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Why Consider A Project Management Education? Interview with Dr. Emad Rahim


The Co-operative Group Headquarters, Manchester Highest-ever BREEAM (2008) score for a new build

One Pancra King’s Cross Highest-ever BR post completion sc

expert in

sustainable development, design, con 2

cras Square oss, London BREEAM (2011) n score for an office

Somerstown Community Hub, Portsmouth designed and built by BAM with low embodied carbon

nstruction and facilities management




16 - 17

Refurbishment Project Lanchester Library, Coventry University

CONTE N TS 24 - 27 City Development

30 - 32 8-9 Why Leadership Is Important


Managing Projects across Borders

18 - 19 33 - 35 Interview with Dr Emad Rahim



Moment with Steve Compton

20 - 21

36 - 37 Health

Project management careers

38 - 39 13 Journal® Paper of the Year Award

Women in Project management 25-Year master plan for Curzon street and Birmingham City Centre

40 - 42 Entertainment

14 - 15 The King’s Son Fashion Trend



EDITOR’S NOTE Project Eye magazine

SADIQ GUMI IBRAHIM Editorial Manager

CHAN BENG HONG Finance Manager


JENNIFER ODOK Marketing Manager

Production Manager

CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Emad Rahim Mark Slattery - BAM Construction Lindsay Scott Carole Osterweil Steve Compton Tochukwu Okorie Philip Brabban Teri Okoro John McGoldrick Agamot Singh Nick Jerome Chan Kun Chong Ansalem Duru Robert Shoulder Kazi Rahman - Photographer

I am delighted to introduce the Project Eye Magazine, the first magazine from the publisher in the area of Project Management. Project Eye provides a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the advancements of the fast growing field of study and get published in a magazine that has excellent reach and expectations of a significant impact. Project Eye aims to be the leading professional magazine for project management. It will provide the primary forum for advancement of project management. Based on the feedback from the field and the obvious excitement around, the magazine is taking steps towards this goal already before its inaugural issue. The magazine will include up-to-date, high-quality, and original contributions – professional discussions, careers, social, health, interviews and entertaining as well as book and conference reviews - dealing with questions on how, why and when projects may succeed, fail and change the environment, and what can be done to influence the outcome. Project Eye is served by a very competent editorial board along with a network of scholars from all around the world and different disciplines helping to secure high-quality, originality and utility of the contributions thereby impacting on the work published in the magazine. Best wishes and thank you in advance for your contribution to the Project Eye Magazine.

Editor in Chief/Project Manager IWEKUMO STEVYN AKOSUBO

Priscilla Ephraim Powede Eniola Lawrence Mai Atafo Designed by: Dominion Design and Publishing 5

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Refurbishment Project Lanchester Library, Coventry University “Building work will start on 1st June and will be completed by 18th September 2015. To allow for the extensive works to be carried out, all books, furniture and other material will be removed from floor 1 and 2 and be placed in storage during this period.�

Why is the library being refurbished? The aim of the project is to ensure the continued provision of a high quality study environment for our users. The Lanchester Library is now 15 years old and, as one of the busiest buildings on campus, is now in need of refurbishment. In addition to general dĂŠcor and furniture improvements, some of the other crucial areas of our building, such as the toilets, lift, stairwell, and ventilation system, are also now in need of overhaul and renovation. With increased student numbers and footfall in the Library, there is increased demand for study spaces, particularly at peak times. The Library needs to extend the number of spaces available whilst ensuring an appropriate environment for academic study is maintained. What work is being done? The whole of Floors 1 and 2 of the Library are being completely refurbished. This will include new carpets, re-decoration, new furniture and new shelving. Electronic compact


shelving will be introduced for some parts of the collection and additional student study spaces will be created. Toilets on Floors 1, 2, and 3 will be refurbished as well as the lift. The ventilation system will also be improved. Shelving will also be introduced on the Ground Floor. When will it happen? Building work will start on 1st June and will be completed by 18th September 2015. To allow for the extensive works to be carried out, all books, furniture and other material will be removed from floor 1 and 2 and be placed in storage during this period. In order to minimise any disruption to our users over the summer, we have put in place a number of temporary services to allow continued use of the library resources and services. What about the impact on me? While this project will have a short-term impact, the significant benefits that the refurbishment will bring will enhance our student experience from September and into the future.

Our extensive collection of e-resources, 130,000 ebooks and over 40,000 ejournals, will all still be available. In addition, we will be providing an alternative service through on-loan recalls, document supply and purchase where necessary, as well as raising loan limits and extending holiday borrowing across the whole summer. We are doing everything we can to ensure that Floor 3 and parts of the Ground Floor remain open in spite of the huge works programme, and there are alternative study spaces available throughout the campus. There is a huge amount to do in the next few months to ensure that we continue to have an appropriately modern University Library, able to meet the needs of all its customers. Inevitably, with works of this scale, there will be some inconvenience for everyone who uses the Library, including students, academic staff, and library staff. Your patience is very much appreciated over this time.


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DMLL (FLOOR 3) • Project: Disruptive Media Learning Lab • Location: Coventry • Client: Coventry University • Value: £0.75million The project transforms the third floor of the Lanchester Library into a physical space for the Centre for Disruptive Media. The team behind the Centre define Disruptive Media as a ‘term we have adapted from business where a disruptive media technology is one that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network’. The DMLL is a base for this cross-university unit with a variety of experimental learning, meeting and work spaces to promote collaboration between academics, librarians, developers and researchers. Vibrant graphics and a mix of curved and rectilinear forms challenge user’s preconceptions of a traditional learning environment, including a ‘grassy’ amphitheatre and a contoured timber ‘hill’. Social and work space is integrated into the overall volume, with the DMLL being a popular space for academics and students. The scheme worked with the library’s natural ventilation and daylighting strategy to create the DMLL without radically changing the building’s M&E systems. Contractor Greswolde undertook the refurbishment works during the summer break.

©Copyright Coventry University. All rights resevered


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Why Leadership Is Important “The only really surefire way of ensuring that this happens is to equip our managers with leadership skills, so that they can clearly articulate a vision and goals, and motivate, influence and coach their people to change their approach and their behaviours.�


he Change Management guru John Kotter has found that nearly 70% of large-scale change programmes do not achieve their objectives. The time, money and human resources put into implementing change is often wasted. And yet the planning is often meticulous. Consultants and Project Managers are engaged to ensure that all the processes are fully covered, that Gantt charts are robust and that sufficient time and planning are built in to the change. What usually goes wrong is that for all the planning and investment, organisations can forget that for change to happen, individual people have to change the way they think, their beliefs and importantly their behaviours. And yet human beings are not machines.


You cannot programme us and expect that we will somehow automatically do things differently or change our behaviours. We need to be inspired to change. We need to be influenced. We need to see why it is important and how it impacts on our life and our contribution to an organization. In short, we need to find meaning in our work. The only really surefire way of ensuring that this happens is to equip our managers with leadership skills, so that they can clearly articulate a vision and goals, and motivate, influence and coach their people to change their approach and their behaviours. And as a Project Manager, even early in your career, these leadership skills are critical too. A leader is not just the person at the top, but can be anyone who has responsibil-


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ity for a process, who depends on others to get things done, regardless of their relative hierarchical position. To be a good leader, we need to have Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman describes this as comprising four key dimensions – being self-aware, being able to manage our emotional responses and behaviours, being aware of what is going on for others, and being able to manage relationships. These elements do not work in isolation, and depend on each other. It follows that the first useful thing a leader can do is to reflect on their own leadership styles, to understand really how they lead, and what their approach to leadership is. Kent University has developed a useful free diagnostic tool to help you to identify the styles you use. They talk of 5 Leadership Styles. The Authoritarian Leader is autocratic and leads through power, having a high degree of control over others. They get things done, but at what cost? If you are leading a project, can you just tell people what to do and expect it to be done? The reality is that people will feel disempowered and unengaged in the process of change, and will potentially burn out or leave. The Procedural Leader leads by the book, follows processes and ensures the right things are done. This is helpful in that they tend to cover all the ground fully and are very detail focused, but are they inspiring? Will people rally behind their vision and be engaged? Some may, but many won’t, as they won’t see how the change will impact on them. The Transformational Leader is very different. They lead through selling a vision, by inspiring a better view of the future. People might feel very engaged by them, and will be inspired to change their behaviours, to go the extra mile. The Transformational Leader may be a little short on detail focus, but they have the right people around them to make sure that all bases are covered. The Participative Leader is democratic in approach. They are great listeners and make sure that all contributions are heard. This was sadly lacking at Nokia, where difficult messages about the future of the mobile industry weren’t heard, condemning the company to lose their market leading position. The Laissez-Faire leader trusts their team. They are great at delegating, and provide coaching support along the way, but do not intervene fully. This is great when your team is skilled, experienced and equipped to do the job, and feeling entrusted with a job can

feel empowering and motivating. The truth is that there is no one good style of leadership. Each has its own place, and its strengths and weaknesses. Study after study show that the very best leaders are very adept at moving from one style to another, depending on the situation and the individuals and teams they are working with. This is a sign of evolved Emotional Intelligence – shifting your approach according to other people’s needs in order to manage the relationship effectively.

cannot begin too soon in your career.

Further Reading: The New Leaders – Daniel Goleman et al, Little Brown 2002 How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Garnegie, Random House 1936 The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, Jossey-Bass 2010

Kouzes and Pozner talk about 5 essential leadership behaviours, based on years of research and observation: Challenge the process, Inspire a shared vision, Enable others to act, Model the way, Encourage the heart. Reflect on how you manage projects. Are these things that you do? Are there any of these behaviours that you could usefully deveop? In order to hit the ground running as effective Project Managers, it is therefore important that you focus some of your attention on how you lead, as well as your technical skills. After all, as long ago as 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote ‘ the person who has technical knowledge plus the ability to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people – that person is headed for higher earning power’. If it was true in 1936, it is even more true today. In our complex, changing and uncertain world, it is leaders, with a strong moral compass and an ability to inspire, who will drive success. And building your leadership capabilities

Nick Jerome Nick Jerome is an experienced Leadership Development facilitator and coach. He works with a range of organisations and individuals across the world to help them develop their leadership skills. Nick can be contacted at


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USING TOP SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS IN THE JOB HUNTING PROCESS Social media has taken a drastic turn over the last decade with new forms appearing regularly claiming to offer a unique service. With a range of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc and a lot more springing up daily including LinkedIn, Pin interest, Instagram, Blogger, etc; these social media platforms allow users communicate electronically via sending messages, upload-

ing pictures, arranging an event, making comments or promoting a company. Cambridge Dictionary defines Social media as “websites and computer programs that allow people to communicate and share information on the internet using a computer or mobile phone”. With the use of social media, it is very easy to find out vast amounts of information about Companies and people and get news directly to your phone. A wide range of people and Companies check their Social media platforms frequently for updates, so it is important to get a right balance of a realistic yet professional profile. Read along to find out the top social media platforms and how best to use them in your job search.

FACEBOOK This is the most popular social media platform founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. As of the first quarter of 2015, Facebook had about 1.44 billion monthly active users. Facebook allows users to accept other users


as “Friends”, share statuses, upload and share pictures and create a page for event purposes. Fill out your profile with your professional history If you want to make yourself known to the 65% of recruiters who troll for job candidates on Facebook, take a few minutes to add your credentials through the work and experience screen list. You can even cut and paste a shorter version from your LinkedIn profile. Classify your friends This would probably be a labor intensive task but is definitely worth it. Go to your list of friends and hover your cursor over the “Friends” rectangle next to a professional contact’s name. You’ll see a roster of lists, including the option to create a “new list.” Create one called “Professional” or “Work” and then find all of your friends who you would consider professional contacts, and add them to that list.


This way, you can target your work-related status updates. Post content and respond to other people’s postings Post pictures on accomplishments, related news in the world of job search and links to media interviews. If a prospective employer posts pictures relating to his personal life to his professional community, he’s doing the virtual equivalent of personally checking in with people. Pay attention to your professional friends’ postings. “Like” their posts and make insightful comments. “People want to help people they like and they want to help people who help them,” says Finnegan. “When it comes to job seekers, you want to reciprocate by offering them a job”.


This is another popular professional networking social media platform with about 200 million users as at June 2015.It was founded in December 2002. LinkedIn allows users to “connect” with one another, search for jobs, follow companies, broaden network and showcase your own skills and experiences. You can be endorsed or recommended by colleagues or other users to promote your skills and experience. You can also find out about jobs in your

industry and network with others via group discussions, or even set up your own group. Create a relevant LinkedIn profile by demonstrating not only what you’ve accomplished, but where your strengths are and what you can offer future employers. LinkedIn is a job-seeker’s best friend because it allows you see who your friends know, where people have been, what they’re interested in, what people are talking about and who’s gone from Company A to Company


Twitter was founded in 2006 and had about 255 million users as at March 2014. This social networking service enables users send and read short 140 character messages called “Tweets”. Use google search or official twitter lists to search for a Company’s Twitter profile. Follow people within your industry by partaking in hashtag conversations which can help get you noticed. Apply expertise by tweeting your opinions with courage and conviction. Ensure you set up daily job alerts from an email alert system like Twilert. Use hashtags(#) to follow certain trends as well as upload videos, create list and share other people’s statuses.

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TOP TIPS • First Impressions: Keep your profile simple and friendly. Use your privacy settings; you don’t need to show everyone everything. • Recommendations/Endorsements: LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to get recommendations from colleagues, peers and friends that have worked with you or can vouch for your skills and capabilities. So get asking and offer to write one in return. • Online Friends: Try as much as possible to connect with a reasonable number of professionals in your field, relevant companies on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,etc as this is a tool to show potential employers that you are interested in the industry and have taken the initiative to connect with those already in it. This way, you can be abreast of what is happening in your industry on a regular basis; a great benefit to have when preparing for interviews. • Avoid commenting on or linking to anything that can be seen as negative, controversial, sensitive, politically incorrect and/or could cause offence to others. • It should be noted that whatsoever is put up on Social media is seen by everyone, so be careful. Don’t even say negative things about your previous workplace and colleagues. • Watch you spelling, grammar and punctuations. An employer doesn’t want to see someone with consistently bad grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. It gives the impression that you don’t care and have no attention to detail. Like most things, when it comes to social media, it is important to know the limits and treat it in a professional manner. Your online persona can be as influential as yourself in person when it comes to an employer deciding how suitable you are for a job role. Don’t get caught out and always think about how you act on these platforms. There are many advantages which can be achieved by using social media effectively. Challenge yourself today and make the most out of these platforms!

By Odok Jennifer Osang, Engineering Project Management Student-Jan 2015


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ject management professionals don’t have a clear development plan or aspirations! In an attempt to design a more meaningful career for yourself, Lindsay provided several practical approaches: 1. Form hypothesis (what makes you happy? What make you frustrated?) 2. Run experiments in your own job (if you’re getting bored – try something else!) 3. Think long-term (what life do you want?) 4. Sort out finances (give yourself a 6-month cushion for starting contracting) Lindsay also talked on thinking about your working relationships (‘or playing politics in a positive way’), in particular: • Social astuteness • Interpersonal influence • Networking ability (internal networking others, boss, project team, etc), and • Sincerity

Project management careers 7 ways to make yours better Assuming entrepreneurial characteristics will help to build your entrepreneurial profile: • Don’t be scared to fail • Be able to spot an opportunity • Be in the right place to do it Lindsay suggested that you decide whether you’re happy with ‘Paternalism’ (the company becomes your career caretaker) or if you’d take an ‘Intentional’ career path - you own your career! One way of taking ownership is by following the APM competency framework. Lindsay referenced the Richard Boyatzis (2006) book ‘Intentional Change (Self-directed learning)’, calling it ‘your personal stocktake’. Taking stock involves exploring which values you embrace - culture/fit vs. where you work (do you want more money? If so, would contracting be more suitable?) When thinking about goals, Lindsay advised keeping things simple:


“We set goals that go against our nature We have too many character traits and habits which makes changing and reaching goals incredibly difficult”

Soft-skills are a differentiator at an interview - but are often in low figures for training compared to technical skills. The latest trends suggest thinking of your career path in terms of ‘Forwards & towards’ (not onwards & upwards) - ‘A climbing wall, not a ladder’ Lindsay concluded by setting some questions to ask yourself: 1. How do you define career success? 2. What kind of work do you want to do? 3. What do you want to achieve? 4. What talents do you want to leverage? Peter Hazlewood, Midland branch volunteer, commented “I learned a lot from Lindsay that will stand me in good stead in the future, particularly relating to ‘paternalism’ from my employer and how to develop my own intentional career.” Matthew Game, MAPM, said: “I found the event informative and very relevant as there is a noticeable shift taking place at the moment in relation to ‘professionalisation’ of our project management discipline. The opportunities available to all at the moment are unprecedented and Lindsay drove home the need to be specific and clear with our own career paths if we want to succeed.”

• Get better than the old version of you! • Think small – 3 maximum goals per year • Only pick 1 area of weakness (this will be more positive than picking all weaknesses) • Commit publicly, and • Keep perspective – when good is ‘good enough’. Lindsay stated that a staggering 59% of pro-

Lindsay Scott, Director of Arras People.


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of this awarded paper is peer reviewed, keeping to the tradition of all papers published in the Project Management


Project Management

Journal® Paper of the Year Award



he purpose of the Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award is to recognize the best paper published in the Project Management Journal® in the previous

Recipients of the Project Management Journal® Paper of the Year Award 2014: “Managing Risks in Complex Projects” by Hans Thamhain, PhD, PMP. (April 2013)


2013: “Sustainable Development in the Building Sector: A Canadian Case Study on the Alignment of Strategic and Tactical Management” by Benjamin Herazo, Gonzalo Lizarralde, Raymond Paquin. (April 2012)

The award recognizes the significance of academic research in and the importance of refereed journal articles to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of project management. Selection of this awarded paper is peer reviewed, keeping to the tradition of all papers published in the Project Management Journal®.

Eligible All papers published in the Project Management Journal® in the previous calendar year are eligible for the award. No formal nomination is required.

Not Eligible Sitting members of PMI’s Board of Directors are not eligible to receive the award and may not participate in the evaluation process. Individuals or organizations that have failed to comply with PMI policies and procedures, including but not limited to PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, will not be considered.

Biography Bent Flyvbjerg, PhD Professor and Chair at Oxford University, pioneer in megaprojects and phronesis Flyvbjerg is the Winner of the “The Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award 2015.” Awarded by PMI – the Project Management Institute – and Project Management Journal for the paper “What You Should Know about Megaprojects and Why: An Overview,” Project Management Journal, vol. 45. The award recognizes the significance of academic research in and the importance of refereed journal articles to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of project management


2012: “Knowledge Transformation in Project Networks: A Speech Act Level Cross-Boundary Analysis” by Pauli Alin, John E. Taylor, and Riitta Smeds (July 2011) 2011: “Mastering Complexity and Changes in Projects, Economy, and Society via Project Management Second Order (PM-2)” by Dipl.Ing. Manfred Saynisch (December 2010) 2010: “Project Management Systems: Moving Project Management From an Operational to a Strategic Discipline” by Terence J. Cooke-Davies, PhD, Lynn H. Crawford, DBA, MTCP, and Thomas G. Lechler, PhD (2010) 2009: “Project Portfolio Control and Portfolio Management Performance in Different Contexts” by Ralf Muller, DBA, MBA, PMP, Tomas Blomquist, PhD, Miia Maarit Martinsuo, D.SC (2009) 2008: “Managing Knowledge and Learning in IT Projects: A Conceptual Framework and Guidelines” by Blaize Horner Reich, PhD (2008). ©2015 Project Management Institute, Inc.


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Short Story

Picture Source: Chapel of Storm



nce upon a time there was a king who was much loved by his people. The people loved him because he did many Good Things: he built roads for those who needed to travel long distances, houses for those who lacked a place to live and even initiated software projects to keep geeks in gainful employment. All the Good Things the king did needed money and although the king was rich, his resources were not unlimited. Naturally, the king’s treasurer wanted to ensure that the funds flowing out of the state coffers were being put to good use. One day, at a council meeting the treasurer summoned up his courage and asked the king, “Your highness, I know your intentions are good, but how do we know that all the money we spend is being used properly?” “It must be so because the people are happy,” replied the king. “Yes they are happy and that is good,” said the treasurer, “but how do we know that money we spend is not being wasted? Is it not possible that we could save money by coordinating, planning and monitoring the Good Things we do in an organized manner?” The king (who was known to think from time to time) mulled over this for a few days. After much mulling, he summoned his treasurer and said, “You are right. We should be more organized in the way we do all the Good Things we do. This task is so important that I will ask my second son to oversee the Good Things we do. He is, after all, a Prince Too.” The second son (who was a Prince Too) took to his


new role with relish. His first act was to set up a Governance Committee to oversee and direct all the Good Things that were being done. He ordered the board to come up with a process that would ensure that the Good Things being done would be done in an efficient and transparent way. His second act was to publish a decree, declaring that all those who did not follow the process would be summarily terminated. Many expensive consultants and long meetings later, the Governance Committee announced they had a methodology (they could coin a word or two…) which, if followed to the letter, would ensure that all the Good Things being done were done efficiently, in a way to ensure value for the state. They had the assurance of those expensive consultants that the methodology was tested and proven so they believed this would happen as a matter of course. Moreover, the rates that the consultants charged convinced the Governance Committee that this must indeed be so. In keeping with penchant of committees to name things, they gave the methodology the name of the king’s son (who, as we have seen earlier, was a Prince Too). And so it came to pass that all the Good Things being done followed a process. Those who managed the Good Things and those who actually did them, underwent rigorous training in the foundations and practice of the methodology (which meant more revenue for the consultants) The planners and the doers then went out and applied the methodology in their work.

Short Story

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Picture Source: Chapel of Storm

“Father, you requested my presence?” He asked, a tad tremulously.“Damn right, I requested your presence. I asked you to ensure that my money is being well spent on creating Good Things, and now I find that you are spending even more than we did before I put you in charge. I demand an explanation,” And for a while, everyone was happy: the king, the treasurer, the Governance Committee ….and of course, the Prince Too. After sometime, however, the treasurer noticed that the flow of money out of his coffers and into the Good Things had not lessened – on the contrary, it seemed to have increased. This alarmed him, so he requested a meeting with the king’s son to discuss the matter. The king’s son, on hearing the treasurer’s tale, was alarmed too (his father would not be happy if he heard that methodology had made the matter worse…). The king’s son summoned the Governance Committee and demanded an Explanation Now! Yes, this was how he said it, he was very, very angry. The Governance Committee were at a loss to explain the paradox. They were using a tested and proven methodology (as the expensive consultants assured them), yet their cost of all the Good Things they were doing was rising. “What gives?” they wondered. Try as they did, they could not find an answer. After much cogitation they called in the expensive consultants and demanded an explanation. The consultants said that the methodology was tested and proven. It was simply not possible that it wasn’t working. To diagnose the problem they recommended a month long audit of all the Good Things that had been done since the methodology was imposed.

The Governance Committee agreed; they had little choice (unless they preferred summary termination, which they didn’t). The audit thus proceeded. A month later the consultant reported back to the Governance Committee. “We know what the problem is,” they said. “Those who do Good Things aren’t following the methodology to the letter. You must understand that the benefits of the methodology will be realised only if it is implemented properly. We recommend that everyone undergoes refresher training in the methodology so that they understand it properly.” The Governance Committee went to the treasurer, explained the situation and requested that funds be granted for refresher courses. On hearing this, the treasurer was livid. “What? We have to spend more money to fix this problem? You must be joking.” He was very angry but he could see no other way; the consultants were the only ones who could see them out of this mess. The money was sanctioned and the training conducted. More Good Things were done but, unfortunately, the costs did not settle down. Things, in fact, got so bad that the treasurer went directly to the king and mentioned the problem. The king said, “Summon my second son,” he said imperiously, “I must have Words with him.” The second son (who was a Prince Too) was

summoned and arrived post-haste. His retainers had warned him that the king was very very angry. “Father, you requested my presence?” He asked, a tad tremulously. “Damn right, I requested your presence. I asked you to ensure that my money is being well spent on creating Good Things, and now I find that you are spending even more than we did before I put you in charge. I demand an explanation,” thundered the king. The king’s son knew he was in trouble, but he was a quick thinker. “Father,” he said, “I am as disappointed as you are with the performance of the Governance Committee; so disappointed am I that I shall terminate them summarily.” “You do that son,” said the king, “and staunch the flow of funds from my coffers. I don’t know much, but I do know that when the treasurer tells me that I am running out of money, I have a serious problem.” And so the Governance Committee was terminated. The expensive consultants, however, lived on as did the king’s son (who was after all a Prince Too). He knew he would try again, but with a more competent Governance Committee. He had no choice – the present bunch of incompetents had been summarily terminated. Acknowledgement This piece was inspired by Craig Brown’s New Prince2 Hypothesis.


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“So much has changed since I started out as an engineer”, says John McGoldrick, Senior Project Engineer for the contractor BAM Construction. “We had large teams of engineers in those days, and everything was paper drawings. In 1990, working on a building of this size in Birmingham, I had a team of six engineers. Now it is just me, my assistant Agam, and a lot more technologist.” After 29 years of experience, including time in the Middle East, John has seen the world of engineering evolve, and along with it, the kind of buildings that can be created has evolved too. This explains why the new SHB – Science and Health Building – is a special project, and also, a challenging one. The £60 million development in the heart of the City of Coventry will bring together the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences teaching and research facilities that will house stateof-the-art healthcare simulation, research and ‘super-lab’ environments. Set over five storeys and 120,000 square feet, it will be completed in 2017 and will house state of the art equipment, even down to mock operating theatres and a fully equipped ambulance. The five-storey,120,000 sq ft building on Much Park Street which is will be completed in 2017 will link to the existing Coventry University Sports Centre in White Friars Street. A separate two-storey energy centre will also be constructed on site to efficiently power the Science and Health Building to world-leading environmental standards. The facilities will include a mock operating theatre, fully-equipped ambulance, and community house to demonstrate the


The new 5 Storey Faculty of Health and Life Science ongoing Building Project


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“Agam is being mentored by John, who describes his experience here as a ‘crash course’. “We really need to skill and retain the younger generation of engineers like Agam”, John says. “Now he is learning about management systems, record-keeping, and the intricacies of creating the frame.” and the creation of the structure. There is a lot of design co-ordination into the ground and assessing the best methods of work to anticipate and alleviate possible later problems.

latest developments in assistive living technologies. The super laboratory will be capable of accommodating up to 240 students for teaching and research in biological and analytical sciences. A running track, sports therapy clinic and facilities for food and environmental sciences will also be on site.

Other engineering challenges he and Agam can have to overcome include value engineering, highways works, dealing with contamination, Geo-technical issues, achieving energy efficiency targets, site investigations and many other elements.

I am been assisted by a former Coventry University graduate, Agamjot Singh, who graduated in 2013 with a civil engineering degree. “I had a four months placement as an assistant site manager at Nishkam High School in Birmingham”, says Handsworth-based Agam, “and BAM then offered me an engineering role which is what I really wanted to do. “The building is in the foundation stage now, and I’m getting to apply what I have learnt about drainage and foundations and setting out a major scheme like this. The next six months are the most interesting from an engineering perspective and I will learn more than I have before”. Agam is being mentored by John, who describes his experience here as a ‘crash course’. “We really need to skill and retain the younger generation of engineers like Agam”, John says. “Now he is learning about management systems, record-keeping, and the intricacies of creating the frame. After the job reaches a certain stage, we’ll move him onto a separate smaller project which he will lead and experience the responsibilities of my role but on a smaller scale and with me there as backup if needed.” John has helped BAM Construction company to construct buildings like Matthew Boulton College and the Wesleyan in Birmingham, and in Coventry, the highly regarded new HQ for Severn Trent Water.

Engineers like me in their 50’s either become specialists, because we love pure engineering, or we move into various forms of management and can move away from the technical side. I’ve stayed ‘pure’ because I love the problem solving nature of our challenges. Anticipating the design problems, resolving clashes between design and what’s out on site, testing the information and the specifications – finding out if each part of the building will work as intended. Now we have Building Information Modelling (BIM) to help us. Agam will be walking around with an iPad able to visualise the design against the build and update the model in real time. Each of our specialists and sub-contractors will share their information on that model, and we will co-ordinate so much through it and the use of robotics for instance. Agam’s generation come to us with knowledge of AutoCAD for example. We are very forward thinking”, say John. Between them John and Agam’s challenges to help the BAM team create the SHB are many and varied. Initially, they were involved with “setting up” the site and control stations – ensuring the geography and layout will facilitate the location of services,

Agam will lead engineering on the creation of a new energy centre serving not only the SHB but other buildings on the plot. It is a demanding job requiring a lot of co-ordination to avoid interrupting the University’s services. “One thing that we are increasingly engaged with is temporary works. This combines efficiency, critical timing and health and safety aspects together – I can see a big role for graduates developing as the importance of these has grown, especially on larger, more complex schemes like this one. You really need an engineer to do this properly. There’s a good mix of being in the office and out on site, and the challenges are diverse. No two days are ever the same. It’s a very appealing career”, say John.

John McGoldrick and Agamjot Singh



Project Eye

Project Visit


The JACOBS team paid a courtesy visit to Steve Compton, a consultant with Complex Development Projects. Who is currently working on the Far Gosford street regeneration project in coventry. Biography of Steve Compton.

November 2010 – Present (4 years 9 months) Rugby and Coventry Property development and economic growth/regeneration specialist with wide range of experience in public, private and third sectors. Providing pragmatic and cost effective advice and support to business in relation to property, planning, funding, finance, growth and development issues. Have been involved in a broad range of development and regeneration projects over the past 3 years which has included securing and managing ERDF, HCA, LEP and local authority funding. Always open for business opportunities where I can use my skills and knowledge to add value and help business and organisations achieve delivery of their goals and objectives quickly and effectively. I presently work as a Consultant with Complex Development Projects, a private development company working in partnership with government, community groups and charities to deliver urban renewal projects. We are presently working with the Coventry City Council on the Far Gosford Street regeneration project. Chief Executive Opportunity Peterborough July 2007 – June 2010 (3 years) Development Director Leicester Regeneration August 2004 – July 2006 (2 years) Responsibility for the delivery of two of the five Key Intervention Areas identified in the LRC Master plan, namely: Waterside-delivery of 3,500 new homes for the city together with a new canal basin as a focus for a range of leisure uses; Science and Innovation Park was to deliver 6,000 sq m of incubation, 6,000 sq m of grow on and 3ha of serviced science user plots. •strategy preparation, public consultation, stakeholder engagement, partnership building, securing funding, providing strategy guidance and professional input to other Key projects. •reported direct to Chief Executive and the LRC Board. •Preparation of Leicester’s Growth Point bid to secure £8m funding for one of the key intervention areas. •On leaving LRC 433 units had been completed in Waterside and a planning application had just been approved for a high quality 350 unit Ian Simpson designed scheme. •Lead development of a unique s.106 tariff matrix for Waterside to provide a clear, robust and transparent system for collecting developer contributions towards


Project Visit

public realm and infrastructure. •I brought Phase I of the Science and Innovation Park to the market through an OJEU procedure including securing the overall agreement of LRC, LCC, East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) DeMontfort University and University of Leicester to the tender brief and legal structure and the selection of a developer for Phase I. •Brokered a difficult land swap deal between a private developer and EMDA to release the land required for phase 2 of the Science and Innovation Park. •Preparation and implementation of a Relocation Strategy for the LRC area to relocate but maintain current employment whilst creating development platforms for regeneration. •Project managed the preparation and adoption of a Development Framework and Supplementary Planning Guidance for the New Community project, an 1,800 unit family based residential scheme in the city centre.

Project Eye

Question: What piece of advice will you give to us as aspiring project managers?

Answer: • Believe in yourself • Build self-confidence • Build relationship with people within the profession. • Learn from every opportunity that comes your way to build on your experience.


Project Eye

City Development

A computer-generated image from inside Curzon Street HS2 Station facing New Canal Street, from the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan

25-YEAR MASTERPLAN FOR CURZON STREET AND BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE BY GRAEME BROWN Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, which was revealed to the Post, will be one of the biggest urban regeneration schemes in Britain and see 141 hectares of the city centre transformed A Metro extension, major retail renaissance and parks in the sky are set to form part of an ambitious vision to transform vast swathes of Birmingham city centre. The Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, which was revealed to the Post, will be one of the biggest urban regeneration schemes in Britain and see 141 hectares of the city centre transformed. The proposals, the biggest redevelopment announced in the wake of the high speed rail link, represent a 25-year vision to realise the po-

He said: “We are not hanging around for the station to start operating in 2026, we are looking to activate the economic growth which HS2 can give rise to.

“This is about connectivity in the local area of Eastside and Digbeth, but there is a wider set of connectivity issues for Greater Birmingham.” While HS2 will fund the station, the city council, along with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), is aiming to push through greater benefits and connectivity. The proposals form part of a Strategic Economic Plan bid, being driven by the LEP, to bring in “This is about connectivity in the local area of Eastside and Digbeth, public funding. but there is a wider set of connectivity issues for Greater Birmingham.” Talks are also taking place to expand the city centre enterprise zone, taking in artential of neglected areas of Digbeth and Eastside. eas identified around the station as prime locations for The plan includes extending the Midland Metro, which will pass growth. through Curzon Street HS2 Station, and a park on top of the 1,100-yard- However, the proposals are principally aimed at encourlong Duddeston Viaduct. aging private investment in the retail and leisure sector, Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said the regeneration as well as creative industries in Digbeth. will boost the city’s economy by £1.3 billion each year with more than The vision spells out sweeping changes to the transport 14,000 jobs, 148 acres of new employment floor space and 2,000 new network, including walkways linking across the city. homes. The station would be served by Metro trams on a new The developments will be focused around the new city centre staroute branching off the extension, currently being built tion – Birmingham Curzon – but Sir Albert told the Post he wants to through the city centre. see major progress well in advance of the station being completed There are also major retail moves suggested, with the in 2026. station opening out to an area to be known as Station


City Development

An artist’s impression of the concourse view looking towards Station Square, from the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan

Square, expected to be a major transition route for pedestrians heading west to New Street. “This is about connectivity in the local area of Eastside and Digbeth, but there is a wider set of connectivity issues for Greater Birmingham.” While HS2 will fund the station, the city council, along with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), is aiming to push through greater benefits and connectivity. The proposals form part of a Strategic Economic Plan bid, being driven by the LEP, to bring in public funding. Talks are also taking place to expand the city centre enterprise zone, taking in areas identified around the station as prime locations for growth. However, the proposals are principally aimed at encouraging private investment in the retail and leisure sector, as well as creative industries in Digbeth. The vision spells out sweeping changes to the transport network, including walkways linking across the city. The station would be served by Metro trams on a new route branching off the extension, currently being built through the city centre. There are also major retail moves suggested, with the station opening out to an area to be known as Station Square, expected to be a major transition route for pedestrians heading west to New Street. For 2041, with the full phase two operation, it is forecast that these numbers increase to 4,670 in the morning and 4,970 passengers in the evening peaks through increased train frequency and additional national rail destinations. The plans are at the centre of the city’s efforts to support its burgeoning creative, learning and research sectors and the booming professional and financial services industry. The masterplan aims to build on the £600 million transformation of New Street Station, which will be completed next year along with a £128 million Midland Metro extension linking the station with the existing tram line at Snow Hill. Lord Deighton, commercial secretary to the treasury and chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce said: “Birmingham is going the right way about

Project Eye

A computer-generated image showing an aerial view of Birmingham Curzon Street HS2 Station, from the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan

realising the benefits of HS2 by developing ambitious plans to kickstart development. “Their vision for the Curzon HS2 Masterplan demonstrates the transformational value of HS2, not just for rail passengers but for the communities that the railway will serve. “The legacy of our new north-south railway will be not only a railway fit for the future, with better connections to cities in the north, but also regeneration and economic growth for Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, London and everywhere in between.” According to the firm creating the high speed rail link, HS2 Ltd, highspeed rail will boost the West Midlands economy by £4.1 billion each year and create more than 51,000 new jobs by providing extra capacity and better connections to London and the north. The new Birmingham Curzon station will be the first new station to be built in the city for over 100 years and will be the biggest building in the city. An eight-week consultation on the Curzon HS2 Masterplan has now begun, with construction set to start on the HS2 line and stations in 2017. Andy Street, chair of the LEP, said: the proposed station represented a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to redevelop a significant part of the city centre. “The scale of this opportunity and the size of the prize means that partners have been looking very carefully at how we fund and maximise the potential,” he added. “We are now in advanced stages of developing the GBSLEP Strategic Economic Plan which identifies Curzon Street as one of the economic game changers. “A number of innovative and ambitious proposals will be included in order to enable us to unlock the development, deliver a world-class station for Birmingham and breathe new life into that part of the city in addition to a wider package of connectivity interventions. “While we are still developing these proposals that will be submitted to government at the end of March, we are seeking freedoms and powers to make the most of this opportunity.” © Trinity Mirror Midlands



Powede Eniola Lawrence Model Powede Eniola Lawrence is Africa’s First Miss University Africa as well as an Ex Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria-Tourism, 2013. However, she is a registered Nurse and Midwife and has a project called Powede Lawrence Foundation. This project aims to advocate for people living with disabilities and the less privileged in the society. This project is currently ongoing. As a hobby, she models for high street brands like AD by Agbani Darego, Kayge cosmetics, maybelline newyork, Mcdowells whiskey and Oando Plc.


Kazi Project Manager Kazi has several years of experience in the project management industry. He possesses strong communication skills with a great ability to in various teams. He has great passion for the natural environment which he displays with a high level of professional skills in photography.

Priscilla Project Manager Priscilla has several years of experience in the project management industry both in Nigeria and in England. She fully understands client’s needs, designing, building and managing project teams in a wide range of project environments. She possesses strong communication skills with a great ability to fit into various teams.

Mai Atafo Fashion Designer Mai Atafo is a Nigerian and one of the most recognised and sought after fashion designers in the Nigerian Fashion Industry. With a Post graduate degree in Information Technology, from City University London, England and work experiences in British American Tobacco and Guinness Nigerian Plc, Mai craved a niche for himself by establishing a clothing line, Mai Atafo inspired as well as Weddings by Mai. Mai’s clothing aesthetics is versatile, classy,timeless and urban. He is focused on delivering the highest quality of service to all customers within budget and on time regardless of status. His successes have been recognised with numerous awards.


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City Development

Project Failure Wembley Stadium


embley stadium is the home of English football (or English soccer if you’re American) and was rebuilt in the 2000s replacing the original structure from 1923. The project took 5 years longer than first estimated and costs were more than double initial estimates. The stadium uses an innovative steel arch that adds aesthetic appeal, but is also load bearing and minimizes the need for internal support that could have obstructed views within the stadium. As a result the arch improves the quality of the seating. The design wasn’t quite a novel as the Sydney Opera House or Guggenheim Bilbao but nonetheless included a design element in the arch that was unprecedented, making best practice techniques such as reference impossible because there are no useful historic estimates to draw on – it had not been done before. This lack of historical precedent is often a red flag in accurate project planning. There appear to be several reasons for delay in the case of Wembley stadium:

Bidding Process and Winner’s Curse

The contract was bid out and awarded to one of the lowest cost bids. This creates a winner’s curse situation, where it’s likely that the winning bid is too aggressive in estimating the actual costs of the project. The cost of the project rose 36% between the bid being accepted and the contract being signed.

Implementation of an Unprecedented Design

The arch implementation was problematic, ultimately the sub-contractor for the arch was replaced midway through the project, and the delay caused further problems. It appears that the the fundamental issue was attempting a stadium design using a load bearing arch that was novel and untested in previous stadium designs. This is typical of projects that are too innovative, and is one of the reasons that the Denver Airport Baggage System failed. Projects with formal budgets and timelines are not the place to be prototyping unproven techniques and processes. At least not if you’re hoping for a credible initial estimate of how long the project will take.


City Development

Information Flow and Incentives Information flow around the project was never straightforward and incentives were not well aligned. The contractor was conscious of disclosure to their shareholders and their relationship with the sponsor of the project became so tense as to ultimately end in legal action. In part, this appears to be related to the fixed price nature of the contract – any delay had immediate implications for profitability. This may have led to two interesting situations, in which it appears more junior employees were better informed about the project than senior management, perhaps because the implications of delay for so serious for profitability that information was not eagerly shared, note than around this time senior management was making statements that the project was on track: • Firstly, a whistle-blower within the accounting department claimed to know of project delays months before they were disclosed.

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• Secondly, in the UK it was possible to place bets on potential delays on the project. These bets were stopped after the observation of “men in hard hats placing big bets in the Wembley area”. It is also interesting that after the reviews were disclosed, management then instituted a “peer review” process to better assess the performance of in-flight projects.

There were some scope changes, though again, it appears that the construction of the arch (part of the initial design) was a key factor in the delay. Unlike other projects such as the FBI’s Virtual Case File where scope change was a key contributor to delay.

Trust, Drugs and Scope Changes

Fundamentally, when attempting a unique work item, such as a novel load bearing steel arch as fundamental part of a stadium, it is very hard to estimate cost and duration with precision. Awarding the work via a bidding process with a fixed price contract exacerbates this problem, because the winning bid will be more likely to underestimate the required work due to the winner’s curse. In addition, it appears information flow could have been improved on this project – if junior employees were aware of potential delays and senior management was not, information was clearly not being shared effectively.

As with any project, there are many factors at play. After the first delays, the sponsor and contractor became less willing to conduct work in parallel due to mistrust of completion dates, this may have added a few months to completion, but in the context of years of delay doesn’t appear to be a primary factor. It is interesting though that on delayed projects, further delays can be self-fulfilling as trust in the critical path diminishes. There was press speculation that workers on site were using drugs. This claim is hard to substantiate and was never proven.


Source: Strategic PPM


Project Eye

City Development


England’s second city, behind London of course, has gone under the knife in the past 20 years or so, hoping to shift the image of an ugly urban jungle to that of a modern metropolis built on class and beauty. Birmingham now boasts some of the finest structures in Europe, but what exactly makes Brum the culture loving city it is? Read on to find out the best of Brum’s architecture.

1. Library of Birmingham

The newest addition to the Birmingham family, the all new Library of Birmingham resides in Centenary Square and regardless of your

true opinion (it’s both loved and loathed) you have to admit that it’s a fine piece of architecture. Costing a staggering £189 million, the library boasts the title of biggest public library in Europe, housing over 800,000 books and 200 computers. It’s maybe easier on the eye when up close, yet the library is something of weird beauty. The metalwork is something to behold, linking back to the city’s industrial heritage. There are ten floors of endless joy for the book worms, whilst the library also has capacity for gigs and talks. They have an in house café, outdoor terraces (which are called “secret gardens”) on the 3rd and 7th floors and the 9th floor has an indoor Skyline Viewpoint, something which

offers some of the best views to be found are Brum’s busy city centre. More often than not the venue is booked up for private events, so be sure to check that it’s free before waiting for the lift (or if you are brave/crazy enough, tackling the endless amount of stairs). The Council has set a target of 3 million visitors in the first year of the Library’s opening, and we surely must be well on the way of meeting this target having attracted the attention of visitors worldwide. If you’re in Birmingham then it’s definitely worth a look. You can join the library regardless of where you live, so be sure to join at your heart’s content.

2. Victoria Square

Victoria Square


Victoria Square plays a vital role in linking the shops of New Street and the Bullring to the restaurants and bars of Brindley Place, doing so via a pedestrianised sense of class. It has to be one of the finest squares in the country, though naturally it isn’t in the same league as some Plazas and Piazzas in Europe. It happily boasts the Council House, Birmingham Museum and Gallery (BMAG) and the Birmingham Town Hall, displaying statues of Queen Victoria, the ever famous water feature The River (better known to Brummies as The Floozie in the Jacuzzi) and the “Iron Man” by Anthony Gormley. The biggest thing missing in the square is maybe bars with outdoor seating to match the wonderfully picturesque air of the Birmingham square. Maybe it has something to do with our wonderful licensing laws in the UK (sarcasm), but currently all that’s available is a stroll around the square,

City Development

Project Eye


sitting by the fountain and people watching as they go about their daily business (not that we do is... much). Possibly the most famous part of the square is the annual German Christmas Market – the biggest German Christmas market outside it’s homeland and Austria – so be sure to get yourself some German cuisine, Christmas hats and festive cheer.

3. Bullring Staggeringly, September 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the famous Bullring (we remember when the plans were proposed for the Bullring, so to pass ten years is crazy). The premier indoor shopping centre boasts the usual high street names and little independent stores, but it’s the outside architecture that makes the Bullring so unique

– the exterior of Selfridges is covered with no more than 15,000 silver discs, making the building beautiful in the blaring sun and in the cold dark of night, with lights illuminating it’s wonderful exterior.

4. Rotunda

The Birmingham Rotunda, a grade II listed building, was originally constructed in the 1960s, yet it was given a makeover in 2008 to bring it up to date. Once used as an office block, it now consists of ‘serviced apartments’, with rooms and penthouse suites on the top floors being available to rent out nightly. The panoramic views that the Rotunda boasts are pretty amazing, especially in the heart of the city. There used to be a pub on the ground floor of the Rotunda, The Mulberry Bush, yet this was targeted as one of the two boozers by the IRA in the infamous Birmingham Pub Bombings. The other, The Tavern in the Town, is now an all you can eat buffet restaurant on New Street.

5. 10 Holloway Circus

The tallest building in the city, standing at 130m tall, homes a hotel/residential building. The BT Tower is taller, but this is classed as a tower rather than a building. The lower floors of the building are taken up by a branch of Radisson Blu hotel and restaurant (incredibly posh and expensive), with the upper floors homing serviced apartments. Birmingham is an incredibly dynamic city; it’s changing all of the time. There are numerous cranes on the skyline wherever you are, so it’s always a constant reminder that we’re growing, progressing, building. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more iconic buildings very, very soon.

10 Holloway Circus



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Activity-Led Learning What is Activity-Led Learning? Activity-Led Learning is an approach to education in which the motivation for learning is provided by stimulating activity that engages and enthuses students and creates challenge, relevance, integration, professional awareness and variety. Learning is stimulated by a project, problem, scenario, case-study, enquiry, research question (or similar) in a class-room, in a laboratory, at work, or in any other educational context. Activities often cross subject boundaries, as activities within professional practice do. The approach includes: • • • • • •

Activity through cross-cutting integrating projects. Activity in problem-based learning . Activity within approaches based on problem-solving, case studies, practical challenges, design exercises. Activity in the physical context of the laboratory or work shop. Activity aimed at placing learning in an industrial/ professional context. Activity to achieve a close partnership with employers and the profession, and provide work experience.

The range of activities is deliberately wide but the key is that the activity leads the learning rather than following (supporting, reinforcing) it. Fundamentally Activity-Led Learning is about utilising and developing learners’ capabilities to be self-regulating and to make good judgements. While carrying out the activity they develop skills in: • • • • • • • • •


Team-working Leadership Communication Design Research Project management Problem-solving Reflection Life-long learning

Activity-Led Learning is about providing students with a motivating and rewarding learning experience that will help to prepare them for professional working life (or initially postgraduate study) and will also be a personally fulfilling as well as challenging experience. “Activity Led Learning requires a self-directed process in which the individual learner, or team of learners, seek and apply knowledge, skilful practices, resources (personal and physical) relevant to the activity being undertaken” (Based on definition presented in Wilson-Medhurst et al, 2008) Faculty of Engineering and Computing Activity-led learning has been founded within Coventry University’s Faculty of Engineering and Computing, where the term is favoured because it embraces a wide range of approaches, some with strong traditions in the Faculty, and some with highly practical (Physically active) components. The term is seen as having an important role within the Faculty, not only in defining an approach to pedagogy but also in driving change by increased use of the approaches throughout the portfolio of courses. The Faculty moved into a new £55 million building in summer 2012 which has been designed to provide the learning spaces needed to carry the vision forward. A recent report from MIT identifies the educational reform within the Faculty as “one of the most interesting developments in project-based learning across the UK” and concludes that “they are well placed to become a UK leader in engineering project-based learning” Dr Ruth Graham, ‘UK Approaches to Engineering Project-Based learning’, White Paper sponsored by the Bernard M Gordon - MIT Engineering Leadership Program.


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“Activity Led Learning requires a self-directed process in

which the individual learner, or team of learners, seek and apply knowledge, skilful practices, resources (personal and physical) relevant to the activity being undertaken” (Based on definition presented in Wilson-Medhurst et al, 2008)

Benefits of Activity-Led Learning • Engagement of students and staff in the learning experience. • Improved student retention and progression. • Enhanced standards of student achievement. • Increased graduate employment rates. • Confident, self-motivated and successful members of society. • Enhanced reputation and student recruitment. • Greater staff and student satisfaction. • A vibrant learning community attractive to students and staff

process and early orientation experiences and on-going facilitation of learning. • Learning and development takes place in all the domains of learning, those of knowing, acting and being. • We are beings that define ourselves by what we do, thus knowledge that ‘counts’ is expressed by actions and outcomes. • Learning is about forming new habits of action and not simply about cognitive change. • Given the above, knowing and learning can be seen as the development of the capacity for good judgement that is appropriate to the situation (context). ALL provides a mechanism for developing such judgement capacities.

Activity-Led Learning (ALL) principles • The fundamental principle is that learning is ‘organised’ around activities that students undertake, rather than around content or what the teacher does. The activity (or more correctly the activity stimulus) is the starting point for the learning process and helps to shape its direction. • Learning is a process, it is on-going. • ALL requires students and teachers to be open and tolerant of the views of others, to give and receive feedback and to be willing to share perspectives and ideas – there is a recognition that we are all life-long learners. This has important implications for the student induction

RANKED 15TH BEST UNIVERSITY IN THE UK MODERN UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR 2014 and 2015 Source: Guardian University Guide 2016 and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014/2015 ©Copyright Coventry University. All rights resevered


Project Eye

Managing Projects Across Borders

“The Consultants will conduct monthly progress reports to the Developer and makes evaluation of works completed on site and prepares the progress payment certificates to be presented to the Developer for payment the Contractor.�



han Kum Chong is an experience developer and also a project manager in Malaysia. He is currently working and managing a project of constructing a service suite and commercial building in Penang, Malaysia. The building will consist of 84 units Service Suite, 19 units commercial store and 2 levels of car parks. It is located in a popular tourist area and the project site comes with unobstructed access & view of sea and beach. After doing finance calculation, the net profit amount of this development will be ÂŁ8,500,000. The challenges that the project managers have to face in Malaysia is working with different cultures. This is because Malaysia has 3 races which are Chinese, Malay and Indian with different cultures. Working with different cultures places new challenges on those leading the projects and those who lead the organizations selecting and sponsoring those projects. Cultures have differ-


ing expectations of leaders, different rules about business relationships, and differing rule sets around ways of work. Another challenge is the unique legal and political environment, security issues, economic factors, and infrastructure limitations and requirements, increases complexity far beyond that of projects executed in domestic settings. In the Malaysian context project development similarly has its own PLC which is divided into three (3) stages, namely, the predevelopment stage, the construction stage and the post construction stage. The close of a development project or the post developmental stage is when the completed property is handed over to the owner as required and stipulated by the Housing Development Act (HDA, 2010). The flow of activities starting from the inception right up to the delivery of a completed property plays a pivotal role in the planning of property development. A crucial brief overview of a typical planning

process in Malaysia, covering the legislature in the planning process, the development plan and general implementation of development plan, and are as follows. The three (3) stages in a project development are discussed in this section. The first stage is the planning stage or the pre-development period. When all required approvals have been obtained, it then goes into the second stage; the construction phase. During the post construction stage, that is the third stage, a certificate of completion of compliance (CCC) will be awarded to the developer who then would have successfully completed their (housing) project. (1) Managing the Development Chan Kum Chong is deemed to deliver the project successfully with using the proper tools & technique in managing the development. The Developer normally will have his own Project Management Team. This

Managing Projects Across Borders will comprise of the Project Management Division along with the Sales and Marketing Division. The Head of the Project Management Division is normally headed by an Engineer or an Architect. He will co-ordinate with the rest of the Consultants to ensure smooth implementation of the various stages of planning and construction implementation. The roles of each Consultant is well defined. The Architect shall work with the Planner and come up with the conceptual plans to discuss and obtain the approval from the Developer. The Architect is also responsible to ensure that compliance to the building bye laws, planning provisions as defined by the State Authorities. Planning meetings are chaired by the Developer, initially on a twice weekly basis until the conceptual plans has been accepted. There will be a series of meetings between Developer and Consultants before the final building plans are accepted by the Developer. The Developer will take into the design offered and makes the final decision after due consideration on marketability and acceptance by the public. This stage takes 3-6 months and once adopted are submitted to the Local Council for Building Plans approval. This approval will take 3-6 months and once approved the Developer prepares the Sales brochure and marketing materials for sales launch. Meanwhile the Consultants goes into the Preparation of Tender for invitation and calling of tenders from Contractors. This is where the Quantity Surveyor and the Mechanical and Electrical Engineer comes in to prepare the Bills of Quantities. In Malaysia the mechanical and electrical services tenders are called separately and are prepared by the Mechanical and Electrical Engineer under nominated sub contracts. The Quantity Surveyor will prepare the calling of the Main Contract. The Main Contract is called first and the nominated is called probably a month later. If the designs of the mechanical and electrical can be completed in time then those will be called at the same time. Tender invitation can be based on selective tenders whereby the Contractors are pre- selected or based on public invitation in the newspapers.

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The successful Contractor then prepares and start construction work at the site. Developer, Consultants and the Contractor will hold scheduled site meetings to discuss and address discrepancies of drawings and resolves them with the Consultants. Throughout the construction period many delays may occur from issuance of detail drawings from Consultants or delays from the progress of work by the Contractor. There may be incidences of decisions from the Developer making design changes which would also delay the construction. The Architect would have to resolve all these by working with all parties.

The Consultants will conduct monthly progress reports to the Developer and makes evaluation of works completed on site and prepares the progress payment certificates to be presented to the Developer for payment the Contractor. Construction period takes about 12 months for low rise residential or commercial projects and 30-48 moths for high rise projects. When construction is about to be completed it goes into the next phase that is the application for Certificate of Certified Completion. This would involves all respective Consultants and the Contractor to prepare the final as build drawings. There will also be a series of inspections by the Local Council and the Fire Department before approvals can be obtained. In Malaysia the Certificate Of Certified Completion issued by the Architect and not the Local Council. However the Architect will not issue this certificate until all endorsement by the Local Council and Fire Department are obtained. The Developer would have made finances through Banks to finance the development. Throughout the construction stage the Developer will be actively marketing and selling the units and any delay in the sales will ultimately affects the construction as it affects the payments to the Contractor. If all sales goes smoothly the development will complete as scheduled. But the sales are slow construction works similarly slows too. After issuance of the Certificate of Certified Completion it goes into the handing over to purchasers and defects liability stage. Contractors would have to work hand in hand with the Developer, Consultants and Purchasers to complete the defects highlighted by all the parties. Managing projects is all about managing teamwork and it involves all parties from Developer, Consultants, Contractor and the Local Authorities. A well-managed project will complete on time and with least problems and setbacks. It will require the cooperation of all parties to resolve issues timely.


Project Eye

Managing Projects Across Borders


Project Management can be defined as managing the resources and the factors that are likely to affect or influence the successful deployment of such resources towards the attainment of a set goal. The principal resources are humans whose activities and interpretations determine the behavior of the other factors. Managing projects across borders arise whenever the nominated individuals that must work together to accomplish a specific project are located at different geographical locations with varying degrees of diversity. A version of the topic may also be a subject of discussion as an inverted episode when individuals of different nationalities are grouped together in a specific geographical location for the duration of the project. The coordinator of these other resources and factors in terms of Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Influencing and Controlling functions as the overall Project Manager. As said earlier, the key resource is the participants involved and for effective management, there is the need to proffer a broader view of the expectations of the following characteristics

Individual • Commitment to change in typical routine schedule and try to “lead yourself” • Communicate clearly and understand the person you work with • Practice good habits of checking e-mails/ phone messages and replying • Accommodate time difference to work at odd hours on necessity needs • Practice people skill and seek winwin situation

Team 32

• Re-establish observed team-build-

ing techniques and ideas and apply • Post team member’s pictures and a short bio on your website/portal for easy recognition • Seek areas of similarity instead and de-emphasis on dissenting opinion • Have fun on social network and discuss members’ happy moments and moods • Appreciate each other’s culture, language, food etc. • Team composition(Compatibility, Trust) • Understand the capabilities and levels of authority of every member • Facilitator or Project Manager to ensure regular attendance and contribution for the best

Assigned Task and Execution Methodology • Established tools and process exists, understandable and easily accessible • Trusted on technology (e-mail, LANs, Global Shares, etc.) • Build a list of key contacts and know their locations and time zones • Search for people that will aid tasks even if they are not part of the team The characteristics of these three components go a long way in determining the success of the project. Managing projects across borders is less cumbersome and effective when the individual members clearly put the success of the project above individual, national or regional interests. Same can also be said of different organizations involved in a common project and also discernible across functions and across borders in the same organization. Develop trust in the participants and believe in their reports. However, trust should exist but verification is equally important at the beginning and will exist until such a time that

mutual trust is guaranteed. What you hear may not be reality on ground and you have to use the information which is not true to make wrong assumptions and schedule as there may be no immediate way of confirmation. Diffuse the border by successfully harmonizing the above factors of culture, language, environment, government interests, Country Characteristics, statutory expectations, acceptable norms, illegal but acceptable norms, national ethics-work styles, differences in values, frustrations in communications across languages, distances in culture etc. Another important point is communications- Clear communications is affected by time zones, influences of mother tongue, disposition of the participant at the time, Not talking “eye ball to eyeball” constitutes serious challenges. Facial expression sort of reveals a lot about the acceptance or understanding of the message being passed during the meeting. It also shows the level of contributory cooperation of each team participant.


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Today we are interviewing award-winning author and educator Dr. Emad Rahim. Emad currently serves as the Endowed Chair for the Project Management Center of Excellence, and is ranked as an Associate Professor and Program Director at Bellevue University. Prior to his teaching appointment at Bellevue, he was the former Business Dean at Colorado Tech and Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University and Oklahoma State University. He has written extensively on the subject of project management, entrepreneurship and business development for Forbes, CEO Magazine and YFS Entrepreneurship Magazine, and blogs for and He was featured in the Huffington Post, Worldclass Magazine and the Rutgers Humanist Magazine. Dr. Rahim completed his postdoctoral studies at Harvard University, Tulane University and Maryland University UC, and earned a doctorate in management and two graduate degrees in business from Colorado Tech. He is certified in project management (PMP, CCPM, CPM), marketing (OMCP), management (CM), business administration (CABM), and is six sigma green belt certified. He has been in the field of project management for over a decade, co-founding two consulting firms and a non-profit trade association based in Upstate NY. He has also received awards from the United Nations, Syracuse University, Career Education Corporation, Oklahoma State University and was named the Certified Manager of the Year from ICPM at James Madison University.

INTERVIEW Dr. Emad Rahim.

Why Consider A Project Management Education?

Question: Can you give us a brief overview /history of yourself in your chosen career? I serve as the Endowed Chair for the Project Management Center of Excellence at Bellevue University. I am responsible for managing the curriculum and degree programs within the Center, which includes a BS in Project Management (BPM), Master of Project Management (MPM) and several other degree programs with concentrations in project management. I also teach, develop new courses, redesign curriculum, conduct research, select new materials to support student needs, and supervise faculty. My role as a Program Director requires that I help to further advance the knowledge within the field of project management by way of accreditation work, publication, partnership development, marketing and professional development.

Question: What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job? I don’t think there is such a thing like “go the extra mile” in project management. Project managers should put the same amount of effort in everything project that they agreed to take on. If you signed onto a project, developed a project management plan, and made promises to stakeholders, then it is your professional duty to stick to it and do everything that you can within your power to make sure you are successful – that the project is successful. Remember this is not the project manager’s project, but the client or organization. You are ethically obligated to look out for the best interest of your client. If you feel that you cannot do this, then you should not sign on to manage the project.

Question: How would you define “success” for someone in your chosen career? It is based on the person’s career goals. If they are in their chosen field, working or pursuing the job that they have been planning for, meeting the expectations they set for themselves, achieving the objectives that they had planned for, or completed that degree that will help them research their desired aspiration, then they have researched a level of success. Success is measured based on what you set yourself out to do, to prove, to meet or to fully complete. This objective or goal could also be set by a client, organization, community, parents or friends, but it is up to the person to expect it and follow through on it. Project management is no difference than this perspective. The results of the project must resemble what we had planned for with the support and clearance from our stakeholders. If we are behind on schedule, over budget and produce a product or service that is not within scope, and did not meet the expectations of the client, than we were not successful.

Question: What sorts of things have you done to become better qualified for your career? The basics like education, pursuing professional development, and lots of reading and research on the study and profession of project management. I attend tradeshows, conferences, conduct presentations, teach and volunteer in my community and serve in PMI Chapters. It is important to be current in your chosen field so that you are aware of what is happening in the market that impacts your stakeholders, emerging trends that you could leverage to improve project success, and opportunities that will strengthen your skills and diversify your experiences. I am fortunate to surround myself with talented individuals from multiple industries that are willing to mentor and coach me. Start to cultivate relationships to grow your network of professionals in project management. Question: What does a project manager do? To better answer your question I think it is important to first explain what project management is. Project management is defined as the


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act of applying knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to successfully fulfil the objectives of a project. Given this context, project managers are responsible in leading the work that is needed to meet those project requirements. Question: That is a pretty simplistic description. Can please elaborate a little more? We want people to better understand the field. Keeping it simple allows them to take the technical aspect out of the conversation. We manage projects every day – at home and professionally. Remodelling a kitchen or creating a backyard oasis are examples of projects. Developing a new product at work or running a political campaign are also examples projects. The big difference is how you manage them. What skills, education, experience and tools you bring to the table that sets you apart. Question: What type of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques should project managers have? A project manager needs to know how to manage the entire project lifecycle from start to finish. There are a total of 5 process groups that a project manager will need experience in when managing an organizational project. This includes Initiating (starting), planning (documenting), Executing (acting), Monitoring (controlling), and formally closing the project. In order to do this effectively, project managers need to have solid knowledge and experience in managing things like cost, risk, quality, procurement, human resource, project scope and scheduling. Those are examples of important technical skills, but project managers also need to have great people skills and leadership qualities. 90% of their job is communication, working closely with stakeholders and integrating project information from various places. Often it’s the project manager that works directly with the sponsor and client.

Question: What one skill does a project manager need to succeed? There is never just one skill that trumps over everything else in project management. I have known people with exceptional analytical skills, but can’t be executive in an organization. Strategic thinkers that are unable to lead their teams. Perfectionist that plan for everything, but don’t know how to delegate. I have also worked with charismatic leaders that are skilled in motivating and selling their project vision to everyone, but did a poor job in managing operational work of the job. In order to be an effective and efficient project manager, you need to develop both your soft and hard skills. Soft skills like communication, listening, critical thinking, emotional in-


telligence and problem solving are vital to the success of any project manager. But, so are the hard skills like planning, budgeting, writing and other technical competencies. You need to be well-rounded and well-balanced in both of these skills. Now, this is not to say you need to be perfect or an expert in everything. Remember you do have a team that are there to help you, but knowing how to use them wisely will require both soft and hard skills. Question: How do you choose a project team and what method do you use? You sometimes don’t have to choose. Some organizations will assign you a team based on the organizational structure, availability, budget and priority. When you are in this situation it is important to get to know everyone and understand what their skills are, and how you can leverage it based on the scope of the project. If you are given an opportunity to choose your own team, then you put on your HR (Human Resource) hat and screen the candidates. You should consider the type of organizational environment you are working in, the type of project work, the client you are serving, the estimated budget that you are given, and other factors to assess the type of people you will need on your team. When conducting your interviews use information from the project and type of work you anticipate needing to create questions and scenarios to screen out the best candidates for the job. As you start selecting members for your team also consider everyone’s personalities, and their strengths and weaknesses, in order to figure out if they will work well together as a team in this type of project. Question: Describe how you used your leadership skills to help your project team meet a difficult challenge. About six years ago I managed a difficult project that just seem to never end. The client was very difficult to work with and was constantly changing the scope of the project. The client knew we all needed the job because of the economic recession. This also meant he was not willing to negotiate our salary, project budget or give us more resources to fulfil the additional project scope he was demanding. We even had vendors that were suing the client for breach of contract. The moral of my team was very low and many wanted to give up and search for other opportunities outside the State. I reminded everyone that we were developing something transformational, innovative and game changing in this project. That the results of this project will set the stage for something bigger in our career. I gave the team ownership over the project by focusing on what they were passionate about. I helped them clear their minds from the negative energy the client was giving them, which allowed everyone to recommit themselves back into the project. This is because I know

my people and they know me. This is the soft skills that I mentioned previously. When challenges like this face your team, your people skills really need to be strong. Question: Give an example of a win-win situation you negotiated. I was negotiating a deal with a vendor that would not budge their price. The client and I knew this vendor was charging us more than the other competitors, but because we were working in a union type of situation they knew we were being pressured to use their services on this project. The client was starting to get frustrated with the negotiation deal and was ready to drop his investment. The vendor needed this job, but was using the union situation to their advantage. I eventually found a common interest between the client and the vendor, discussed the long-term opportunities that exist if this deal was successful. I knew the vendor would reduce their price if there is a possibility of future/on-going contracts between the client and their company, and I knew that my client would be willing to continue working with this vendor if their services are successful. At the end the terms of the partnership was agreed and both parties were satisfied with the contract. When you seem to be stuck in these types of negotiations start thinking outside the box and try to find some common interest between the parties. Get them to refocus on the deal that is in front of them and not the person that they are dealing with.

Dr. Emad Rahim (right) with former CEO of General Electric and NY T leagues as one of the greatest CEO of all time

Interview Question: Describe a time when you had to make a difficult choice between your personal and professional life.

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Dr. Emad Rahim (Center) accepting his Empact Award at the United Nations in NYC (Empact100 Honoree)

I had to discipline and even terminate people’s employment that I respected, people that I considered as friends. In one situation I had a childhood friend that I hired to join my project team. This person was someone that I had a lot of respect for and admired his family. The first year on the job went accordingly, but I started noticing behavioural issues developing. This person started showing up to the office late, handed in incomplete work and got into arguments with his co-workers on personal matters. I overhead him tell a colleague that he was best friends with me and that nothing would happen to him while I was the supervisor. I eventually had to reprimand him on his behaviour, which he took very personal. Got loud with me in the office, told me that I was jealous of him, and even threatened me. I ended up having to terminate his job because of the threat, an intern’s childhood friend also lost his job in the process. That was a very difficult decision because I had to put my personal feelings aside and think about the greater good of the team and project. This happens all the time. It is important that you know when and how to draw the line between something personal from professional. Question: What is your best advice for aspiring project managers? It is important to learn as much as you can about the profession. Understand the type of projects that are needed in the industry. It is also vital to learn the language, commonly used project management terminology, and the tools and techniques that are frequently applied in everyday projects. Once you have a basic understanding start to gain some experiences by volunteering, develop your network of professionals, educate on emerging trends in the field and diversify your skills. Look for opportunities to apply your skills at work, community or for personal projects. Even try to apply methodologies, different tools and techniques on everyday projects like remodeling, building a garden, organizing a family event, coordinating a fundraising or starting a new program at school. These are all examples how I got started as project managers and I know many of my colleagues did the same thing in the beginning of their careers.

*Dr. Emad Rahim, PMP, CCPM, OMCP Endowed Endowed Chair for the Project Management Center of Excellence, and is ranked as an Associate Professor and Program Director at Bellevue University. Contributor for Forbes, YFS Magazine, CEO Magazine, IntelligentHQ and TweakYourBiz. Connect with Dr. Rahim on Twitter @Dr.EmadRahim or search for him and the Project Management Center of Excellence at

nd NY Times Best-Selling Author Jack Welch. Jack Welch is considered by his peers and col-


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How Insights from Brain Science Can Help You Manage Projects and Influence Change

‘You know there are invisible forces at work, and you want to influence them. You’re not sure how’


esearch led by Professor Terry Williams¹ into early warning signs for complex projects concluded that:

• Formal project review processes will be ineffective until we can pick up on subtle dynamics like group-think, political pressure and inconsistent decision-making, alongside progress, risk and finance. • The main challenge to improving delivery is in our heads. • Too many of us are blind to the human and organisational dynamics. These findings present the Project Management community with a challenge. If we can’t readily see these dynamics playing out, how do we know they are real and how do we seek to influence them? Ten years ago, you could be forgiven for labelling talk of invisible human and organisational dynamics as ‘flaky’. Not so now. Neuroscience may be in its infancy but it’s already providing insights into how the human brain works which have profound implications for project and programme management. In this blog I’m seeking to give you a flavour of how the brain works and how these invisible dynamics arise.

The Three-Part Brain The brain is made up of 3 parts often referred to as the Primitive Brain, the Feeling Brain and the Thinking Brain (click on the figure to make it larger). The Primitive Brain is focussed on survival


by ensuring body processes like breathing and heart function are maintained. The Feeling Brain acts as our emotional command centre. It’s where aspects of memory reside and impulsive actions begin.

ancestors. In the 21st Century we are constantly on the lookout for perceived threats to our psychological safety. As an integrated system the brain needs to make best use of available energy resources. The Feeling Brain, which acts largely on autopilot is far more energy efficient than the Thinking Brain. You’re probably familiar with the idea that when learning new things, such as how to drive, we go from unconscious to conscious incompetence and then to conscious competence and unconscious competence. As we assimilate the knowledge and skills to drive, mental activity moves from the Thinking Brain where it requires a lot of energy and effort, to the Limbic and then the Primitive Brain – where its instinctive.

Scanning for Threat The higher brain functions such as analysis, creativity, logical decision-making and empathy originate in the Thinking Brain. We are conscious of activity taking place in the Thinking Brain. We are only partly conscious of activity in the Feeling Brain, and unconscious of activity in the Primitive Brain. The 3 parts of the brain are intimately connected and linked to the body. Together they operate as an integrated system. Acting in consort their primary concern is to ensure our survival. To achieve this, the amygdala which sits in our Limbic Brain, is constantly scanning the environment to identify things, people and situations to avoid (threats) and those it is safe to approach. We’ve evolved as social creatures and face very different threats to our hunter gatherer

The amygdala is constantly scanning for external signals of threat picked up through our five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, and internal signals of threat picked up for example through an elevated heart rate or shortness of breath. It assesses all incoming signals to see whether they are hostile or familiar.

Health For signals perceived as threats, because they are hostile or unfamiliar, it takes around 80 mS for an automatic threat avoidance impulse to kick in. This happens at unconscious level. The signal telling us about our actions doesn’t reach the Thinking Brain until 240mS. At the same time one or more avoidance emotions (fear, anger,

disgust, shame and sadness) are triggered, which can effectively take the Thinking Brain offline. As you can see from the diagram, this automatically provokes an avoidance/ threat response characterised by these behaviours • defensiveness • denial • attack • withdrawal We are all wired for survival, and prone to these reflex-like responses. All it takes is for us to perceive a threat, which might be the smallest of signals. As soon as a threat response kicks in, energy is diverted away from the Thinking Brain and we are not able to use higher brain functions until equilibrium is restored. Generally we are not aware that it has happened to us or that our productivity has dropped. What constitutes a threat is determined by prior experience, and is very individual. For example, seeing a client flinch momentarily as you present performance figures might spark a defensive reaction in you, but have

no impact on a colleague at the same meeting. And there’s no saying what impact you barking a response to your client’s questions will have. They might take it their stride. They might not. Not all signals provoke avoidance behaviours and take the Thinking

Brain off-line. If the amygdala assesses signals as familiar and safe, the opposite happens. In this case they provoke an approach response generating attachment emotions of trust, love, excitement and joy. Words which are more often used to describe the relationship between a mother and baby than adults in the corporate world. When these emotions are coursing through the body, the Thinking Brain is operating at its best. People are: • highly motivated • creative • collaborative and • able to learn together Implications The implications for project and programme management are profound. To borrow from Tara Swart and colleagues² “Whether you like it or not, everything you say or do as a project/ programme/ change manager by way of communication by every verbal and non-verbal means is transmitted into the feelings systems of others … and, has an impact on delivery. Project success relies on our ability to evoke attachment/approach behaviours such as creativity and collaboration and to reduce our tendency to provoke avoidance behaviours. Neuroscience gives us: • Insight into relationship dynamics

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that were previously invisible. • New understanding of how we unwittingly create these dynamics. • Clarity about their impact on ourselves and others. If so much is going on beneath the surface of interactions between two people, just imagine what happens on a project which involves ten, hundreds or even thousands of people. Developing an understanding of these subtle human and organisational dynamics is essential if we want to improve project success rates. The evidence is there, the challenge is to act on it. The crucial first step is learning how to avoid avoidance behaviours. I’ll be covering this and related subjects in future blogs References ¹ Williams T, Klakegg O et al. 2012 Identifying and Acting on Early Warning Signs in Complex Projects Project Management Journal, 43 (2), 37–53 ² Swart T, Chisholm K and Brown P, 2015 , Neuroscience for Leadership, Palgrave Macmillan This blog, “Escape the Catch 22!“, is Copyright © 2015 OMQ Consulting. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of dream designs at

This blog, “Escape the Catch 22!“, is Copyright © 2015 OMQ Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Carole Osterweil Director, OMQ Consulting


Project Eye

Gender Equality

Women in Project Management Looking to the Future

Women in project management have been a topical issue for several decades. The discussion has ranged from their lower representation overall with this linked back to the traditional male dominated industries from which project management as a profession emerged through to women’s capabilities as project managers. Their status within the profession lower pay than their male counterparts and managing lower value projects and remote teams has also been highlighted. More recently the debate about women in project management has been linked to the diversity agenda. Women still represent about a quarter of the profession nationally, and less than one fifth of the APM membership. Lack of adequate statistics has hampered our ability to accurately review trends as well as identify sub trends. I am however optimistic about the future for three reasons firstly the professionalization of project management and more women gaining professional qualifi-


cation as the introductory certificate and the APMP. Secondly, the growing visibility of women in project management and thirdly the growing demand for project managers linked with the skills gap which will require recruitment from a more diverse workforce including women to plug the shortfall. In February this year, the APM reported the highest ever level of female entrants for the APMP exams. The winner of the Brian Willis award a woman from TFL had come into project management via a circuitous route. We are aware that many project managers have entered the profession accidently. This is unsurprising as formal training in project management is recent compared to other professions. Indirect entry should continue to be championed as an entry route. The various routes into the profession should be widely published to encourage wider participation of women from the entry level through to mid-career (including career change) and the senior levels of programme

and portfolio management. The representation of women at the mid and higher level qualifications is understandably low. The Women in Project Management (WIPM) SIG is encouraging more women to get recognition for the skills and experience by obtaining RPP, FAPM and other similar certifications. We also actively encourage women to plan and take ownership of their career paths to achieve their full potential. Having a mentor or sponsor will assist and they do not have to be another woman. The debate on women’s ability as project managers I think is a spurious ones, but one that runs on nevertheless. It really needs to move on to the combination of technical and soft skills required to succeed; and this will vary from project to project and over a project life (Okoro, 2015). Diagnosing the cultural code of projects, organisations and the individuals within in order to operate successfully is more beneficial than stereotypical views or perceptions.

Gender Equality



Project teams now often have membership from different departments, organisations and countries with multiple stakeholders – understanding and communicating with this diverse group is critical for project success. It has been argued that more diverse teams are better for decision making and assessing risk as group think creeps in when team members are too similar. Certainly obtaining a wide range of perspectives prior to decision making can only be a good thing. The growing visibility of women is still a work in progress. Enhancing the current situation both internally within the profession and externally creates positive role models for those within the profession as well as those considering a career within. In 2014 when Women in Project management (WIPM) SIG celebrated its 21st anniversary several articles appeared in the professional press about both our group and women. The relaunched project magazine also reflects a more diverse range of project managers within its pages. The annual conference of women in project management now currently sponsored by BAE is also assisting to raise the profile of women. Externally WIPM has recently produced a video to encourage more women to consider a career in project management. It deliberately showcases a range of sectors as logistics, space research and airlines different from the traditional construction and engineering which is associated with the profession. It is anticipated that this will be widely viewed by career influencers as well as young girls and women and create role models they can identify with. We are also encourage PMs (men and women) to go into schools and universities as well as to join campaigns as Inspire to promote PM as a career, using the WIPM video and factsheet resource. The demand for project managers are increasing in the UK as well as globally, this is linked to more organisations employing project management techniques to deliver their projects as well as the growth of


infrastructure and other development and growth projects in developing and emerging economies. Recently in the press (e.g. Atkins 2015) the already evident skills shortage in the delivery of large complex projects has been highlighted. Companies with vision and foresight are already stemming this potential gap by adopting initiatives and practices which ensure that they attract and retain talent. These include expanding their apprenticeship, programme and policies to develop and retain mid-career employees and encourage women returners also incorporating more flexible working options. PMs seeking new opportunities will be attracted to these types of organisation. In time, other organisations will recognise the need to alter their working practices. We know that the generation Y have different drivers from the generations before and the workplace has to recognise this. Headlines as the recent one about women in engineering who work extraordinary long hours and have to conceal that they have a family is still a reality for some, but should hopefully start to alter. Our own WIPM surveys have highlighted career progression and work-life balance as challenges faced by nearly two thirds of those surveyed. The Women in Project Management (WIPM) SIG want to highlight and share good practice to encourage its wider adoption by organisations. Better information on women in project management is still required to identify trends. For instance there is anecdotal information on greater number of female project managers in areas as health and airlines. Are there similar pockets elsewhere and why? Greater transparency will also assist us track changes over time. Diversity and inclusion is now a relevant issue for other traditionally male dominated professions as surveying, engineering and architecture. They have more baseline statistics to assess changes. Project managers need the same data, not just for women but to enhance wider diversity and inclusion in the profession.


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WIPM video and factsheet can be accessed at: National WIPM Conference 2015 is on 24 September. Book early at: event/2015-women-project-management-national-conference References Atkins. (2015). The Skills Deficit: Consequences and opportunities for UK Infrastructure. Retrieved from Atkins-Corporate/uk-and-europe/uk-thought-leadership/reports/TheSkillsDeficitFullReport_final.pdf Okoro, T. (2015). Through the Looking Glass; perceptions of leadership. Retrieved from http://

Teri Okoro Teri Okoro is founder and Director of TOCA. A practicing architect and construction project manager, she is Chair of the APM Women in Project Management SIG and also sits on the Diversity Panel of the Construction Industry Council. She has an interest in developing diverse talent and has presented and written extensively in this area. Her consultancy experience spans several sectors including Healthcare, Residential and Commercial covering Real Estate in the UK and Africa. She also holds Non-Executive Director positions.


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PMP Terminology Word Finder





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PMP Crossword Puzzle



2. A limiting factor that affects the execution of a project, program, portfolio, or process 5. A person or group who provides resources and support for the project, program, or portfolio, and is accountable for enabling success 9. Projects, programs, subportfolios, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives 10. A technique used for dividing and subdividing the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable parts 11. The amount of time whereby a successor activity can be advanced with respect to a predecessor activity 13. A distinct, scheduled portion of work performed during the course of a project 14. A risk that would have a negative effect on one or more project objectives

1. A condition or capability that is required to be present in a product, service, or result to satisfy a contract or other formally imposed specification 3. A factor in the planning process that is considered to be true, real, or certain, without proof or demonstration 4. A response to a threat that has occurred, for which a prior response had not been planned or was not effective. 6. Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project 7. A significant point or event in a project, program, or portfolio 8. A risk that would have a positive effect on one or more project objectives 12. An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives


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By Mike Flanagan : ©Copyright Flantoons


The next PMO Flashmob takes place on Date: Thursday 23rd July 2015 Time: 4:00pm Venue: Tattershall Castle, Thames at Victoria Embankment, London, SW1A 2HR.



Why Pursue A Project Management Education?  

Featured in Project Management Magazine. Interview with Dr. Emad Rahim, Endowed Chair for the Project Management Center of Excellence at Bel...

Why Pursue A Project Management Education?  

Featured in Project Management Magazine. Interview with Dr. Emad Rahim, Endowed Chair for the Project Management Center of Excellence at Bel...