching this area of project selection, management and evaluation, and recently won an AIPM ACT award for his contribution to the profession. “Project managers have relatively limited authority and responsibility within an organisation but in understanding a project’s strategic objectives, project managers can become more influential in companies and be part of organisational decisions that make a project more meaningful,” Zwikael says. As the guest editor of The International Project




Management Association’s International Journal of Project Management, his call for submissions in 2014 for a special benefits issue argued that “thinking strategically about projects has the potential to position them as an activity creating core values. Benefit management holds open the prospect of expanding the reach of the project-management discipline to top management by shaping projects as instruments of business-strategy implementation.” Zwikael has worked as a project and a program manager in countries including Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Israel, and he has realised that more often than not, expectations of project managers and clients differ. “We work on one thing and they measure another.” Even more alarming, he noticed that “many organisations believe that what we do as project managers is not relevant”.

1 Ofer Zwikael’s research identifies how projects can be “more meaningful” and effective. 2 to 3 The leaders of the New Karolinska Solna Hospital project in Stockholm identified benefits way beyond bricks and mortar.

2 3


Images: New Karolinska Solna Hospital/White Tengbom Team

“A major reason for them to fund a project, invest money and take a risk is to achieve their own target benefit objective, which is not necessarily the same as the project manager’s focus on delivering outputs on time and on budget.” Zwikael’s call for journal papers was followed by reviews from academics and project-management professionals from which he selected six papers to be developed. Four were accepted and published in early 2016. Zwikael also interviewed senior managers from Australia and elsewhere, and conducted surveys of senior managers and project managers from various industries. The papers asked: What is the project benefit management process? What are the implications of project benefit management on project governance, the concept of project success and the project management tool kit? They variously highlighted distinctions between project-management success (efficient delivery) and project success (benefits to the funding organisation); that project-management practices alone do not result in successful projects; and that a combination of project management (focusing on output) and benefit-management processes (focusing on outcomes) significantly improves the project’s rates of success, especially when benefit management is led by a project owner alongside, and in collaboration with, project management led by the project manager. There are no simple answers or solutions. Zwikael cites projects with disappointing and even harmful disconnections in outcome, and failure to meet the requirements of the funding organisation. For example, the Los Angeles Metro was completed on time and under-budget, and met all its operational goals, but was not used as much as expected so planned line extensions were cancelled. Similarly, the Sydney Cross City Tunnel was an efficient project but only a third of the expected number of vehicles regularly go through it. The funding organisation lost out, the company that built the tunnels went out of business and longterm objectives, ultimately, were not met. In another example, Zwikael says building

a bridge to reduce road accidents may not be enough without safety training to ensure its correct use, with parents, teachers and members of the community encouraging students to change their route to meet the project’s target benefits to reduce accidents. While project benefit management is a relatively new, and perhaps neglected, area, Zwikael is pleased supportive governance models are being developed, particularly in the UK and Norway, as well as methodology for defining, appraising and evaluating target benefits. He says the New Karolinska Solna (NKS) Hospital project in Stockholm, Sweden is a current example where project benefit management is being successfully addressed up front. “The county council not only builds a new hospital, but also sets community, education and health-related target benefits to be realised from the project at its completion.”

WHO CHASES THE BENEFITS? Who’s responsible for project benefits is another point of contention. As consultant Elizabeth Harrin observes in Project Management Institute’s Pulse of the Profession, “Benefits management is so hard to codify because project managers don’t really know if it falls to them or the senior managers or operational teams or someone else, so it disappears through the cracks and isn’t given the attention it deserves.”

Project owners are becoming more involved in projects, says Ofer Zwikael. They are there at the start and end and, as such, are more accountable for the target benefits being realised and customers using the project outputs than the project manager, who is usually not there throughout and does not set the target benefits, which limits their influence. He says research and training for project managers should concentrate on developing benefitrealisation tools and techniques to better understand strategic issues and help clients develop a benefits-based business case.

project MANAGER 35



WORKPLACE BEHAVIOUR EXPERTS SHARE THEIR TIPS TO HELP YOU COMMUNICATE BETTER WORDS NATE COCHRANE t’s essential to master modern business etiquette and communications norms because what works on the job site may not get your knees under the table in the boardroom or help to keep your project on track.


BE ETHICAL AND RESPECTFUL Social media has heightened the consequences of poor behaviour but the requirement still exists to treat others fairly, says Peter Wilson AM. “Social media is no licence to disrespect someone,” says Wilson, Chairman and National President of the Australian Human Resources Institute. “Breathe deep and think about whether [your social media message] is valuable. And think [who] you’re criticising because it can cost you.” Wilson advises us first to ask ourselves before posting online: Is the issue very important to your life and work? Is the person who you’re responding to an authority? Is there another way to respectfully show disagreement?

PITCH TO THE COMMON GOOD “A person who pitches their language in terms of organisational objectives is more likely to be successful,” says Wilson. PMs who pitch what they



say in the context of what matters to the listener will crack through. “We hear a lot of language couched in the language of [what’s important] to me [the speaker]. But be more about the communal good: this is what the organisation needs and how we can get there, to show your respect for other people in the room.” Neal Ashkanasy, a former engineer turned organisational psychologist and management professor at the University of Queensland, says authentic leaders put the group’s needs ahead of themselves. “They carry out leadership for the betterment of the group rather than manipulating people to meet their own ends.”

SELF-REFLECT (BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE) In the hurly-burly we can become removed from how people perceive us. Stop and honestly assess how people respond to you: Are they willing to share ideas or concerns? Does conversation falter when you enter a room? What is the facial expression of the person you are talking to? What does their body language say? Are you excluded from debate or decisions? Ashkanasy says in some organisations communications are so toxic that workers clam up. “In some cases they have too much inertia or are


Be more about the communal good: [say] this is what the organisation needs and how we can get there.” resigned to put up with it,” he says. People respond to abusive supervision by leaving the organisation, speaking out, keeping their head down and staying silent, disengaging or retaliating (perhaps aggressively) against the perceived perpetrator.


BE CANDID Each workplace and project team has taboos they don’t address directly but can inhibit delivery, erode morale and otherwise affect the bottom line. Psychologist Toni Mellington says VitalSmarts’ Crucial Conversations program helps project members learn to speak up with respect on important matters without stepping on others’ toes. Mellington, a workplace behaviour and anti-bullying expert, says such scenario-based learning systems encourage people to raise important matters that benefit the group without fear. “It’s one of the very positive and constructive things people in mid-management or projectmanagement positions can engage the team in.”

Images: iStock

DECRY BULLYING WorkSafe Victoria defines bullying as “persistent and repeated negative behaviour directed at an employee that creates a risk to health and safety”. Many bullies don’t see themselves as bullies and when called out will often see themselves as victims

1 to 2 Many leaders haven’t yet mastered digital and communication basics. 3 Peter Wilson, Chairman and National President of the Australian Human Resources Institute.

of political correctness, says Mellington. “Sometimes that’s even harder than dealing with what they’ve done. It’s quite troubling.” She says bosses in particular should be introspective before they let fly. “Don’t make that joke unless you know every single person will be laughing and not because you are the boss and they want the next pay rise. If there’s ever any doubt, don’t tell that joke.” And if you see violence in the workplace or on a project, report it to superiors immediately.

CUT JARGON Every profession has its vocabulary but the smart PM bridges the communications gap in plain English. Wilson says the mix of professional jargon and digital terms creates a perfect storm that excludes people from decision-making. “Some people think they’re impressing by using jargon and all they’re doing is confusing [people]. Employers look at how you communicate simple, clear concepts that the customer understands. Jargon is disrespectful because it excludes the person listening; it’s a form of arrogance.”

LEARN TO STOP The wildfire spread of digital communication technologies makes it easy to send messages at inappropriate times. Wilson suggests weekend email and text blackouts are increasingly favoured by high-performing companies. Wilson says repeated intrusion into private time—often by a boss over unimportant matters— could constitute bullying. “Bullying laws are very general and talk about harassment in the mind of the employee in any way. An email or social media message is a tactic that bullies use.”

KNOW WHEN TO TOUCH Mellington says we can take our social cues from the groups in which we work and operate. In some cultures even extended eye contact is threatening and degrading. “Knowing your team is the best place to start,” she says. “When in doubt, don’t touch and don’t yell.”

project MANAGER 37





et this sink in: the job you have today probably won’t be around in a decade. If you’re like many project managers, the changing nature of work heralded by smart systems, complex environments and client demands requires you to continually update your skills. But time is a valuable commodity, so how to decide where to focus your learning? The need for upskilling is acute. The CSIRO and Australian Computer Society report Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce suggests that computerisation puts nearly 50 per cent of jobs at risk of automation. And in what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the changing nature of how we work requires us to keep our knowledge and capability up to date. To succeed in this environment, project managers need to draw on a skillset beyond technical competency. Being able to challenge dominant paradigms, solve complex problems, create innovative solutions and build collaborative networks are all critical elements. Before you rush out to learn new skills, here are four steps to guide your study.


STEP 1: EMBRACE A LEARNING MINDSET Successful project professionals understand how their mindset affects their progress. Just ask yourself: ‘Do I know everything I need to know or is there still so much to learn?’ How you answer will help you determine if you have what Stanford


psychology professor Carol Dweck calls a ‘fixed’ or a ‘growth’ mindset. Dweck found that people of a fixed mindset see intelligence as an immovable trait (‘static’). They want to always look smart and have all the answers. They believe that success is due to talent and not work. They avoid challenges, give up more easily and are less willing to listen. But people with a growth mindset believe that intelligence develops through hard work and effort. They more eagerly embrace learning and challenges. They persist, despite setbacks, displaying higher resilience. Those with a growth mindset won’t shy away from acquiring skills and they have the courage to persevere and be more adept at solving complex, ambiguous problems. So if you believe you can improve, your motivation will be greater to do so.

STEP 2: KNOW YOUR KNOWLEDGE GAP People learn most rapidly when the topic is relevant and when they take responsibility for their learning. But unless learning is targeted and planned, it’s easy to squander the opportunity. Identify the gap between your current skills and what you will need to learn by these steps: List what you know in technical, functional and behavioural realms. Research and determine what you need to learn, being careful to look beyond your current industry— opportunities can come from surprising angles. Prioritise a list of activities that may include

“Those with a growth mindset won’t shy away from acquiring skills—they have the courage to persevere.”


undergoing or furthering your AIPM certification, reading books and journals, enrolling in courses, joining organisations and networking.

Illustration: Kurt Parton

STEP 3: DIG FOR INSIGHTS The Centre for Workplace Leadership’s recent national survey found organisations should be concerned about the state of leadership and management capability. For example, many senior leaders do not draw on strategic advice. Failing to draw on broad expertise means leaders often define transformation narrowly. For project managers in new territory, comfortable, default thinking is fraught with danger. Complex and adaptive problems are not solved by the ‘quick fix’ or relying on patterns of learned behaviour. Approaching every project, situation or event as a learning opportunity helps the project manager be more curious, open to questions and acknowledging limits to their knowledge. If you aren’t relying on what you have done before, then you also open up the project to innovation. In complex environments no one has all the answers; wise decision-making comes from leveraging knowledge across the organisation and drawing out insights.

STEP 4: EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS There are many learning sources available, from quick online courses to in-depth postgraduate

research. Determining the best approach is a trade-off between cost, time to skill acquisition (including time out of the workforce) and benefits the new skill confers. If you need to keep earning while you’re learning, start with the following. Read more—use curating sites such as Pocket ( or Flipboard ( to curate relevant articles. Listen to project-management podcasts. Enrol in an online course—education providers such as Coursera, edX and Open2Study offer free options. Enlist a mentor or coach to provide advice on how to develop your expertise. For project-management courses, find an AIPM-endorsed course at Accelerating progress is as much about what you, the project manager, needs to learn and develop as what you now know and your experience. It’s inevitable that staying at the forefront of knowledge and continuously uplifting capability helps your career. So to get ahead, step outside your comfort zone and embrace new learning. Michelle Gibbings, pictured left, is a change and leadership expert who helps organisations speed their way in complex environments. She is author of Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work.

Members keen to take the next step in their professional careers will soon have access to a new mentoring program. The AIPM National Mentoring Program will select mentors and match them with mentees. Both mentees and mentors will be supported with tools and guidance. The program will run in Sydney and Melbourne in February, followed closely by other parts of the country. “This is an exciting initiative designed to support our members to grow their network, navigate a pathway and accelerate their career,” says Yvonne Butler, CEO of AIPM. “We have listened and consulted with chapters and have built the lessons learned into the new program. Our chapters will also be instrumental in the delivery of the program.” Applications for mentors and mentees will open in December. Visit to apply.

project MANAGER 39




WORDS ADELINE TEOH ove it or hate it, psychometric testing is back. Many, such as DiSC and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), were developed in the 1950s and 60s, and declined in popularity as the nature of recruitment changed. Today, psychometric testing is used to optimise performance by hiring correctly and improving team dynamics—it’s employed by around 40 per cent of Australian recruiters and employers and, according to Forbes, more than 80 per cent of US Fortune 500 companies.


DO YOU HAVE A PM’S CHARACTERISTICS? Patricia Healy, Director of Marana Consulting Group, began her career as an engineer before moving into project-management training and development. She uses MBTI in conjunction with Team Management Profile to help people understand their type and


how it drives their work and team relationships. The classic project management type is ESTJ (see box) but most Thinking and Judging types are predisposed to project management, she says. “They like to see an end result.” Not that others can’t be project managers; Healy trains plenty of creative people. They pick up the skills, but most find the project process unpleasant, she notes. “They struggle with the whole concept of project management. It’s not necessarily useful to the way they work. It’s very hard for me to imagine saying to somebody, ‘I want you to create that piece of music by five on Friday’.” Personality profiling is not pigeonholing, Healy emphasises. It’s largely about understanding your strengths and weaknesses. “They are really useful tools to get you to think, ‘this might not be the right

Source: Australian Human Resources Institute Illustration: Tanya Cooper


Personality-profiling tools are really useful to get you to think ‘this might not be the right way of operating in this circumstance’.” way of operating in this circumstance’, which is why multidisciplinary teams are great because you can access people who’ve got those natural abilities.” However, there is one trait she believes is essential for project professionals. “Everyone’s really a project leader because there’s a vision and you have to imagine what the end will be like and then work backwards to get all the steps in place. That leadership attribute has to be there for anyone in a project-management role.”

INSERT DISC FOR BEHAVIOUR Todd Hutchison, CEO of Peopleistic and an Adjunct Associate Professor in project management at Central Queensland University, uses DiSC in his consulting work. Hutchison says there is no specific DiSC profile for project managers, but different projects will suit certain styles. “In general, D-dominated project managers tend to excel in high-pressure, must-do projects; I-dominated project managers tend to be great where there is a high need for stakeholder management; S-dominated project managers are drawn to projects that have a chaos element that serves people, like organisational restructures; C-dominated project managers work best where there is a high degree of technical complexity.” Matching a project manager to a project won’t automatically spell success, however. “Project success is largely dependent on people dynamics,” says Hutchison. “Politics and poor behaviours can significantly challenge projects. If a project manager understands how to communicate and relate to their key stakeholders, they can generally keep the buyin, enthusiasm and focus on the project.” Hutchison uses DiSC himself to profile team members, ensuring “the right mix of natural strengths”, he says. “That results in a broader thinking capability to solve issues and find innovative solutions.”

PERSONALITY ENGINE NUMBER 9 Understanding behaviour via MBTI and DiSC will only get you so far, says Mal Laws of Conscious Connection, who coaches leaders using Enneagram, based on nine personality types, and The Leadership Circle Profile. Laws previously worked as a project manager in sectors including IT, telecommunications and financial services. He uses Enneagram to help people achieve self-awareness. “Knowing your type I could tell you the projects you’re going to quite like and where the challenges could come up. The more

self-mastery the type has, the fewer de-railers and the more functional as a project manager they’ll be.” Like Hutchison, Laws says different types of projects—dependent on size, industry, technical or stakeholder needs—accommodate the different strengths of each type. “Every type can learn how to be a project manager but not everybody has a predilection for it and each type will have its own personalised way of doing it. Personality envelopes skill and it will influence it,” he explains. “If everybody who learnt to be a project manager also learnt their type [and therefore] where in a project they could be derailed and what to do if derailed, that would be really powerful.” But the greatest value is not in knowing yourself, but in knowing your team. “What a project-management course can’t teach you is the interpersonal dynamics that will happen and their effect on you personally.” Psychometric testing as a recruitment tool fell from popularity because ‘typing’ was not a good indicator of attitude and capability at work. Organisations now use it to manage teams and this is where all three practitioners agree it is most useful.

TOP PROFILING TOOLS Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI is based on philosopher Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. Candidates are tested for their tendency towards either end of four spectrums: Extraversion (focused on outer world) or Introversion (focused on inner world) Sensing (focused on basic information) or INtuition (preference for interpretation) Thinking (focused on logic and consistency) or Feeling (focused on people and circumstance) Judging (decisive) or Perceiving (open to new options). This results in one of 16 four-letter types. For example, someone tending towards extraversion, sensing, thinking and judging is an ESTJ.

DiSC Developed on the work of psychologist Dr William Moulton Marston, the DiSC profiling tool has several iterations, with a common version split into the leading behavioural traits of Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S) and Conscientiousness (C). Enneagram The nine personality types are characterised by underlying motivation. The Reformer (to be balanced) The Helper (to feel love) The Achiever (to feel valued) The Individualist (to be unique) The Investigator (to understand) The Loyalist (to have support) The Enthusiast (to be satisfied) The Challenger (to self-protect) The Peacemaker (to achieve peace of mind)

project MANAGER 41

Images: iStock Source: PMI Pulse of the Profession 2016





t SunWater, project managers must live satisfaction of stakeholders is the mark of projectand breathe the culture of the Queensland management maturity.” Government utility or else project delivery At SunWater, maturity relates to confidence and is compromised. the ability to bridge gaps. And because a strong customer-centric culture “For us, it’s about having an intimate knowledge sets the tone for how it runs projects, “it’s essential of capability and outsourcing or in-sourcing our project managers are living the values,” says technical capability that is not a core competency. Alex Fisher, SunWater Executive General Manager “It’s important for us to know our limitations, of Asset Delivery. “Ensuring the business is while providing the opportunity for individuals applying a consistent approach is a challenge, no to learn and develop. Continuous improvement is matter how big or small the project. If our PMO is embedded in our culture. Having more experienced collaborative, supportive and enables the business, project managers coach and mentor those less the challenge is met.” experienced builds that in-house expertise and Although a strong and supportive culture itself confidence.” won’t lead to project-management maturity, it DEFINING CULTURE indicates the organisation can step up. SunWater’s Although research correlates high projectculture contributes to high worker retention: an management maturity with better performance, ideal starting place to build maturity. the link between culture and maturity “We have an extremely open and is nebulous: no specific culture leads supportive team culture, which FAST STAT to maturity and results in success. promotes freedom to ask questions, Project managers, who play a big role challenge the status quo and share in driving culture and maturity, are ideas,” Fisher says. “Our high workforce crucial to success. retention rate means technical expertise OF PROJECTS MEET “Culture is about shared objectives can be grown and sustained in-house and shared values in the way you and there is greater continuity and ORIGINAL GOALS AND ownership of outcomes.” BUSINESS INTENT WHEN work and the way you are and why She says the day-to-day of managing PROJECT-MANAGEMENT you do what you do,” says Martin Vaughan, MAIPM, CPPD, a director projects is the easiest part of project CULTURE IS HIGH at Core Consulting Group that builds management. PRIORITY project capability and maturity in “Effectively managing the organisations. expectations, engagement and



Organisations must go through several stages of growth to reach maturity, including locking down a supportive culture.

project MANAGER 43

 ORGANISATIONAL MATURITY WHAT IS PROJECT-MANAGEMENT MATURITY? Organisational maturity refers to an organisation’s ability to deliver on its agreed objectives. Maturity models consider the organisation’s capabilities and attributes that determine competence for the organisation to effectively perform. Organisations are more likely to deliver successful projects if they have appropriate systems in place to reflect a mature project-management environment based on a culture of lessons learned and continuous improvement. There are a number of frameworks that have been developed over the years that objectively measure organisational maturity. The AIPM is currently reviewing those frameworks and will be offering a robust maturity model that will enable organisations across all sectors to be independently assessed.

CULTURE AND COMPLEXITY Silvia de Ridder, MAIPM, CPPD says culture equals leadership: the values and behaviour displayed by those at the top. “The leadership team has a huge influence on the culture of either an organisation or project team or program, and it’s not just the project manager, but the sponsor of the project and the governance of that project,” says de Ridder, Managing Director of Sydney coaching consultancy Unconscious Potential, and AIPM assessor. A high-performance culture supports and fosters emotional intelligence, an essential ingredient of leadership, and an ability to deal with complexity, which is an indication of project-management maturity. “Project-management maturity doesn’t just encompass where you are in terms of process. The IPMA model has three dimensions: business acumen, leadership skills—which relate to emotional intelligence and culture–and then technical project-management skills. Some of the best project and program managers are not about the process; they are about people, stakeholder engagement [and] influence,” she says. It’s also possible for a project manager to be out of step with their organisation (in a good way). “I’ve encountered situations where emotionally mature, technically competent project managers have been brought into the organisation and they’re running successful projects based on their external knowledge, not because the organisation has mature systems and processes.” But, in general, organisations with a highperforming culture are more likely to be ready for more complex projects, programs and portfolios













because these lead to awareness of “delivering value not things”, says Core Consulting’s Vaughan. “If they can grasp that concept they’re ready to step up.” It is enough for an organisation to be aware it’s ready, even if it’s also aware of gaps, he adds. “If a company isn’t very mature at program management, the simplest solution is to hire someone who is, if it’s more important to deliver a program than to develop competency at the time. Some companies are forced to take on a program, they can’t wait for the maturity. That’s when you have a fast-track education process.” In the main, without a culture of support it’s easy for projects and programs to lose momentum irrespective of who is at the helm or the organisation’s mature processes. Invest in culture and your project-managed organisation has the best chance to thrive.

Source: PM Solutions’ 2014 Project Management Maturity & Value Benchmark report

If the organisational culture is not ideal, good project managers can create a sub-culture within it. “If the project manager is truly a leader, they’ll create a local culture and you’ll see they can drive high-performing teams.” In this way, it’s possible for projects, programs and organisations to have disparate cultures and different levels of maturity.

Organisations with a highperforming culture are ready for more complex projects and have awareness of delivering value, not things.”






WORDS JOHN BIRMINGHAM n 1998, before the smart phone, before Netflix, before Elon Musk’s electric car, ‘big tech’ was not the economic behemoth and cultural touchstone it is now. Google was just emerging from Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s garage. Apple had barely escaped bankruptcy and oblivion. Michael Myers OAM (pictured right), now Chairman of Re-Engineering Australia Foundation, was a consulting engineer with three daughters in high school. From his professional experience he knew that industry wasn’t seeing the graduates it needed. High schoolers weren’t studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, and design was also suffering. “The schools weren’t producing kids with any STEM knowledge at all,” Dr Myers laments. Feeling guilty about how little he had done at his daughter’s school on Sydney’s upper north shore, Myers asked the headmaster if he could help out in any way. He was looking for more than the usual ‘dad job’ of turning the snags at the school’s open day barbie. The headmaster offered



him the other dad job: to help the billycart club. He rolled up to find the kids had designed a powered billycart that achieved 1,275km a litre. “I fell off my perch,” says Myers. “They did it all with bits of this and that; just themselves and the teachers. I thought, if they can do this on their own, imagine what they could do with the sort of technology I’ve been developing for Toyota.” From that humbling encounter came the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation—a program to foster the interest of school kids in core STEM subjects that is now supported by hundreds of businesses and tech-heavy government departments such as Defence. The AIPM recently signed a memorandum of understanding with REA to support their work in equipping the next generation of project managers. Starting the not for profit enterprise was an attempt to re-engineer “the way in which we inspire and teach our young people”, he says. Myers and his supporters developed small, discrete stepping-stone activities as a path for

If they can do this on their own, imagine what they could do with the sort of technology I’ve been developing for Toyota.”

Images: courtesy of the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation


students to travel “with each step adding to the their interest and understanding of STEM activities, trades and professions”. Eighteen years later, REA mentors up to 45,000 students a year. It has three training modules in which kids design and build complex technologies in self-managed teams: The F1 in Schools Technology Challenge, the world’s biggest secondary school tech program The Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge to build a radio controlled four-wheel drive The Australian-only SUBS in Schools program, supported by Defence and industry. In each, students learn by doing and the courses are optimised for the different learning styles of boys and girls. Strangely enough, the cool factor of working on submarines and fast cars is not enough to ensure boys stay engaged. Myers’ experiences have shown boys to be more interested in human contact and communication than girls. “Girls actually enjoy designing cars more than boys,” says Myers. “Girls respond to the challenge by wanting to understand the complexity of the environment around them. “When you’ve got enough, you make a decision. They’re all about collecting information, analysing it, reading deeply into the subjects, and out of that comes an academic result.” The boys, he says, learn by doing, by watching. “You keep them moving, keep them engaged with other people.” Michelle Lennon, a winner of the 2012 F1 in Schools World Championship went on to study mechanical engineering at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She credits the REA program with awakening her interest in engineering. “If I hadn’t been introduced to the program I would probably have followed science or maybe engineering but it would have made the decision on what to do at university a lot more difficult.”

Hamzah Brown, a Trinity Grammar graduate who made the finals of F1 in Abu Dhabi the same year as Lennon, was lured into REA competition 3 after his teachers spotted his design skills. He used the school’s 3D printer to make a working piano. “I can fully empathise with those who say F1 in Schools is a life-changing experience, because it was absolutely the case for me,” says Brown. But students are only part of the process. To realise its goals, REA also needs engaged teachers. “They choose the modules. We find that once a school gets their head around it, they become very passionate about the whole program,” says Myers. What sort of project and tech skills might young teenagers be expected to learn from building kit cars and submarines? Their technical chops are not much in need of improvement. Myers finds the kids adapt easily to the technology of designing industry. What they don’t have are the skills to use that technology in complicated projects. “Kids at that age aren’t expected to be able to manage a project much more complicated than their homework. This forces them into a much more demanding process. They have to work in a team. They have to go out and talk to people in industry. They have to manage timelines of much greater length than normal. These are six-month projects of real complexity.” Students must also learn how to manage shifting priorities and scarce resources. They have to consult, to research, and to prioritise. They must iterate and optimise their workflows and most importantly, they must do it on their own. “You throw them in the deep end,” says Myers. “It’s that process of finding problems and solving them that helps the kids learn the most.”

1 Students from Engadine High School at the 2016 F1 in Schools World Finals in Austin, Texas. 2 The winners of the Subs in Schools National Finals from St. Peters Girls School in Adelaide. The students recently presented at the AIPM conference. 3 Students from St Bede’s College, Victoria and Brighton Secondary School, Adelaide. The team had the fastest car at the 2016 World Finals.

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CHALLENGING PROJECT MANAGERS WHO HAVE HANDLED CHANGE SAY THE ODDS OF SUCCESS IMPROVE WHEN ALL STAKEHOLDERS HAVE THEIR VOICES HEARD WORDS LEON GETTLER AND SOPHIE HULL he race to digitalisation and providing modern ways to serve customers was one of the biggest change programs that Ankit Mishra was involved in. But a failure to engage workers in the process stymied expected benefits to the organisation. “The main issue starts with the leadership and this is one of the biggest reasons why these programs fail,’’ says Mishra, a former Bankwest Change Officer. Digital technologies help organisations remain viable and competitive but they require everyone in the organisation to buy into the vision.



“For example, I worked for an organisation some time back where they wanted to change the operating model and the way the company was going to serve customers [through digital channels]. “But this organisation did not consider engaging the middle-level management or the employees. They did not consider the culture of the company and whether employees would be comfortable to work in a digitised environment and whether they would have the skills.” The result was a demotivated workforce headed for the exits. “They go through the cycle of anger, shock, denial, depression and eventually leave the organisation. That’s the stage where no change management is applied.” What managers should do is communicate the change and help staff with the transition. Ideally, they should help them to acquire new skills and possibly redeploy them elsewhere. “It starts with the onset of the program... If the most important stakeholders are not committed, they won’t be doing the right things for a successful change,’’ he says. New technology and regulatory issues spurred

Photo: iStock


It could define whether you’re going to be relevant or not. If you are not changing, you will have to shut down and go.” Bankwest’s change program. At the time, Mishra ran the change program, working with general managers, portfolio management, change managers and the change centre. He says the organisation is free to choose its own benefits. “It could define whether you’re going to be relevant or not. Whether you will be able to continue doing business in the market. If you are not changing, you will have to shut down and go.”

AVOIDING CLOUD MIGRATION LOGGERHEADS A different type of change program has been underway at Tasmanian sustainable logger Forico, the company that took over timber plantations, forest management and exports from Gunns, which was placed in receivership. Barnaby Heaton, the Senior Project Manager at Intuit Technologies, eased Forico into the cloud when Gunns’ aged systems started to fail. Heaton was working to a report Deloitte wrote identifying key issues for servers and applications and the risks of their failure and transition. “We had a very accurate description of the size and shape of the environment and a pretty good general principle of where they wanted to go,’’ Heaton says. On the plus side, Forico staff were all too familiar with change given its history. “They had it forced upon them and they had a fairly small IT team that had done everything they could do to keep the lights on without changing anything. They were a bit battered and bruised by the end of that,’’ Heaton said. The reason the change worked so well was because Heaton knew Forico’s appetite for risk and involved them every step of the way. “You might be speaking to a systems engineer and they might have three ways to skin a cat. We knew the three options they were going for.” The key was to communicate—even over-communicate—with Forico’s technical resources manager.

“We would have spoken several times a day; we would have formal meetings with her every week, which brought in all the technical resources from the projects going on in parallel,’’ he says. “She informed the project sponsor, the company’s chief financial officer. We had meetings with him fortnightly, which brought in significant partners. Everyone was always aware of what was going on.” The project finished on time, on budget and with no outages. Heaton said it could not have been done without obsessive communication so “nothing would slip through the cracks”.

CHAMPION THE CAUSE Every company goes through change on some level on a regular basis. The problem is some companies manage change better than others. Allan Tranter, Founding Director of Creating Communities, recently worked with a national land development organisation that wanted to encourage its project managers to expand their view to a systems approach so they could gain better and more consistent results across all of their projects. “Management felt that every time there was a new project manager they had to start all over again to educate them as to the benefits of focusing on the key relational and social aspects of their work. What we have done in partnership with them is to develop an approach with investment in relationships with stakeholders and in forming community links... for the whole project,” he says. They developed an internal manual to integrate the appropriate outputs

Ankit Mishra, above, says getting the key decision makers committed is an essential step for change management.

and consequences for each of the eight phases of land development. “Traditionally we look at a project from its elements or a prescribed outcome and almost treat them independently from either the other essential elements of the project or the context in which the project resides. A systems approach recognises that everything is connected.” He says that through strong leadership and excellent internal communication, the approach became part of how the staff went about doing each project as a matter of course. “It was championed by people with insight and there were existing examples of it working within the organisation. As soon as it became mandated, the change in 90 per cent of cases was accepted because they could see the benefit. The internal champion is extraordinarily important.”

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THE AI PM UPDATE FURTHERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT The recognition of project management as a profession was the hot topic at the Hilton Sydney recently, as some 600 project professionals from across the Asia-Pacific region converged for the AIPM’s Inaugural Regional Conference in conjunction with IPMA. The theme was first highlighted in the opening address, which was delivered by the AIPM’s Patron and the Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d). It was continued during a presentation from Steve Wake, the Chairman of the Association for Project Management (UK), which has started the procedural, legal and accounting transition to re-constitute itself as a chartered body during 2017. Delegates at the event were treated to a world-class line-up of keynote speakers, which included IPMA President Reinhard Wagner, The Australian Olympic Committee’s Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller (pictured), Professor Peter Shergold AC and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services and Kathryn Campbell. The 2017 AIPM National Conference will be held in Melbourne next October.

40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS This year, the Australian Institute of Project Management marked its 40th anniversary as the peak industry body for project management in Australia. To mark the anniversary of our first ‘public meeting’ as the Project Management Forum on November 9, 1976, we hosted a number of simultaneous chapter breakfasts around the country where members new and old mixed to talk about how far we have come over our first 40 years and the limitless possibilities for the next 40. The events had AIPM Fellows talking about their memories of the institute over the years, as well as the launch of our Status of the Profession video, and video messages from our CEO, Yvonne Butler, and our Patron, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d). The AIPM would like to thank all of its members, volunteers and friends for their work in helping us achieve this amazing milestone. We look forward to serving our members and our profession into the future.


Some 600 project professionals converged for the AIPM’s Inaugural Regional Conference with IPMA.”

Below: AIPM 40th anniversary celebrations in South Australia.

AIPM CONTACTS BOARD REPORT The past year has been a time of significant change and progress for both the AIPM and the profession of project management. As an institute, we made it our priority in 2016 to take the lead on the road to recognition of project management as a profession in Australia. To help us reach that end, we saw a number of significant new programs and strategies from the AIPM. Early in the year we announced some of the biggest changes to our certification program in many years, as we offered a program of automatic recognition for our CPPP certification. We have also made changes to the administration of the RegPM program to ensure a more streamlined and user-friendly approach.

The AIPM board announced that it had developed a new strategic risk appetite, which will allow the staff to pursue a number of targeted opportunities. There was also the appointment of our Inaugural Patron, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), a new Honorary Fellow, Kathryn Campbell CSC, the development of a national mentoring program and a new national approach to selected chapter events. All in all, it has been a year of growth, development and advancement as we put into action what our members have entrusted us to do. We look forward to sharing an equally fruitful 2017 with you.



Chair Leh Simonelli, FAIPM, CPPD

ACT Chapter President David Roulston, MAIPM, CPPD

Deputy Chair Michael King, MAIPM, CPPD

NSW Chapter President James Bawtree, MAIPM, CPPD

Director David Bryant, MAIPM, CPPD

NT Chapter President Robert Foote, MAIPM, CPPD

Director Nicole Nader, MAIPM, CPPM

Qld Chapter President TBC

Director David McGuire, MAIPM Director Trevor Alex, FAIPM, CPPD Director Mark Patch, MAIPM, CPPD Director Michael Young, FAIPM, CPPD

SA Chapter President TBC Tas Chapter President Rebecca Greenwood, MAIPM, CPPM Vic Chapter President Michael Ratcliffe, FAIPM WA Chapter President Keith Chidley, MAIPM

NATIONAL OFFICE Chief Executive Officer Yvonne Butler (02) 8288 8750 Chief Operating Officer Andrew Madry (02) 8288 8763 Financial Controller Andrew Cooke (02) 8288 8753 Membership Administrator Brianna Edwards (02) 8288 8752

Images: Liam Lim, Sydney Event Photography; iStock

EXPANDED RANGE OF MEMBER BENEFITS The AIPM is pleased to announce an expanded range of lifestyle and financial benefits through our Member Advantage program. We have listened to the feedback provided by our members, and have brought together a new package that contains the types of benefits that are useful for you and your needs, including discounts on restaurants, cinemas, hotels and travel tours. You will be able to access a wide range of benefits and savings on your everyday expenses, providing you with additional value on your AIPM membership. You can take advantage of these benefits repeatedly throughout the year and even share access with your family members. The new package incorporates some exciting new technology features, including the ability to locate the benefits that are close to you wherever you may be. To access your benefits, use your AIPM member number to login to Member Advantage at

National Corporate Partnerships Manager Michael Berdon (02) 8288 8752 National Manager Marketing & Communications Michael Martin (02) 8288 8751 National Manager Professional Advancement David Williams (02) 8288 8700

National Conference & Events Manager Jannene Stephens-Roberts (02) 8288 8760

CHAPTERS ACT Member Relations Officer Narelle Muller 0435 786 856

SA Member Relations Officer Michelle Pearson (08) 8336 1310

NSW Member Relations Officer Robyn Tuladhar 0431 065 212

Tas Member Relations Officer Beverley Jefferson 0414 892 604

NT Member Relations Officer Kate Lee 0410 740 643

Vic Member Relations Officer Olimpia Watkins (03) 9369 2160

Qld Member Relations Officer Gina Meibusch 0448 033 413

WA Member Relations Officer Martine Peasley (08) 9447 5663


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ooking rather flustered, Terrance, the Head Of Retail Sales, knocks on the PMO Manager’s door. “Hi Sally. As you know, I am managing the launch of the new product. My boss says I haven’t covered off risk management that well in my project plan and status reports. He said you are a bit of a guru in this area. What do I need to do to keep him happy?” he says. “No problem Terrance, sit down and let me tell you about a project I completed not long ago,” says Sally. “I didn’t talk about risk. Instead I got everyone to think about what might go wrong, what could stop us launching. I also asked them if we had missed anything, and if there were any opportunities— positive risks—we could exploit. We then considered the triggers and what the impact might be.” “Terrance, you are great at facilitating groups and influencing people. For risk, the key is ownership and doing something. How do you think you can get someone to take ownership of risk and then actually do something about it?” It starts to dawn on Terrance that he doesn’t have to do this alone. “I will email you a link to the risk log and the guide document,” says Sally. “It’s pretty straightforward. I also have the Australian Risk Management Standard if you want to borrow it. Remember, managing risk is well worth the effort— you do it to ensure success, not just to keep the boss happy. Even when I go rock climbing on the weekend, I don’t manage issues, I manage risk.”


Illustration: Andrew Joyner

RISE TO THE CHALLENGE In this scenario, both Terrance and Sally are similar ages. They both have tertiary degrees, many years working in their company and are similar in seniority. Neither Terrance nor Sally has formally studied project management, but Sally is recognised by her colleagues for her risk-management skills. She takes an interest in project management (an AIPM member, of course), is well read and has some battle scars. She has learnt the hard way how important risk management is, and is often surprised people don’t take it more seriously. When some people see the word education, they think of schooling, degrees and certificates. But

it’s also about learning through experience and the sharing of other people’s experience—a key part of risk management. Through formal processes such as ‘lessons learned’ workshops and mentoring programs, to informal check-in discussions, education is about sharing knowledge. It requires someone willing to share and someone willing to listen.

GET BACK IN THE HARNESS A key aspect of risk management is that it is a proactive endeavour and well worth the effort, so a change of attitude is sometimes the first step. Skills imply competency—the things a person can do well. In the context of risk, skills might include the ability to facilitate discussion, empathy, influencing people to take ownership and investigative, analytical and communication skills. Skill development, particularly soft skills, takes time and practice. In project management, the key is to identify and tap into skills and experience people already have, particularly those of the project team. Training, however, is used broadly in project management. We tend to use a combination of ‘hear’, ‘see’ and ‘do’ training so it combines some education and skill development too. Training in project management tends to be focused on the how tos. In the context of risk, that’s probably more about the risk log—such as how to use it, the meaning behind the field content and reporting standards. For most people, this is the most straightforward aspect.

DON’T MISS THE STEPPING STONES Education, skills and training are an ongoing reality for PMOs. People join the business and need to know how to do things the company’s way. People who already know the basics want to improve their skills and knowledge. Young people need to tap into the experience of older people, those with the scars, as well as to learn from their mistakes. Let’s face it, anyone who is any good at project management has learnt from the mistakes made by themselves or others. Many of those would jump at the opportunity to share experience and that’s why mentoring works so well.

Martin Vaughan (AIPM CPPD) is the Managing Director of Core Consulting Group (www. au), a Melbourne-based consulting business specialising in building project, program and portfolio management capability.

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Many organisations have spent the past few years building their policies, management frameworks and processes. Despite this, very many projects fail to meet their schedule and/or budget. That gives rise to the question: why are we still failing? A conclusion from the national conference in October was that we must focus on building capability within our teams. While we might have the processes, organisations have failed to shift the culture of project management to enable successful delivery. In the project journey, leadership and culture must be intertwined to ensure we have successful outcomes. The leadership must set the standard with clear engagement at all levels. There must be clear collaboration across stakeholders with full engagement to ensure they are satisfied. The leadership should articulate a vision for success, have emotional intelligence when working with the team and ensure the team understands and adheres to the right behaviours. In these busy times, the project leader also needs to manage up and drive the right behaviours and levels of engagement with senior management. The processes and procedures are only there to support the delivery of projects and unless we get the culture right we may continue to flounder in a pit of failure with only the depth varying. Now is the time to focus on the softer skills of project-management training.

A big lesson for organisations is that the most effective on-the-job learning happens when it’s consciously part of the project plan. That means establishing formal processes for activities such as mentoring and learner support at the outset and tracking that through the project lifecycle. And while classroom learning is valuable, some 90

per cent of professional development comes from doing, so it’s essential to structure learning pathways in the workplace. Learners are also exposed to new ideas through our chapter’s regular events such as the very popular site visits where they go behind the scenes of exciting projects they would otherwise never experience. They also give PMs a valuable life lesson in the need to ask questions. That’s because in our day-to-day professional existence there may be times when we’re overwhelmed, intimidated by a personality or just expect knowledge to be handed to us. But we must learn to speak up and ask—politely but firmly— for the information we need to do our jobs. It’s our responsibility as PMs to gather information and that often means tact. And so we ask you to tell us what you want to see at next year’s conference in Melbourne. If you want to deliver a paper, hear someone speak or participate in a topic area, reach out to us now with your ideas.



We PMs must more often look beyond tools and methods to consider humanistic complexities of project leadership, so I was delighted at the speaker line-up of this year’s AIPM conference in Sydney. The thoughtprovoking sessions inspired us to redouble our efforts to host a future conference with a focus on emerging critical topics for PMs such as communication and culture. The inspiring conference session on how Re-Engineering Australia is engaging with high-school girls learning STEM leads me to think we must get the letter ‘P’ in there with ‘science, technology, engineering and maths’ to reflect its project focus and galvanise the next generation of professionals. The speakers’ observations that we can’t wait until the HSC but must capture students’ hearts and minds in middle-school resonated with plans to restart our chapter’s charities, education, and Young and Emerging Project Professionals (YEPP) volunteering outreach portfolio. Our own schools’ program will kick off in the New Year.

The regional conference Sydney recently hosted was significant for its demonstration of the increasing maturity of the projectmanagement profession and how industry is valuing its relevance to their endeavours. Project management is moving from the technical and linear time-cost-scope dimensions to a more people-centric model that helps organisations achieve their strategic objectives. We saw that in the spectrum of presentations, which answered humanistic questions much more than previous conferences. And in the 550 or so people who attended the PMAAs, we saw how our project message is resonating with the broader community, industry and government. But we need to keep pushing the message that professional project managers provide sustainable solutions because clients going to market don’t understand the huge variance in cost and capability. Our unique skill set as certified PMs enables our organisations and clients to adapt to changing circumstances in a controlled way, which is key to success.

We must focus on building capability within our teams... to enable successful delivery.” 54 AIPM.COM.AU

As AIPM members, we learn from and support each other, and volunteers are critical to our success, so it’s with pleasure that we recently celebrated this collegiate spirit at our International Project Management Day celebration in Hobart. We are delighted to admit as Fellows for their exceptional contributions to project

management our immediate past-president and serving AIPM Deputy Board Chair Mike King, and Bridget Nichols, who for years until her October retirement ran our events program that benefited so many members. Mike contributes to projects that daily improve the lives of many Tasmanians, including work realigning the highway ramps to the Tasman Bridge (pictured)—the highest-volume road section in the state, carrying more than 72,000 vehicles on a weekday. Mike is also working on the new link road required for the runway extension at Hobart Airport for more international flights.

We also acknowledge retiring councillors Kathy Kuryl, FAIPM and Lyndon Black, MAIPM, CPPM. Lyndon was Project Management Achievement Awards (PMAA) Chief Judge, and Kathy played a leading role in developing the Tasmanian Government’s Project Management Framework. She has also mentored many PMs. Each year we identify a worthy projectmanagement student and award them an annual AIPM membership. This year’s winner is Han Wei Lee, who graduated with a Diploma of Project Management and works for Ambulance Tasmania.




As incoming Chapter President, I’m endeavouring to continue the great work done by my predecessor, Mark Dodt, to grow the chapter. We’re increasing our relevance and accessibility by allying with professional organisations such as Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Management so we don’t compete for our members’ scarce time and attention. We run joint events with other professional groups, speak at their forums and invite them to ours. The strategy is working with our numbers steadily rising; a fair feat considering the commodities downturn. Over the next year, our chapter council will be more active and we’ll prioritise our young and emerging project professionals who are critical to our success. We’ll also do more to promote those excellent Territory projects, such as the unique Alcoota fossil beds visitors’ centre profiled in this issue. Our members have learned a lot about cross-cultural communication by working with and in Indigenous communities that we can share with the world in best practices.

As I prepare to step into a new role as an AIPM National Director, I leave behind a chapter on a high from winning the PMAA National Project of the Year three years running. It’s largely due to the hands-on work of our volunteers who go into prospective project organisations to answer questions about the process and encourage their support. While the state project downturn affects fortunes, necessity is the mother of invention and has persuaded our members to think smart about their marketing as they hustle for work. This is something I also see in PMs who are new Australians that join our institute for the unique networking, mentoring and professional development we provide. Looking to the future, I’m especially pleased with our chapter council approach to gender parity while also attracting more up-andcoming PMs to our cause, with five councillors under 35 years of age. Our state leadership is healthier than ever, thanks in big part to the work of people such as Lachlan Waite, CPPD, who restarted our YEPP program.

As commodities prices fall and manufacturing loses steam, our national prosperity lies in being smart. And although SA faces particular challenges, these are emblematic of broader issues for the nation. The good news is PMs can arrest this decline, even if it means we must look outside our sector for opportunities. Fortunately, our skills are transferrable if we open up to possibilities. Australian project management must sharpen up and its practitioners get better at promoting themselves. The next generation of PMs is key to this vision. And what those coming up through the ranks must learn is project management is an applied profession— you can’t learn all you must know from a book. I tell my university students they must be good at stakeholder management and tap the wisdom in our chapter to help them succeed. Engaging with emerging PMs will be a major chapter focus in 2017 as we kickstart initiatives to set them on the path of professionalism and reinvigorate our ranks in this state.


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he installation of bus priority lanes, car park upgrades and improvements to transportnetwork resilience are just some of the projects Keith Chidley, MAIPM, has recently led in his role with the Public Transport Authority. He also contributes to the ongoing strategy and activities of the AIPM in Western Australia as Chapter President. The thing that drives him in his work is seeing people enjoy their jobs and helping them to improve. By focusing on people and teams, entire organisational capability also gets a boost, he says, allowing the delivery of better-quality projects and more projects on time and on budget.


What is organisational capability? It’s about taking a team of people, both internal staff and external contractors, and bringing them all on the same journey so they understand where you need to get to in order to meet organisational objectives. It’s also about building a cohesive team, where you’ve got people of different capabilities learning from each other and being willing to openly share knowledge—both successes and, more importantly, failures. Why focus on it? It’s very hard to grow an organisation without it, because what you’ve then got is people working in isolation and they are not following standard methodologies. Projects aren’t simple. They often tend to go down the wrong path towards failure. It’s important to have trust within the team, at peer level and management level, so that if things aren’t going well, people can stand up and say they need help.

TIPS FOR BUILDING BETTER TEAMS Encourage open and frank conversation. Give people the opportunity to undertake training. Find time for yourself and step out of the day-to-day so you can sit back and strategise. Think about what doesn’t work then get a team around you and talk about it—you don’t have to come up with the answer alone. Allow workers to act in more senior management roles when managers take leave.


How have you built organisational capability in your current role? When I moved into the branch there was very limited combined reporting at different levels— it was just at the project level. There was a strong focus on project delivery and very detailed monthly reports. Given there are 70 projects on the go at any one time, there was this huge file that no one ever read. All of the project managers were independent of each other so there was no team atmosphere and no collaboration. A lot of the backbone behind the changes is fortnightly stand-up meetings. All of the project managers present their own projects and performance on visual boards, with a focus on the areas of concern and the actions required. When we set down our concerns and actions, we hold each other to account for achieving those actions. We do that not as managers, we all do it. We take the expertise of the group and ask challenging questions, but it’s all done in a positive light. We have very rapidly built up the capability of the staff and contractors to a consistent level. It also helps me understand the projects out there and the challenges and budget implications. What changes have you seen as a result? There is now a real team environment. It wasn’t really a nice area to walk into before but now there’s almost a buzz. People know each other and they socialise. We all went on a cultural Indigenous tour and learnt about Aboriginal heritage together. Doing things outside of the norm for project managers has helped to bring us together. Staff engagement is better and it has built capability in networking and core management and leadership skills.




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ATTAIN A RECOGNISED COURSE ECU’s Master of Project Management course is endorsed by the AIPM and all graduates can apply for associate membership with the institute. This recognition, combined with the real-world skills ECU’s course provides, means graduates have all the tools to take their careers to the next level.

EXPERIENCE PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES Students and graduates have access to numerous opportunities for professional networking through events and meetings run by the university. “Professional networking is one of the most important things that a project manager can do because it’s needed for both finding employment and helping out during projects,” Hughes says.

LEARN IN A FLEXIBLE WAY ECU’s course is put together in a way that makes it relevant and flexible. “The course has been challenging but enjoyable, and is structured so that it is relevant to both aspiring and experienced project managers,” says Hughes. “Most of the materials are online, and this makes studying much more flexible than when I was an undergraduate in the UK.” 60 AIPM.COM.AU

Richard Fulford, Course Coordinator, says: “Because it is offered within ECU’S School of Business and Law, the course has a strong business focus, so it is highly relevant to any industry.”

INDUSTRY-FOCUSSED COURSES ECU’s postgraduate courses have been designed by industry professionals to bridge the gap between the theory and the skills graduates will need to succeed in the real world. Part-time study options, online courses and 24-hour computer labs also allow students to fit their studies around work and family commitments. Postgraduate students learn from experienced researchers and teachers who have extensive real-world experience in their field. ECU has a long history of working closely with the industry, business and government on collaborative teaching and research projects. Postgraduate study at ECU offers students the freedom to pursue their goals, whatever their aspirations and interests may be. Whether that’s expanding qualifications, branching into a new area or just keeping up with industry trends and standards, postgraduate study at ECU can lead to a brighter professional future. For more information on ECU’s postgraduate business course offerings and to apply visit business.

PRINCE2® and MSP® are registered trademarks of AXELOS Limited

After spending more than a decade in the project management industry in the UK, Richard Hughes decided postgraduate study was the obvious next step in his career. “ECU won hands down because the course is modern and relevant, the fees are competitive, the quality of teaching is exceptional, and the links with industry are evident and provable,” he says. “There are plenty of opportunities in the course to make contact with colleagues within the profession, particularly through the AIPM.”

CQUNIVERSITY AUSTRALIA 13 27 86 At CQUniversity Australia we pride ourselves on providing accessible, flexible education at world-class standards. By choosing CQUniversity you’ll join a socially innovative, engaged and awardwinning institution ranked in the top two per cent of universities worldwide, assuring you of a world-class education unlike any other university can provide. We’re Australia’s first official changemaker campus (Ashoka U), and renowned for our strengths in teaching, research, internationalisation, inclusiveness, and online/distance education. In fact, we’re a pioneer in distance education, with more than 25 years’ experience in delivering accessible, high quality learning experiences using the latest techniques in online learning.

VERSATILE QUALIFICATIONS CQUniversity’s suite of project management courses have a focus on providing well-rounded skills that are applicable in a wide array of industries. Our industry-accredited courses are designed to be relevant across a variety of sectors including business, engineering, health and information technology.

REAL WORLD APPLICATION Our courses are designed alongside industry to prepare you with up-to-date, real-world knowledge and skills. With case studies and practical material embedded in our courses, CQUniversity provides you with hands-on opportunities to experience how concepts of project management meet industry demands. Our Master of Project Management also offers a range of elective courses providing the opportunity to further your education and career in other areas such as management.

services, flexibility and a reputation as one of Australia’s most engaged and inclusive universities. We’re also Australia’s largest regional university with more than 20 locations across the nation (including major cities), known for our world-class education offering and as a leader in distance education. With on campus and distance study options available part time or full time, you can tailor your project management course to suit your lifestyle.

A WEALTH OF CHOICE Whether you’re looking to start your career, move up, make a career change or obtain specialist skills within your industry, CQUniversity has the project management course to suit your needs. With seamless pathways from TAFE to postgraduate qualifications you can choose to move from vocational to tertiary study and vice versa in line with your education and career goals. Our project management study options include: BSB41515 – Certificate IV in Project Management Practice BSB51415 – Diploma of Project Management CC33 - Graduate Certificate in Project Management CV81 – Graduate Diploma of Project Management CV84 – Master of Project Management

FLEXIBILITY At CQUniversity we excel at making study all about you with outstanding support

For more information or to apply, visit project MANAGER 61


SCOPE TRAINING T: (08) 9321 6307 W:

ABOUT US Scope Training is a multi-award winning Western Australian based private registered training organisation who delivers highquality, industry-relevant accredited and non-accredited training in project management, work health safety, training and assessment, leadership, management and business operations in Australia and overseas. Working in close collaboration with corporate clients in mining, construction and the public sector, Scope Training ensures its training is delivered by industry professionals that are subject matter experts with demonstrated ability to pass on their skills, knowledge and experience. Scope Training prides itself on being creative and innovative, with an eye on introducing new methods to continually improve the training it provides. Its flexible training delivery methods include faceto-face workshops and online learning for easier integration into work schedules. It prides itself on facilitating innovative, engaging and practically relevant training. “Our competitive edge is achieved through providing current, relevant and practical training which is heavily customised to each learner,” says Jessica Pitt, Scope Training’s CEO. Scope Training’s project management courses at Certificate IV and Diploma level have been endorsed after undergoing a rigorous process as part of the Australian Institute of Project Management’s Endorsed Courses program.

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS Scope Training won the WA Small Training Provider of the Year 2016 award at the WA Training Awards – the second year in a row that Scope Training has won this prestigious award category. In 2015, Scope went on to represent the state of Western Australia as a National Finalist in the Australian Training Awards. 62 AIPM.COM.AU

The WA Training Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees and vocational students, and the contribution to training made by trainers, training organisations and employers. Now in their 22nd year, the awards continue to put our state’s top achievers in the spotlight. “Our organisation has always strived for excellence. To be recognised and win the WA Small Training Provider 2016 award once again in the WA Training Awards following our achievements in 2015 has been an incredible and very humbling experience,” says Scope’s General Manager Jason Yap. “We don’t take things for granted and as a team, we continually seek to improve by listening to our clients and implement innovative teaching strategies to make learning outcomes a real return on investment.” Scope Training’s dedication for excellence was recognised as a finalist in the 2013, 2015 and 2015 WA Telstra Business Awards and was awarded the prestigious Gold Award for customer service excellence in the 2015 Australian Business Quality Awards for achieving a score of 90 per cent or higher in customer satisfaction ratings. Supporting our community and future generations Scope Training has developed long-term professional relationships with industry membership associations such as the Australian Institute of Project Management

BOND UNIVERSITY Gold Coast, Queensland W: Your future depends on what you do right now. Build a bigger future with a Master of Project Management at Australia’s number one University for Educational Experience,* Bond University.

INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION Our Master of Project Management is internationally recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Project Management Institute, and endorsed by the Australian Institute of Project Management.

INDUSTRY RELEVANCE The Master of Project Management provides a comprehensive businessready foundation built around four study themes (strategy, sustainability, managing complex problems and teams, and virtual teams and global working) that will position graduates for career progression in all industries and sectors. The degree has been created in close consultation with key industry partners to ensure the integrity and relevance of the programs.

* Student experience category by Good Universities Guide

INTENSIVE MODE DELIVERY Our intensive mode delivery means you can complete the qualification with minimal impact on your professional and personal lifestyle. Each subject is delivered over two weekends during the semester, which means you could be ready to graduate in just four semesters.

PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO Parallel to the Master of Project Management program, our 92-week Master of Project Management (Professional) offering provides the opportunity to undertake a 20-week Professional Portfolio subject, ensuring demonstrated skill development for career progression.

DOUBLE MASTER’S DEGREE OPTIONS Our Master of Project Management can be combined with nine postgraduate

degrees including a Master of Business Administration, Master of Architecture and Master of Construction Practice.

WHY BOND? Bond University offers a very different experience to all other Australian universities. Our small classes and personalised mentoring approach to teaching ensures that every student receives individual attention and feels part of a closeknit cohort, rather than getting lost in the crowd. Our students form strong relationships with our academics who have taught and consulted in industry all over the world and bring that international perspective to the classroom. The contacts and networks our students make here at Bond, coupled with our focus on graduate outcomes, sets them up to establish a career anywhere in the world. For us, it is all about assisting our students to fulfill their potential and ensuring that they have every opportunity after graduation. The 2017 Good Universities Guide recently named Bond University as Australia’s number one university for overall student experience for the 11th consecutive year. We are proud to consistently rate among the best universities in the world for student satisfaction, teaching quality and skills development. Start building your bigger future in September, January or May semesters. To learn more, visit project MANAGER 63

 EDUCATION ADVERTORIAL Tanner James times learning to match the lifecycle of a program or project. Managers learn about initiation when they are about to undertake it, they learn about stage boundaries when they are about to encounter one and they learn about project closure near the end of the project. Tanner James offers its MSP® and PRINCE2® learning in modules, comprising a day or less.

TANNER JAMES 11 London Circuit, Canberra City ACT 2601 T: 1300 774 623 W: Are you looking for a better way to learn MSP® and PRINCE2®? Tanner James offers a new range of learning services specifically designed to overcome the challenges faced by government programs and projects. Some of the challenges reported by clients of government programs and projects include: Not having the time to be out of the workplace for more than one day. Learning needs to be relevant to a person’s program or project. Anxiety regarding exams being part of the course. Dealing with learning required for senior executives. Tanner James listened carefully and now offers learning services designed to help overcome these challenges.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND A WEEK IN A CLASSROOM People often don’t have capacity to attend classroom training that takes them out of the workplace for days at a time. After a mainstream course such as a PRINCE2® Foundation/Practitioner, most participants find that not all the knowledge acquired is put to immediate use. 64 AIPM.COM.AU

Having a qualification is one thing, but developing the knowledge and experience to competently perform a role is another. Learning must be relevant and practical. Tanner James doesn’t use case studies based on a fictional scenario; instead it uses the actual programs or projects on which participants are working. The exercises undertaken are not simply ‘practice sessions’, rather they are the actual management activities that need to be performed.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE PRESSURE OF EXAMS Exams can be taken separately from the course itself and only once you feel ready. During a course you can take a practice exam, then self-study after the course and sit the real exam on a Tanner James exam day (held at least monthly). Also on offer is a Diploma of Project Management or Certificate IV in Project Management using PRINCE2®—which has no requirement to take an exam at all.

TANNER JAMES CAN HELP GET YOUR SENIOR EXECUTIVES ONSIDE Senior executives in government programs and projects are typically time poor with multiple competing priorities and issues to deal with. They only engage if they see a need to do so. Tanner James delivers to executives in a way that is specific to their role in a program or project, and in a time, place and manner that suits them. To find out more about Tanner James’ range of learning services, call 1300 774 623 or email

PRINCE2® and MSP® are registered trademarks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.


Quality. History. Excellence. Transcend the competition and embrace excellence with a Project Management course from UNE Partnerships. Rely on our 30 years of experience delivering nationally accredited and recognised training in Australia and overseas.

To find out more, visit BSB41515 Certificate IV in Project Management Practice BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management

Project Manager December 2016  

The magazine for the Australian Institute of Project Management

Project Manager December 2016  

The magazine for the Australian Institute of Project Management