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project JUNE–JULY 2014 / $8.25 INC GST



GREEN HEROES Tim Flannery: “Anything worth doing has its challenges”

NBN REBOOTED How project managers would get the troubled network back on track

REGULARS ● Head to head:

Agile vs waterfall ● Meet the member ● Thought leader: Joel Carboni



Regrettably, it seems an all too common approach to



22 FIVE LESSONS PROJECT MANAGERS CAN TEACH THE NBN How to bring the National Broadband Network back on the rails

26 HOW SUSTAINABLE IS YOUR PROJECT, REALLY? The top ten practical standards to test if your project is efficient and environmentally friendly



9 MEET THE MEMBER From fire and smoke to flood, Aurelia Noran is saving the planet one disaster at a time

10 THE IRONIC PROJECT MANAGER An unconventional approach to sustainability will keep your company on the up, says Joel Carboni

12 GREEN HEROES Australia’s green heroes are as diverse as the topic of sustainability itself, hailing from a spectrum of interests but sharing a mandate to leave our world in better shape than we found it

16 HERE TODAY, STILL HERE TOMORROW We must navigate a complex web to ensure sustainable projects are commercially viable but don’t cost the Earth. We look at the challenges and lessons from those reaching sustainability success

28 HEAD TO HEAD: AGILE VS. WATERFALL Which process is best? We ask two experts

30 THE KEY TO SUCCESS If you want to further your career, you need to be rooted in sustainability


36 THE ENDANGERED PMO How the project management office can survive 38 CHAPTER CHAT 40 TALKING POINT Leadership Q&A





Beverley was previously the IT Editor of The Australian Financial Review and she now writes for The Age, BRW, Boss, CIO and The Sydney Morning Herald. Here she makes her first contribution to Project Manager, covering Canberra’s new metro rail system and investigating what it takes to build a sustainable data centre in the cover feature, page 16.

Leon is an independent journalist, author, blogger, radio presenter, public speaker and podcaster, specialising in business and economics. His stories have appeared in Business Spectator, The Australian Financial Review, BRW and CFO. In this issue, Leon provides sustainability insights for project managers seeking to climb the career ladder, page 30.

Adeline is the director of WriterType, a communications agency specialising in business, education and project management writing. She is well known for her work on the project management community. For our sustainability issue, she looks at Australia’s first ‘Living Building’ and speaks to US expert Joel Carboni on how to become a ‘green’ PM, page 10.

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

Level 9, 139 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000 (02) 8288 8700 Chief Executive Officer Margie O’Tarpey National Managers Marketing and Communications Lee Edmondson and Michael Martin Published by Hardie Grant Media 4/50 Yeo Street, Neutral Bay, NSW, 2089 (02) 9908 8222

General Manager Clare Brundle Publisher Alison Crocker Managing Editor Sophie Hull Editor Nate Cochrane Art Director Dan Morley Production Jamie Galsim Advertising Manager Kerri Spillane (03) 8520 6444 Cover illustration Carlo Giambarresi Print Offset Alpine Printing Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily endorsed by Project Manager magazine or the publishers. All material is copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publishers.

UPCOMING ISSUES August/September: Education and training October/November: The Editorial Committee invites members to contribute to the issue. We are seeking article ideas, project case studies to include, news items and experts to interview. Please email a short summary of your idea to the Managing Editor Sophie Hull at by July 17.



ustainability is really hard to define in a nutshell but broadly thinking, it is embedding long-term principles into a process of change. Project managers deliver that strategy through change. That strategy should embrace corporate social responsibility and a framework of environmental methods such as efficient energy consumption and recycling waste. However, it is not just an environmental matter; it includes wider issues. I apply the PESTEL analysis—political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors, to bring appropriate values to the fore. I have been part of the leadership team on a very large, award-winning megaproject from first principles to project end. We embedded sustainability principles from the beginning so we could be confident we were delivering the best benefit, not just for the project but also for the stakeholders and region. That meant that when making decisions sustainability was in mind, with a focus on community engagement, building local industry, working with indigenous communities and ensuring the environment around us was not negatively impacted. We have to think about sustainability right at the beginning of the project because first of all it sets the culture and secondly it provides tangible objectives in making decisions. If not led from the top it is not going to happen. What needs to be looked at hard is whether the decision makers at the state or territory level are actually thinking about long-term sustainably principles when they are proposing new projects. The rollout of the NBN (see page 22) is an example of not looking at the long term. These things need to be well thought out and we need to look at lessons learnt, from Europe, for example, where there is a greater density of people. The only way to deliver long-term value is to build-in sustainability principles and you will see some excellent examples of that in the upcoming AIPM national conference in October.

Dr Steve Milner, National President

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HOW TO PROJECT MANAGE AN ARTS FESTIVAL 3 1 Being an open-access event means that the Melbourne Fringe Festival has an incredible diversity of events.



2 and 3 As the flowers for Floriade are planted on site instead of being brought in, preparing and then restoring the park alone takes around 10 months of the year.


MELBOURNE FRINGE SEPTEMBER 17–OCTOBER 5, 2014 The Melbourne Fringe Festival is an open-access, multi-artform event. In 2013, a total of 386 events were part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival with audience numbers at over 250,000. We spoke to Creative Director & CEO Jayne Lovelock.

• What is the aim of the festival? We provide a platform for artists to learn tools to present and promote their work and to be part of the wider artistic community in Melbourne. • What are your key challenges? The one-year timeframe is tough. We have an open access model so we don’t curate, artists bring us shows they want to do. We don’t know what the program looks like until registration in May. We don’t get to plan more than a year in advance but regular funding applications often require more forward planning than that. I think the annual cycle is a challenge for all festivals. • What are some recent lessons learnt? I’ve learnt a lot about how important it is to foster teamwork in high-pressure environments. Success depends very much on working as a team, and responding to each other positively. Engage with and trust your team. People [in arts] aren’t doing it for the money, they are doing it because it’s what they love. 4 AIPM.COM.AU

Floriade features one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra’s Commonwealth Park as well as markets, workshops and entertainment. We spoke to Dianne Ireland, Senior Manager for Events ACT, responsible for a suite of events from Floriade and Enlighten to Australia day, New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Cricket World Cup.

• What is the aim of the festival? It began in 1988 as a gift to the city for the bicentenary. Its main aim then was as a celebration of spring but now it is more important to the city as tourism attraction. In 2013 we had 449,000 visitors through the gates, which is incredible for the size of the city, and it generated $39.5 million in expenditure. • What are your key challenges? The sheer size of it. It’s not just the 30-day event; we have to plan and grow all of the garden beds. We are always working on two events at one time. • What are some recent lessons learnt? Planning, planning, planning! Floriade has a number of plans that support it; a strategy plan with 3-5 years positioning, horticultural plan, program plan, site plan, marketing plan and sponsorship plan. • What advice would you have for a first-time arts festival director? First of all you need to understand what you are trying to achieve and then design around that. Where, how that venue is going to be transformed, budget and where that money is going to come from. You need to be flexible as everything changes year to year.


HECTARES Floriade’s site size, including approximately 9000 square metres of garden beds.


the number of artists who presented in the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival and would want to do so again.



Any plan for sustainability must be fully integrated with the day-to-day business practices of the organisation.” WEBSITE GUIDES PRO SERVICES TO SMARTER FUTURE Leading sustainability experts from the engineering, design, building and construction sectors have banded together with a website to help Australian companies transform their business models. The Business of Sustainability website was a Consult Australia collaboration of AECOM, Arup, Aurecon, GHD, Jacobs SKM, Parsons Brinckerhoff, URS, and Norman Disney and Young. It defines sustainability as economic, social and environmental and hopes to convince Australian businesses to make lasting, financially solid improvements to their operations. The centrepiece is the Decision Support Tool that challenges executives to consider how they will reach their corporate vision in relation to four key sustainability areas: governance, culture, collaboration and technology. “Any plan for sustainability must be fully integrated with the day-to-day business practices of the organisation,” Consult Australia CEO Megan Motto says. It focuses on providing professional services firms that consist mostly of intellectual capital with a roadmap to sustainability, helping them to think outside the box, guide strategy, review activities, write new procedures and engage stakeholders.

SPOTLIGHT Science journalist Gaia Vince was overwhelmed by the way “humanity was shaking up our world”. Adventures in the Anthropocene (Chatto & Windus, $37.99) is her exploration of the human fingerprint on earth, which took her over two years and across six continents. Weaving together both scientific research and stories from ordinary people implementing creative ways to overcome environmental change, it inspires us all to use our “planetary power” for good.

anberra-based development company Geocon has transformed a 1970s office building into a sustainable 152-room apartment-style hotel in around only six months. The hotel, Abode Woden, opened in August 2013 and is now on track to be Australia’s first hotel to achieve a Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. Geocon installed a Variable Refrigerant Flow fresh air system, high-efficiency electrical fittings and a rainwater reuse system on the roof which supplies all toilets in the development. These sustainable initiatives increased the total raw construction budget of 13.2 million by around 7.5 per cent, which Operations Manager Damon Smith says is worth the value add in the marketplace. “Being the first green hotel in Australia first and foremost increases the marketability of our brand. We expect to recapture those costs and have lower operating overheads, which is the other main benefit.” The existing furnishings and materials were all put to good use to reduce waste and costs. “The office was fully furnished and nearly everything was removed and sold on to be reused. About 95 per cent of materials were recycled.” Even the existing tiles were given to a local gun club for target practice. Mr Smith says the major challenge was shifting the focus to aiming for a Green Star rating in the design stage. “We had started demolition on site before we decided to head down that path. The key lesson learned was that we needed to implement the [sustainability] initiatives a lot earlier than we did. It was an unknown and we learned a lot of things along the way.”

Geocon had started demolition on an old office building in Woden before they decided to aim for the Green Star hotel standard. Once they shifted gear, around 95 per cent of materials were recycled.


• NEWS COUNTRY ROAD, POWER MY HOME While Australia scales back its commitment to renewables and spends more on roads, a US husband-and-wife team has linked the two in what could become the biggest highway and solar project in history. Their plan is to encase solar cells in rugged hexagons made of something like bulletproof glass to pave future roads and harvest energy. Inventors Scott and Julie Brusaw even have a model of a parking lot that generates an output equal to a 3600watt solar array. Australia has plenty of what the Brusaws need to make the Solar Roadways plan work; about 800,000 kilometres of highways, an average eight hours of sunshine a day and about 80 clear days a year in capitals. “One of the biggest benefits is that the new system can serve as a hub for all green energy technologies because it’s not vulnerable to disruption the way the centralised grids are,” Julie Brusaw told The Washington Post. “It’s a perfect way to create an energy-producing smart grid while also modernising our antiquated highway system at the same time.” And it may have other benefits, including cutting stored heat from asphalt roads that raise air temperatures while providing integrated lighting. The inventors say solar roads could cut greenhouse gases in the US by 75 per cent. The tempered and textured glass may also cut road maintenance and enable rapid access to underground conduits such as power and water. With US Government funding, the Brusaws have assembled a team to further the project but the prohibitive cost of retrofitting US roads, estimated to be 20-times the country’s annual budget, is a stumbling block until the average $10,000 for a 365-square centimetre panel is cut. Meantime, the Brusaws are crowd-funding $1 million to continue their work.


Almost one third of professionals say poor leadership is what negatively impacted their performance most, according to a recent study by specialist recruitment consultancy Robert Walters. When it came to the personal qualities of team leaders, professionals rated “supports team members” as the most important (78 per cent) while hiring managers thought that being a “genuine and open communicator” was the most important (83 per cent). The survey, Developing HighPerforming Teams to Drive Business Performance and Engagement, involved 700 professionals and 250 hiring managers in Australia and New Zealand.

Attackers... [have the] ability to be agile, to work in a distributed environment and crowd source.” – Paul Judge, Barracuda Networks

CAN WE LEARN FROM THE BAD GUYS? Software project managers could learn from hackers like those exploiting the recent Heartbleed security bug, says Paul Judge, Chief Research Officer of information security vendor Barracuda Networks. Heartbleed was rogue code possibly unwittingly added to the security software enabling popular banks and e-commerce websites. Hackers were quick to leap on it, in part, because of how they run projects. “Attackers are farther along in their ability to be agile, to work in a distributed environment and crowd source,” Judge says. “Many commercial software companies [could] learn from the attackers [who] are highly motivated, operating for profit or going after a cause or belief system.” Judge says project teams could learn from hackers in the following ways. • Be agile: develop basic features first, adding to them continuously while listening to stakeholders. • Cut scope: deliver in smaller chunks, just don’t throw more people and money at a project. • Collaborate at a distance: assemble project teams wherever the talent is. • Motivate members: communicate a clear mission the team believes in and can express to others. • Attract talent: high-flyers flock together so bring on the best people to inspire the best work and retain top talent. • Start as a democracy, finish as a dictatorship: start-ups must leave behind group decision-making as the project grows.


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THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE WILL FOCUS ON THE THEME ‘DELIVERING BENEFITS AND VALUES’ AND WILL INCLUDE KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS FROM: Nigel Chamier OAM Chairman, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, Executive Chairman of NAC Investments Pty Ltd Daniel Flynn Managing Director and Co-Founder Thankyou Group.

Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities The AIPM National Conference 2014 will once again include a trade exhibition, giving companies the opportunity to showcase products and services to key industry personnel from around Australia and overseas. For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, please visit or contact the Conference Organiser, MCI Australia on +61 7 3858 5530 or via email at

For more information and to register for the conference please visit

Earlybird registration closes on 31 July 2014

Noel Pearson Aboriginal Australian lawyer, land rights activist, historian and co-founded the Cape York Land Council

Conference Organiser, MCI Australia T: +61 2 9213 4000 E: 8 AIPM.COM.AU


Project managers are… the gate ‘crushers’ who ensure that projects are delivered sustainably. AURELIA NORAN DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT, NORANS CONSULTING


urelia Noran has been a project manager for 15 years, working on many implementations where sustainability was often front-of-mind. She has her own consultancy ( and is under contract to the Brisbane City Council building ferry terminals on the Brisbane River. Noran, who gained her mechanical engineering degree in Bucharest and later an MBA from Griffith University, says that project managers have a responsibility to bring sustainability to the table for their clients. “Project managers are key facilitators,” Noran says. “I think they are not only gatekeepers but also the gate ‘crushers’ who ensure that projects are delivered sustainably and achieve sustainable outcomes.” Being an engineer, her problem-solving skills are often in high demand, such as when she designed the air pollution control project at Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy. And, with a High Commendation at the 2009 AIPM Awards for outstanding project management and innovation, it is her proudest achievement. “It was initiated to cut air pollution created by fire fighters training in realistic situations during their courses,” she says. “It incorporated research that led to the first solution of its type for firefighting training academies around the world.” Noran will start RegPM this year, a certification she hopes will help her to benchmark skills and experience she has picked up against industry norms and peers.

• How do you define ‘sustainability’ in your practice? Sustainability in my line of work is creating something new with a net benefit to current and future generations from practical, social and environmental perspectives. It results in preserving and enhancing the planet’s ecology and resources.

GETTING PERSONAL Do your hobbies inform your professional work?   I love our property on the outskirts of Brisbane where we are running a long-term re-vegetation project. I feel so privileged to be able to be part of this project to restore the habitat for hundreds of birds and animals. I hope that I will be involved in more conservation projects and maybe even dedicate part of my time professionally to such projects.

• What are the big issues in sustainability in project management that are often ignored or taken for granted? The community should pay more attention to how projects are planned, structured and implemented to ensure sustainability is a key performance indicator recognised at the same level as traditional KPI’s such as on-time delivery, in budget and with appropriate quality. They should not wait for clients to drive initiatives that achieve sustainable outcomes but proactively engage in constantly including sustainability principles into their thinking and inviting a client to buy-in at every opportunity. • Do Australian organisations pay enough heed to these areas where sustainability is key? Australian organisations are influenced by the lack of focus of governments that have not encouraged alternatives that would contribute to a more sustainable future for all of us. I am a firm believer that business and trade are the key unifying global trends on our planet. Pollution that destroys the ecology and diminishes resources should have a price to be traded. An emissions trading scheme would be a suitable mechanism to put a price on pollution and reward sustainable outcomes.

• Has being a woman either helped or hindered your career?

I have many points of difference when I am around a table with my fellow engineers and project team members. I am an emigrant, I have an accent, I like funky outfits, I like to have a good laugh and, yes, I am a woman. But I really think that the other traits of my personality have had as much of an influence on my career as being a woman.

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oel Carboni was fighting off a severe case of cognitive dissonance when his boss planted the seed of an idea that would become his sustainability consultancy. “It started with a goat,” says Carboni, founder and Chief Executive Officer of GPM Global. Carboni was working on an IT project when his boss asked him to solve a problem with a ‘goat’, a ruse for shifting a cartful of rejected proposal documents. Carboni saw the irony. “The goal was to reduce waste and here we were with over 200 binders full of paper. I asked: ‘Why are we starting off with a wasteful process?’” Conceived as Green Project Management, GPM Global went on to develop the award-winning P5 sustainability standards and PRiSM (Projects integrating Sustainable Methods), to complement project methodologies. Although trends suggest sustainability will become a project management focus, Carboni says it’s still a challenge to convince people that it does belong in project management. “An Accenture and United Nations Global Compact study showed that 93 per cent of CEOs said sustainability is the key driver for business success. You can’t have something with that impact and have project managers ignore it.” Carboni says project managers are often too precious about traditional approaches to scope to consider sustainability’s benefits. “[GPM] training gets them to understand that organisational strategy and project governance need to be aligned so your project is successful. Is it good for the organisation, is it good for the environment, is it good for society?”


Australia has the highest competency rating for project management in the world so, if project managers can make this change, we’ll see a drastic improvement.” – Joel Carboni

Illustration: Andrew Joyner


Carboni mentions the irony of a coffee company that sourced fair trade, organically grown coffee— which it put in disposable pods. He advises project managers to take a holistic approach. “When handed a project, rather than saying, ‘This is what they’re asking me to do’, say ‘This is what they want; what’s the most sustainable manner for me to deliver it?’” Compliance mechanisms, ISO standards and other benchmarks are infused in operations, and sustainability principles should be no different. “Sustainability is about addressing risk effectively and also stimulating maturity. It touches three areas: maturity, quality, risk.” Sustainability efforts prior to P5 focused on supply chain but GPM uses a project-led approach. With the UN Global Compact as a foundation, GPM “mapped how a project is managed and how risks are defined and mitigated and took it from there”, Carboni says. He says it’s sad that GPM is the compact’s only project management organisation. GPM distinguishes between project deliverables and processes that strike to many issues project managers seldom consider. “Because Green Building Council certifications are so prevalent, project managers look to those but they are all designed for a deliverable,” Carboni says. “It has to be about the management process. When you look at the UN’s principles it’s across the board, including human rights and labour practices.” Project sponsors need to set key performance indicators that reward ethical behaviour and balance risk. “Go to the project sponsor and say, ‘We’d like to mitigate these and map these into new project objectives for a sustainable outcome’. Once you can show the benefit, every project will take on those [indicators].” The potential for project managers to improve society is huge. “Project managers drive change and organisational learning so if we’re able to integrate sustainability into our governance processes the entire organisation becomes sustainable.”

HOW DOES AUSTRALIA RATE? The good news is sustainability is on the agenda in Australia, but we still have a long way to go. Alan Tupicoff, AIPM Fellow and the Australian representative of GPM Global, says Australia gets points for being socially aware, “because we’re a developed country”. “But we still have a lot of challenges dealing with compliance for environmental aspects due to the continued debate around renewable energy and carbon trading systems,” he says. “Australia needs to make sure that managers and project managers focus more on the wider sustainability outcomes, making sure things are financially sustainable, environmentally sustainable, that their place in communities is sustainable and that their social responsibilities are sustainable.”

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TIM FLANNERY RETHINK FUNDING, FAST To see how much public funding has changed, consider that when freshly minted Environment Minister Greg Hunt sacked the Climate Commission, former Chief Commissioner Tim Flannery took just two weeks to “crowdfund” its private sector replacement. Professor Flannery raised nearly $1 million in a week from private donors to fund the Climate Council annual budget (the commission’s budget was $5.4 million over four years). Although Flannery had some idea the axe would fall, he says “the pace of the decision caught us by surprise”. “Most of all I was disappointed that the great work people contributed through our reports and climate change information would no longer be available to the public,” Flannery says. “But we have been able to get most of it back online.” Managing what became one of

CROWDFUNDING THE CLIMATE COUNCIL The first week was a rollercoaster ride for the scientist: ● $1000 raised per hour on the first day ● 63,000 Facebook fans ● 20,000 donors ● $969,000 raised (nearly the annual budget of $1m)


the world’s fastest crowdfunding projects created unexpected problems: PayPal and Twitter cut off the fledgling group’s payments and social media accounts. But Flannery can now speak his mind, unshackled from government, and the council makes clear that donations do not influence its research or advocacy. “It is in our cities and towns that climate change is having an impact, so having supporters in those places directly connected to our work makes us a better and more effective organisation,” he says. Australia is middle of the pack on climate action, he says. He singles out the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and WA’s water authorities as exemplars of organisations managing climate change. “Both were born out of a crisis and the need to defend vital assets led to strong political action.” He cautions project managers to build into their assumptions rising sea levels, water security and dwindling biodiversity, fisheries, tourism and coastal erosion, especially around the Great Barrier Reef. And he says land use, shipping and burning of fossil fuels present a “massive management challenge”. Over the next 18 months, the council will focus on renewable energy research, an area where Australia has natural advantages, he says. And Flannery’s advice for project managers who find themselves cut off or stuck in a rut? “All I can say is anything worth doing has its challenges and I am always an optimist. I think you have to be, that’s what keeps us going.”


Image: The Roost Creative by Simone Sheridan

HOW TO WORKSHOP CHANGE Mary Casey is upfront that Living Buildings, the pinnacle of sustainable design and construction, are not for everyone. Casey is a founding Director and Chair of the Living Future Institute of Australia, which brought the Living Building Challenge to Australia two years ago. “The Living Building Challenge only works if you are an owner-operator like a university, hospital or corporate headquarters,” Casey says. “If you’re going to build a property and expect to sell it straight away, it may not be appropriate.” She acknowledges that Australian projects tend to be owned and run “by a more conservative audience who aren’t too sure there’s much value [in sustainability]. But they weren’t so sure about Green Star ten years ago, either. The key is to work on your empathy and anticipate what matters to your clients.” She encourages project managers to speak to the value of sustainable properties that elicit higher rents and asset values, improved staff attraction and retention, and community links. Casey runs workshops for her clients, introducing executives to the concepts of sustainability—often on site. She has even considered introducing Aboriginal elders to spur respect for ancient values of stewardship. Workshopping the future of a client’s projects in virgin bush land or in a sustainable building also lifts clients’ eyes from spreadsheets to the horizon. Casey organises clients into interdisciplinary groups where they buy into their objectives and mission and spin this out into ever-wider circles of stakeholders to enact the brief. She says early buy-in is essential to any project but even more when you push the limits of what is sustainable. “If they decide to change it halfway through they can but they can’t repudiate it. We all looked each other in the eyeball and said we were going to do this. It’s not some external expert who came in and told them what to do.”

BUY-IN STARTS WITH STORYTELLING ● Empathise with your clients but

show them what is possible. ● Build buy-in at the start through active

participation in the goals and process. ● Show, don’t tell, the benefits that sustainable

design brings.

MARCUS WESTBURY INACTION IS COSTLY Renew Newcastle excells at reviving unused buildings with innovative pop ups, such as finding a home for coworking space The Roost Creative.

Marcus Westbury didn’t set out to be a project manager but his experience running arts festivals on a shoestring, which pop up for just a few weeks at a time, prepared him to lead one of Australia’s most ambitious urban-renewal projects. Renew Newcastle revived the commercial heart of the once-mighty regional industrial hub, spurring economic activity. In its fifth year, Renew Newcastle has spawned 140 projects in 60 buildings—the biggest establishing artisans and creatives in the forlorn David Jones building. Westbury, a vocal advocate for sustainability, has a nuanced view of the topic, citing that green tape is often a burden. “On one level, what we do is highly sustainable and taps unused resources and on another level we’re challenged in terms of adaptive uses of old buildings where sustainability gets in the way.” The Renew model is to creatively reuse or ‘upcycle’ vacant spaces for a short time. It has immediate social benefits by connecting residents to their city and injecting energy and creativity. It removes boarded-up windows, cuts vandalism, protects buildings from decay and removes a pall over no-go zones in city centres. But buildings are often constrained by access, energy use and zoning. “One of the challenges is that because all our projects are temporary, a lot of the building stock is very old. So we get left with buildings that have undesirable constraints or inefficiencies.”

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Consequently, he matches community projects to available spaces instead of creating a bespoke space. He says Renew projects can do little about structural deficiencies owing to limited time and budgets. “You can approach project management by looking at large-scale, large-resource projects that require big investments or you can strip out the cost and complexity to open the playing field to new players,” he says. “That hasn’t permeated enough of the government and project management industry.” The challenge is to show councils that inactivity borne of paralysing fear of doing the wrong thing is itself a risk. “The more you leave spaces empty for a period of time the more costly it is in the long term.”

WESTBURY’S TIPS FOR PMS ● Don’t change the use of the building, match projects

to the spaces. ● Find innovative solutions to encourage

experimentation. ● Convince sponsors of the opportunity cost of inaction. ● Fail fast then move on to something else.



He points to Melbourne’s $12 million Little Hero apartments, a nine-storey development built in nine months—much of it in a factory—as a harbinger of the innovation Australia needs to succeed environmentally and economically. “Building pods can just be craned into place. You get a high-quality, affordable, modular output that can be reused.” Nunn says impediments are being overcome as building codes standardise to allow ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions. And as global building codes harmonise, project managers can shop for top designs as if buying from Amazon. Nunn advises project managers to be assiduous with materials sourcing. “There’s a materials revolution going on to avoid toxics and get certainty around sustainable materials.” This leads to less toxic residue that harms worker health. The result is higher satisfaction that boosts productivity and cuts absenteeism. “With all of these things, it’s finding the hook that gets people to change their behaviours.”

The energy-neutral Australian Institute of Management Katitjin Centre by Norman Disney & Young.

WANT MORE? ● Read Creating Cities

CUT, REDUCE AND MINIMISE ● Consider if factory prefabrication can cut waste

and improve sustainability. ● Cut or eliminate use of toxic materials. ● Minimise disruption to the surrounding community.

by Marcus Westbury ● View the time-

lapse video of the T30 hotel being built in just 15 days at

Image: Norman Disney & Young

Chris Nunn is preparing his clients now for the massive growth that will hit urban centres over the next 15 years. Melbourne, for instance, is predicted to top 8 million people soon after 2051—a third of today’s national population. It is for this reason that project managers must build smarter and not aim just to scrape by, says Nunn, Norman Disney & Young’s Sustainability Leader. They must innovate, such as using prefabricated modules built in a factory. “It’s turning construction into a manufacturing industry, which is really exciting for jobs growth,” he says. It can cut waste by a third and is also vital for the nation’s economy. Tomorrow’s buildings may also be extruded on site, using massively scaled-up versions of desktop 3D printers, which US research suggests almost entirely eliminates waste. Smart buildings tend to be built quicker and use less power and water in operation. For instance, the 17,000 square meter T30 hotel towering 100 meters over Changsha, China, went up in just 15 days. Builder Broad Group claims T30 is five-times more energy efficient than a similar building erected with traditional techniques by incorporating passive insulation and heat recovery, has 20-times cleaner air and will resist a magnitude-nine earthquake. “This kind of disruptive technology will pose a dynamic threat that the industry has to adapt to quickly or else [buildings will] be made in China,” says Nunn.


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24/06/14 5:06 PM








manda Castray admits to once holding a narrow view of sustainability, but that was before she started working on a project with global implications for the planet and business. Like many project managers, she saw sustainability in terms of dollars rather than the triple-bottomline view that incorporates environmental, social and financial dimensions into business decisions (also commonly called the three Ps: people, planet and profit). But since Castray became the Commercialisation Manager for Sense-T, which is building sensor networks in Tasmania (what boffins call an ‘internet of things’), her view of a project’s lifecycle is more nuanced. “My foundation was on economic sustainability and we create a program, project or service that’s commercially viable,” says Castray. “That was core to my work over many years with government, which is often a three-year cycle. I found that extremely frustrating because there are benefits we could generate if there was a longer-term view.” Before joining Sense-T, Castray was the state’s

Director of Enterprise Development, helping build the Business Tasmania Online portal that picked up a Project Management Achievement Award last year. She also worked on Tasmania’s $440 million natural gas project so she knows major infrastructure projects. Sense-T is building a different sort of infrastructure that has sustainable processes at its core and as its business case. So the environmental impact and community engagement walk in lockstep with commercial realities. It taught Castray that those running projects must articulate social, environmental and economic goals along the way as well as any consequences of the project’s actions. “Don’t ever underestimate the importance of involving your stakeholders and end users throughout the process, not just at the start or end.” And it’s important at each step to anticipate small changes (or ‘pivot’) in response to community feedback while harvesting outcomes to prove value. “Depending on the time frame of the project, if you can deliver wins along the way that illustrate [value] to your end users and stakeholders—up the line to management—that is really important,” she says.

Image: NextDC

The solar panels on NEXTDC’s Melbourne data centre deliver around 500 megawatts of power a year.

project MANAGER 17


SUSTAINABILITY 2.0: BEYOND TODAY’S BEST PRACTICES Castray’s journey is familiar to project, portfolio and program managers in the construction industry, which has been on a similar trajectory since the 1990’s. But even construction—which led by erecting sustainable buildings to cut waste, water and power use—faces a step change that is sending it back to school. Stuart White, Director of the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, advocates project managers move beyond the maxim of ‘do no harm’ to a regenerative and restorative mindset. “It’s clear we have to go beyond just improving development,” White says. “At least in the commercial building sector we’ve done that. The question is, what’s the next step?” Fortunately, guidelines and developments such as the Living Building Challenge (see “Green Heroes” pages 12-14) are now in Australia to augment rating systems such as NABERS or Green Star and transparency processes advocated by the Global Reporting Initiative. At its 2012 local launch, challenge creator Jason McLennan said the Living Future Institute aimed to transform Australia into a “civilisation that is socially


just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative”. This led to Australia’s first ‘living’ building, the Sustainable Building Research Centre at the University of Wollongong, and influences leadingedge project managers. And while it isn’t certified as a living building, the influence of sustainability 2.0 philosophy is seen in One Central Park, the $2 billion marquee urban renewal in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Chippendale. The Frasers Property project towering above Central Station enters at a time of booming growth in what has become one of Australia’s fastest-growing precincts, one which has put on 52,306 new jobs in the five years from 2007 to 2012. Many jobs are in hipster-dominated fields—digital media and technology start-ups—that grew 250 per cent in that period. The first thing you see on approaching the One Central Park tower is Patrick Blanc’s 42-metre high vertical garden—the tallest in the world—over street-activated shops, lively eateries and cafes that compose some of the 75,000 square metres of commercial and office space. It dovetails with the city’s green walls and roofs policy that aims to improve air quality and filter water while insulating and noise-proofing buildings. There are markets and arts spaces down the side lanes and the eponymous 6400 square metre public area in the centre that was a departure from the original, denser design, White says. This helped to allay community anger about the scale of the project, which was tied up in dispute when Elton Consulting engaged White’s team to ride sustainability shotgun. White admits to a personal stake in the outcome of the landmark redevelopment of the Carlton & United Brewery site—it’s across the road from his office at Broadway. “It’s not just about box ticking, we’re really interested in what it is that project managers need to do to make the developments perform. [They are] looking beyond sustainability to see what it is they want to achieve.” Developing a holistic approach to the environmental, social and economic viability of Central Park was instrumental in the community embracing the development. White says it is a model for activating higher-density precincts across Sydney from South Maroubra to Epping that are bracing for an expected 1.3 million more people (taking the city to about 6 million) and 545,000 more homes by 2031. The emphasis on sustainability creates premium developments with long-term economic viability. Smart approaches such as decoupling car spaces from strata titles open up new economic models and respond to changing tastes, such as the use of car sharing and electric vehicles, White says. “When we were talking to Frasers at the [start], we were saying you need to wire up the spaces for electric vehicles and they said, ‘really?’ Now you wouldn’t think twice about it.”

1 One Central Park in Sydney has a 42-metre high vertical garden and a 6400 square metre public area in the centre. 2 Townsville’s unpredictable rainfall meant innovative measures were needed to provide insight on water use. 3 Smart water metres provide real time data to homeowners. 4 The data collected also showed supply faults such as broken pipes.


Images: Central Park; Flickr/Doug O’Neill; courtesy of IBM; Wikimedia Commons/Rob and Stephanie Levy

SMART WATER DATA SLAKES TOWNSVILLE’S THIRST Think of the tropics and water scarcity isn’t top of the average Australian’s mind. But Townsville in the dry tropics has an acute water problem that defies traditional ‘big concrete’ construction projects. Townsville gets 1150mm of rainfall a year, most over a short spell in the wet summer, but even this is unpredictable. In 2000, the city had a record high 2400mm of rain but the following year saw just 467mm—the second lowest in 73 years of observations. And since it is hot year-round, evaporation is a major challenge. This occurs in a city that prizes its green gardens, where 80 per cent of water is used. Answering the challenge, US information technology vendor IBM awarded Townsville a $200,000 Smarter Cities grant to install 289 Taggle smart water meters in houses in Aitkenvale and Bushland Beach. The smart infrastructure defers major infrastructure spending while delivering rapid insights into water use. The next phase is to roll out to a few thousand homes before a broader rollout that aims to serve the area’s 54,000 dwellings. Data collected by the smart meters feeds back to the citizens in real time through a secure web portal so they can moderate their use and compare with other trial participants. And the data shows council supply faults, such as broken pipes. Chris Manning, Townsville’s leader on the project, says council “struggled a bit” with the uber-secure portal accessed through a virtual private network (VPN) system inherited from


LESSONS LEARNT ● Big data trumps concrete when it comes to deferring capital costs disruption. ● Community plays a big part in the pilot’s success. ● Partners can subsidise and evangelise a project. ● Tailor solutions to local conditions (but look outside your domain of expertise for innovation).


IBM’s smart water US pilot in Dubuque, Iowa. “The challenge for [ratepayers] is there’s lot of different skills, abilities and operating systems and we know a significant chunk of people struggled with the loading of a VPN,” Manning says. It is now hosted at the local university and accessed like net banking with a password. Graduate students are researching mobile solutions and alerts to warn residents of over-watering more quickly. The portal platform change markedly boosted to nearly half the number of residents who actively participated, which may be why Townsville recorded an improved water saving. Dubuque cut participants’ water use by 6.6 per cent and improved leak detection by a factor of eight but water saving improved by 10 per cent in Townsville. “You want the insight to come back to the resident as close as possible to the time of behaviour,” Manning says. “That’s the problem with bills you see every three months, but if you see what you did yesterday you’re more likely to adjust your behaviour.”

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NEXTDC is creating world-class data centres across Australia with reduced energy consumption and renewable energy production.

DATA CENTRES AMP UP EFFICIENCY Customers who collocate their technology want data centres to last a long time, be cost effective, use minimum power and be close by. The data centre must also be somewhat ‘future-proof’ to benefit from rapid technological change in computers, communications and supporting infrastructure such as power and cooling. NEXTDC’s Chief Operating Officer Simon Cooper says that project managers must be flexible and pragmatic. “Once you’ve taken the decision to build you have to move extremely quickly to ensure the sustainability of the business model.” For instance, installation of solar panels on NEXTDC’s Melbourne roof happened long after planning began but the business case didn’t allow the company to delay the opening until the array was ready. Instead, NEXTDC’s project managers anticipated the addition of the array by preparing the data centre’s fabric for it at a later date. Cooper says it was also important that project managers had open lines of communication with electricity suppliers so that when the array was switched on, delivering about 500 megawatts of power a year, it didn’t disrupt the network. “You need to have project managers that are broader than pure-play, who can blend into engineering teams. They are not just looking to tick off gates when a meeting has taken place but that it achieves operational sustainability.” Power is vital to operational sustainability. For instance Canberra Data Centres ramped-up


THE PRICE OF POWER ● NEXTDC laid the groundwork for solar arrays in advance of its Melbourne data centre opening. ● Sustainable practices are lowering costs for CDC and its customers, by up to 60 per cent. ● Select the right sustainability project framework to suit your needs without going overboard.

equipment density and utilisation using hot-aisle containment and air-cooled chillers that save it 110,000 litres of water a day. Data centres are measured by their power use effectiveness (PUE), the amount of power that goes in compared to that which operated the computing equipment. As such, a PUE of 1 would represent ultimate efficiency, so CDC’s rating of 1.4 is low by industry standards, which goes some way to ensuring that it passes on power savings to its customers of up to 60 per cent. Chief Technology Officer Peter Henson says technology advances mean that CDC’s new data centre to open in September has a PUE target of just 1.25. He believes in using a methodology that scales to the project, its framework requirements, function specification, delivery and sustainability. Sophisticated techniques such as PRINCE2 are overkill for him: “I’m not building a squadron of fighter planes.”

BILL-FREE BUILDING MEETS CHALLENGE For the University of Wollongong, its ‘Living Building’ was more than an academic challenge—its success was a business imperative. Not content with a 6-Star Green Star certification, the university’s Sustainable Building Research Centre’s home is Australia’s first candidate in the Living Building Challenge (LBC). The centre’s project manager Lance Jeffery says Green Star’s framework dovetails with the underlying philosophy of the LBC. “One lesson is to ensure everyone is on the same page early and pulling in the same direction,” says Jeffery.

“Project managers can steer people but ultimately the owner’s philosophical drive is the key to any sustainable building. I was the owner, so I got to say ‘If I can’t afford something that this building needs to remain Green Star, then it needs to change’.” Supply of sustainable materials was the biggest challenge. The project needed to be rigorous about using materials not on the ‘red list’ of banned, toxic or hazardous chemicals. The centre has a tracking zone for sourcing that meant nothing came from outside Australia. But our limited manufacturing required Jeffery to get an exemption to source from parts of Asia, which was time consuming. “It was challenging but also extremely rewarding because we learnt a lot about the supply chain and how to design around it. We were also advocating to suppliers to look for alternatives.” The capital cost was greater than a building using traditional or less-ambitious sustainability benchmarks but Jeffery says lifecycle costing is more relevant for a sustainable building. Operational costs are minimal—it will never see an energy or water bill— but it’s the social return on investment he values most. “We took it upon ourselves to be the leader so we would have relevance from an educational and marketing perspective. There are a number of people it speaks to—how do you quantify that?” Sustainability needs to be a performance indicator: “Time and cost are often cop-outs for sustainability drivers,” says Jeffery. “The project manager has a moral and professional responsibility to ensure that the project deliverables are properly defined, adequately conveyed and understood by stakeholders—so sustainability is fundamental to the quality.”


Images: NextDC; University of Wollongong; Capital Metro

Capital Metro is planning Canberra’s first light rail line, linking Gungahlin with the city, catering for population growth and easing congestion. The project that started last year as part of the ACT’s sustainable city plan has technical, commercial and

LIVING BUILDING LESSONS ● Lead with sustainability—time and cost will follow. ● Get people on board with the vision at the start and hold them throughout the project. ● Be tenacious—don’t compromise on your principles when the bills come in.

THE KEYS TO CAPITAL METRO ● Capital Metro will use PRINCE2 and ISCA guidance. ● Transport contributes 17 per cent of the nation’s pollution. Canberra Metro aims to cut Canberra’s reliance on cars. ● Improving residents’ health through active walking and bike riding is also important.

legal advice in place. It aims to cut Canberra’s reliance on cars by building an integrated, efficient public transport system that encourages walking and biking. Project Director Emma Thomas says the triple-bottomline is vital: “This isn’t something that you can bolt on. It needs to be built into the fabric of the project”. Thomas says the project is drawing on best practices including PRINCE2 and will seek an Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia rating that provides a basis for quantifying benefits. “It’s like having a quality framework for sustainability and you can bring it into the design from the beginning,” says Thomas who will also use the ISCA framework to draft proposal guidelines. Capital Metro expects to complete its plan by the end of the year, seek construction partners next year and lay tracks in 2016. This first light rail line is part of the broader plan developed by the ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate that makes clear the public-policy web that needs to be navigated. Projects must consider policy towards climate change and environment, infrastructure and safety, planning frameworks, accessibility and social inclusion, land release and master planning programs, and health. “Australia ‘gets’ sustainability,” Thomas says. “Because it’s a land of extremes we are forced to consider this. The maturity of systems is happening more slowly but they are developing and more consistency is emerging.” Christine Laurence, who contributed to the development of the ACT’s sustainable transport policy, says transport contributes 17 per cent of the nation’s pollution. “And its share is increasing over time,” she says. “We need to reduce transport’s carbon pollution by shifting towards lower carbon-intensive transport modes—walking, cycling and public transport.” Tackling an “epidemic of inactivity” could save Australia up to $13.8 billion a year through healthcare savings, improved productivity and longer life expectancy.

7 STEPS TO SUSTAINABILITY SUCCESS The UN Global CompactAccenture CEO Study on Sustainability 2013 identified seven themes that enable leading companies to achieve both value creation and impact on global sustainability challenges. More than 1000 executives from 27 industries across 103 countries were involved. 1. Realism and context: understanding the scale of the challenge, and the opportunity. 2. Growth and differentiation: turning sustainability to advantage and value creation. 3. Value and performance: what gets measured gets managed. 4. Technology and innovation: new models for success. 5. Partnerships and collaboration: new challenges, new solutions. 6. Engagement and dialogue: broadening the conversation. 7. Advocacy and leadership: shaping future systems.

project MANAGER 21





n April, former Vodafone Australia Chief Executive Officer Bill Morrow took the reins of NBN Co, the government corporation charged with building the National Broadband Network. With the project running well behind schedule and struggling to keep within its $43 billion budget, the Coalition Government mandated a massive change in scope, handing Morrow and his team a massive task. A government review of the project by auditors KordaMentha, famous for spending a decade untangling Ansett’s collapse, found systemic management problems with contractors not meeting their obligations, litigation from subcontractors and chronic installation delays. To get the NBN back on track, experts told Project Manager the builders must focus on these five points.


DEFINE THE SCOPE A key problem for the NBN’s executives is the government’s substantial change to the project’s scope. Originally, it called for nine in ten of the nation’s premises to be on optical fibre with the rest on terrestrial wireless or satellite services. The new government says NBN Co must use an undefined


1 NBN Co’s ambition to run optical fibre past 90 per cent of houses has been abandoned as the new government favours a mixed-mode communications infrastructure of copper, HFC cable, wireless and optical fibre. 2 The interim satellite service, which is no longer accepting registrations, will have to satisfy those who missed out on fibre until NBN Co launches its own satellites next year. 3 Rural communities without ready access to broadband are a priority of the NBN.

ALP elected with a NOVEMBER National Broadband Network 2007 as a key policy.

APRIL 2008

APRIL 2009

Federal government opens request for proposals to build a national broadband network.

Government abandons RFP process and announced its intention to set up a new network company.

MAY 2009

JULY 2010

First customer connected at Tasmania’s Midway Point.

Rudd government commits $4.7 billion capital to new NBN Co.

combination of fibre, copper and the 1990s pay TV network cable instead. David Chandler, former project manager on Australia’s New Parliament House and publisher of building industry commentary website Construction Edge, sees adequately defining the scope as one of the most important tasks ahead. “Get the scope clear, get realistic,” Chandler says. In 1984, the Government had spent $100 million on New Parliament House with no progress, he says, but within four years it was completed at a cost of $1 billion. And Chandler believes the public were proud of the nation’s new capitol building.



REGAIN PUBLIC TRUST Another key objective of NBN Co’s new management is to regain the public trust, Chandler believes. “We need a system that when it’s built, the public all acclaim it to be worldclass, that they are proud of it and it’s making a difference to their lives and businesses.” Rachael McIntyre, NBN product manager at iiNet, shares that view: “We need to make it clear to customers that building a national broadband network is a monumental task.” As Australia’s No.2 internet service provider, iiNet connects thousands of its customers to the 3 NBN, which was made more difficult as mounting installation problems shook public trust.


COMMUNICATE BETTER TO MANAGE STAKEHOLDERS Part of the reason for the installation problems was poor communication between NBN Co, its contractors and the public, something that McIntyre sees as a key area the new management needs to resolve. “There needs to be a clearer transparency of information,” she says. “If there is a delay or holdup, [NBN Co] let us know and we can manage our way around it.” A failure to communicate is one of the key criticisms in the KordaMentha report where the lack


Construction contracts signed with SEPTEMBER Transfield Services and Syntheo. 2011

APRIL 2011

NBN Co abandons construction tenders citing prices as being too high.

MARCH 2013

SEPTEMBER Liberal government elected with a policy of reducing the NBN’s costs. 2013

Syntheo hands back Northern Territory contracts.

project MANAGER 23


of a ‘single version of the truth’ was highlighted. Poor communications between stakeholders also created mistrust between contractors, the government and NBN Co. In a highly politicised project, this distracted project managers and gave rise to misguiding measures of progress.


WRITE REALISTIC BENCHMARKS TO CREATE BENEFITS For McIntyre, much of the project’s problems stemmed from a focus on the wrong benchmarks. “The project managers need to move from reporting premises-passed to premisesconnected,” she says. A focus on how many buildings the cables went past rather than the numbers of customers and premises connected was a weakness acknowledged by Morrow. He told a recent public meeting, “The primary focus for management has been on building the network rather than connecting families and businesses. “We need to do both and we need to do them better,” Morrow says.


STOP BEING SO SOFT It may well be that the problems besetting the NBN are a wider problem in the construction

APRIL 2014

Minister Turnbull issues a set of revised government expectations dramatically changing the scope of the project.

DECEMBER Government releases strategic review of project and announces committee to 2013 analyse costs and benefits of the NBN.


industry. Chandler sees the NBN’s problems as part of a broader malaise among project managers. “Project management is becoming so generic and soft these days the client’s interests do not have a chance,” he says. “Most project managers want no tension, no accountability and often overlook critical elements of projects because they do not know [how to handle them].” Projects get compromised due to a build-up of these inactions. The downside is that some infrastructure is going to have to fail before a public inquiry into this is needed, he says. Despite the rollout problems, people such as McIntyre and Chandler still show a lot of the goodwill towards the project and its intentions. “It’s wrong to underestimate the social benefits such as e-health, real time industry diagnostics and operations,” Chandler says. “I have examples of the large data sets that will be able to flow that have yet to be realised.” McIntyre says she is still “super-passionate” about the project: “NBN Co just needs to get down to business of getting a rollout.” With sound project management principles it may well be possible to get the nation-building project back on track.

JUNE 2014

Cost benefit analysis due to be delivered.

JULY 2018

These problems are typical of those described by US researcher and President of Independent Project Analysis, Ed Merrow, in the December-January edition of Project Manager (“Speed Kills”, page 18), where he identified why megaprojects fail. In Merrow’s view, megaprojects are more likely to succeed if stakeholders are involved in the development, where there is stability in leadership, the project is completely defined and has clear goals and objectives. Taking into account the scale of the NBN project, this could be classified as a megaproject with similar considerations. “Coherent project objectives are the foundation on which a strong team is built,” Merrow says. “This requires all of the objectives to be articulated in a meaningful way—not just some empty nostrum.” On every level the NBN lacked these traits. The previous management team were set up for failure regardless of their abilities.

NBN Co expected to be cash flow positive.

JULY 2021

Projected completion date.

Images: Corbis; Thinkstock; Shutterstock; Fairfax


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HIGH TARGETS Too many projects scrape through on sustainability. Future-proof your project starting with NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) 5.5 star and Green Star (Green Building Council Australia) level five. “Or skip straight to the end goal and use a world’s best-practice rating tool such as Living Building Challenge or One Planet Living,” Chris Nunn says. Consider how you are reporting your success to keep the project honest. PASSIVE DESIGN Reconsider your building’s fabric, including its glazing and shading. Insulation, particularly its continuity, must be assessed and how airtight and pressurised the building is. “We’re seeing a lot of commercial buildings that are just barely complying with Section J of the building code related to energy efficiency,” says Nunn. SERVICES EFFICIENCY Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning are major cost centres and improvements have a big impact on a project’s bottom line. And in lighting, Nunn says there’s an “LED quiet revolution happening with clever lighting controls such as presence dimming.” Ask if your project needs power outlets at each desk or if they can be replaced with recharging stations or just a USB outlet for mobile devices.


PRACTICAL RENEWABLES Early tri-generation has sometimes misfired. “Like toy wind turbines on the top of buildings that never turn on and are just ‘eco-bling’—ostentatious and impractical,” says Nunn. But embedding solar cells in a building’s windows may provide efficient power generation: “The whole glass box of an office tower is an energy generator.”

ZERO WASTE Modular systems, pre-fabrication and 3D printing of buildings offer the hope of rapid, zero-waste construction. The 30-storey T30 hotel in China was made in a factory and erected on site in just 15 days. Hickory Group built Little Hero apartments in Melbourne in nine months using factory-precision modular construction. “This is turning construction into a manufacturing industry that will do for buildings what Ikea did for furniture,” says Nunn. ERADICATE TOXICS Not long ago asbestos was a common building material but today other toxics are used in construction. The ‘newbuilding smell’ is created by hazardous materials like volatile organic compounds, which should be avoided. Avoid formaldehyde, brominated flame retardants found in soft furniture, and phthalates (which softens plastics). Nunn recommends doing a


life cycle assessment (perhaps with eTool software) and champions responsible sourcing of wood, steel and other products. “Industry is responding with voluntary eco labels and a chain of custody schemes, like a food label on the product that says it’s free from harmful chemicals and toxic substances.”

7 Images: Norman Disney & Young

BE WATER-WISE As a dry continent, Australia has long adopted water-saving measures such as dual-flush toilets. But we still lag Europe when it comes to waterless urinals and grey-water use. We can also do more with sewerage or ‘black water’ recycling where the energy costs aren’t too high, Nunn says. Also, using permeable surfaces and reed beds cuts the risk of flash floods over hard ground. “Artificial wetlands are beautiful, have ecological benefits and are great places for people to hang out.”


ACTIVE TRANSPORT Getting people to ride or walk to work has positive benefits on infrastructure and health. Copenhagen’s bike lanes and London’s cycling superhighways are great examples. Install bike racks, showers and change rooms to encourage employees to bike to work and consider proximity to public bike hire schemes for short trips. “Integrating fitness into the daily commute really appeals to Australians.”


3 1 and 2 The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, a Norman Disney & Young project which uses a gas fired co-generation plant and solar panels, among other sustainability initiatives. 3 Darling Quarter, Sydney, which achieved a 6 Green Star office design rating and a 5 star NABERS rating, not to mention community popularity with an innovative new playground.


HAPPY WORKERS Quantify the benefit of green building features in terms of improving indoor environmental quality and productivity and cutting absenteeism. Daylight, views and access to green space should not be reserved for the C-suite. Office plants clean the air and improve moods. “A green roof has cooling effect but is also open space for people to use as a break-out area.”


CULTURAL CONTEXTS We want to create a local green construction industry that we can export to rest of the world. Engender respect for heritage values such as the indigenous and multicultural communities. Eat healthily from organic, Fair Trade, local and sustainable produce. Provide equitable access using ramps, multilingual signage, Braille signs and tactile strips. Create jobs locally and up-skill for sustainable jobs. Provide practical advice on, for instance, how to seal a window or what to do if Aboriginal artifacts are found on site. Understand the community’s views on appropriate development and support the growth of green industries.

project MANAGER 27


AGILE VS. WATERFALL The rivalry between Agile and waterfall processes relates to the scale and scope of a project. Agile’s advocates point to its iterative process that delivers frequent milestones and the ability to change directions according to external factors. But by formulating scope at the outset, waterfall’s sequential process may improve governance, especially highly regulated infrastructure projects. Both methods have challenges. Which is best? We ask two experts.






• Agile is… A set of guiding principles for building software or ‘iterative development’ such as Scrum, Kanban and XP. They have rules, while Agile-proper has 12 principles. For software projects Agile is best for early and frequent delivery while adapting to customer requests. • Only Agile would do for… An application development project I once worked on. Neither the developers nor the business understood the potential of the app or its use for a particular customer. Two-week iterations enabled experimentation. Developers answered business needs, got feedback, agreed changes and iterated without wasting time on an unsuitable product. The business could not communicate exact requirements and sign off on a scope document at the start. Even when we meet exact customer requests, such as in waterfall projects, often the customer feels dissatisfied. • However… I’ve steered clients away from, or postponed, Agile development. Lack of knowledge, experience and support may lead to misunderstandings of the intention of Agile. Where there is a cross-functional, self-organising team, Agile has significant benefits. • Agile is best… For projects that will change scope.

Cost-effective, early delivery of value to the business comes through regular iterations, involving the customer in the project and reacting rapidly to change. Agile prioritises customer satisfaction, creating a product that reflects what they need at the time of delivery and not what they asked for at the start.


• Waterfall is… A sequential delivery process where progress flows downwards, like a waterfall, through feasibility, conception, initiation, design, construction, commissioning and maintenance. Originating in the manufacturing and construction industries, waterfall models structured physical environments in which changes are minimised. • Only waterfall would do for… Logic-driven projects including construction, manufacturing, vendor software installation and public works utilities. The scope is set upfront through requirements with cost, schedule and performance as variables. Time spent at the start to define scope with documentation mitigates delays, overruns, claims and disputes. It identifies risks and uncertainties and provides clear allocation between stakeholders. • However… It is not ideal for projects that will evolve, that have changing client requirements or an undefined endpoint. For example, the client can choose to accept a less-than-complete outcome if enough of the requirements were met. If the cost, schedule and performance are set with the scope as the variable, other approaches than might be more suitable. • Waterfall is best… For delivery of complex projects. It identifies and manages risks and uncertainties and brings the highest probability of success. The client’s goal should dictate which approach is used and this relies on their culture and how they define success. Waterfall works best for the needs and capabilities of most clients, particularly those who identify requirements at the start.

Tell us your experience with Agile and waterfall. When would you choose to use one approach over the other, and can the two processes work together? Search for the AIPM LinkedIn group at

Sustainable Management-delivering results-making a difference (Increase efficiency and reduce costs)

Gain proven results through the use of globally recognised (and awarded) GPM management methodology. This integrated methodology enhances the alignment to strategic goals and objectives with project outcomes – addressing much more than just the bottom line or the environment. The largest provider of sustainability training in the world (GPM) is now in Australia. PRiSM methodology achieves sustainable practices by providing the support and resources to: • Create a culture within management that drives and delivers strategic sustainable corporate outcomes • Enhance existing management and project management skills • Embed sustainability into core business processes and objectives • Improve reporting capabilities by the creation of and monitoring of the Sustainable Management Plan • Undertake globally recognized GPM-b practice and certification • Provide access to recognition for corporates as a “Sustainable Centre of Excellence” Improve project / program capabilities through an integrated development program which trains, educates and develops skills, which are embedded into core business practices. Also available implementation of “Sustainable Agile PM” and “Sustainable Prince2”, “Sustainable Integration Assessment Model” along with a comprehensive range of traditional project and contract management courses.

For customised in-house solutions: Phone: 0450 809 089 Email: Website: (for global information): *The IPMA Registration is through AEIPRO and completed against the Spanish NCB


all people

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Certificate IV in Project Management Practice (BSB41513) Diploma of Project Management


Advanced Diploma of Project Management (BSB60707) Executive Development Program (Project & Program)





The reality is that [for] any business or any building, the biggest annual expense is likely to be the people, the salaries.’’ — Robin Mellon, GBCA

WANT MORE? ● Carboni suggests

following Gilbert Silvius from HU University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, author of Sustainability in Project Management. ● Mellon says the role models are larger corporates such as Lend Lease and Grocon and smaller companies such as BuildCorp and Edge Environment.

multiply that by the annual salary bill; that’s where the big improvements in efficiency are going to come. “Environment is not just about how many kilowatt hours can we make from having solar panels on the roof, it’s about how can we improve the productivity of staff.” Mellon says that when project managers are making their case, they have to look beyond payback. “It’s very difficult to argue if you are solely talking about the payback period in terms of energy or water or gas in years. The simple truth is there will be multiple paybacks, there will be multiple rewards.” Those rewards extend beyond productivity to staff attraction and retention, branding and marketing. It is not difficult to show how sustainable projects generate more money, cut costs and meet an organisation’s triple bottom line. Carboni says organisations that do it typically have a 30 per cent improvement on their bottom line. Mellon says research done by the Green Building Council last year found that Green Star-certified buildings cut electricity use by 66 per cent on average and advises project managers who want to make a mark to lead with sustainability. “If the mindset is about how to maximise the opportunity for the client, minimise cost, time, and the materials going into achieving the same effect. The earlier you start thinking about that, you maximise your opportunity at the minimum cost.”

Illustration: Carlo Giambarresi

oel Carboni, founder of US consultancy Green Project Management (GPM), says project managers who aspire to deliver the very best results must put the tenets of people, planet and profit at the centre of all they do. “Ninety-two per cent of companies in the Fortune 1000 believe that sustainability is a key area for success,’’ says Carboni, who specialises in training the next generation of project managers. “What quality and technology was in the ’90s, it’s now sustainability, so it only makes sense that project management goes to that direction because our job is to make sure that businesses succeed.” Carboni says project managers must know the organisation’s goals before they start scoping. But how do we respond to push back from clients who see sustainability as a cost? “We have to be able to explain the key benefits of competitive advantage; being able to attract workers, being able to grow in your own market, and profitability,” he says. “It’s being able to address risk: How is the product impacting the environment? Do we have a social impact? What is its lifespan? What is its cost to consumers? How can we improve it?” Robin Mellon, Chief Operating Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia, says project managers who focus on the benefits sustainability brings to people can show economic gains for the client that go beyond the obvious green dividend. “The reality is that [for] any business or any building, the biggest annual expense is likely to be the people, the salaries,’’ says Mellon. “If you’re putting up a new building, you can try to make it as energy efficient as possible and you will probably save a few tenths of a per cent off the company’s expenditure because what you’re doing is reducing the bills. “That’s great, and it will have wonderful environmental impacts, but it’s important to remember that the benefits for people are going to improve productivity. Improve productivity by 15 per cent, multiply that by the number of staff and




National President Steve Milner national_president@

National Director Ian Sharpe

National Director Trevor Alex

National Manager Professional Development and Certification Ruth Moncrieff (02) 8288 8756 National Events Manager Linda Chiarella (02) 8288 8758

Chief Executive Officer Margie O’Tarpey (02) 8288 8700

National Manager Finance and Operations Kayleen Lenzo (02) 8288 8753

Accounts Officer Fabrizio Alessi (02) 8288 8757

Qld Coordinator Andrea Shipp 0448 033 413

Administrative Assistant Michelle Garrahy (02) 8288 8757

SA Coordinator Michelle Pearson (08) 8223 6349

Project Administrator Kym Hunter (02) 8288 8754

Tas Coordinator Louise Grimmer 0402 705 608


Executive Assistant Vanessa Stanitzek (02) 8288 8763

National Manager Marketing and Communications Michael Martin (02) 8288 8751

Vic Coordinator Olimpia Watkins (03) 9369 2160

ACT Coordinator Ginette Miller 0435 786 856

WA Coordinator Martine Peasley (08) 9447 5663

National Manager Membership Development Nicole Walker (02) 8288 8752

Certification Coordinator Ivana Lozancic (02) 8288 8760

NSW Coordinator Robyn Tuladhar 0431 065 212

Membership Administrator Joe Leong (02) 8288 8761

NT Coordinator Catriona Silverstone 0450 001 237

National Director Gary Yorke





direct assess


contribute manage participate implement


monitor evaluate

Step up in your career with RegPM Apply or Upgrade Now • CPPE: The Certified Practicing Portfolio Executive will monitor a series of projects and evaluate what projects are most beneficial towards the whole organisations strategy. • CPPD: The Certified Practicing Project Director will regularly direct projects, assess that the progress is in line with the organisational goals and analyse their effectiveness. • CPPM: The Certified Practicing Project Manager will plan projects, manage teams and implement projects in consultation with higher authorities. • CPPP: The Certified Practicing Project Practitioner level is suitable for team members who are applying their PM knowledge to projects, contributing to projects plans and participating in team meetings. • Members: You must first be a fully paid AIPM member at Associate, Member or Fellow level to be involved in the RegPM Program.

For more information on the RegPM Program, contact Ivana Lozancic on (02) 8288 8700 or




Meet the Chief Executive Officer of the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at The University of Sydney.


“Project directors require the courage to challenge the issues that risk project failure...”


arc has extensive experience as a project executive, leading major resources projects globally. In Marc’s most recent role with BHP Billiton as Vice President, Projects Uranium CSG, he was appointed to lead one of the largest projects globally in the mining sector, the expansion of the Olympic Dam Mine in South Australia. Marc Vogts commenced as Chief Executive Officer of the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership in August 2013. Q. You are very experienced in leading large and complex projects that have the potential to materially impact the financial success of the business. What were some of the greatest challenges you faced in the projects you have run? A. I have enjoyed a long and very interesting career in projects around Australia and globally, including exotic locations such as Bougainville Island PNG, Borneo, West Papua and Madagascar. Most of my career was spent with Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton where I learned my skills through the ‘school of hard-knocks’—on-the-job training and mentoring by a very experienced project leadership executive. The challenges of major projects are unique, the sheer scale of these projects and the complexity of the issues surrounding them can be onerous. The challenges I have faced mirror those of the many organisations I have spoken to over the past months in my new role at the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership. Meeting stakeholder demands, developing a highperforming team and creating a unifying culture while managing the innumerable risks of these projects challenge project leaders at this level. Q. Do you think the role of project director has evolved over the last 10 years? A. Organisations are under enormous pressure to produce results in this competitive and political marketplace, and major projects are scrutinised as they are open to cost blowouts and delays in completion. Those individuals charged with running these projects are required to take on a leadership role dealing with stakeholder management, governance and even corporate communications issues. The role has evolved

and requires exceptional leaders to produce successful results in these conditions. John Grill had the insight to recognise a gap in leadership in projects during his work at the helm of WorleyParsons and the John Grill Centre has been set up to offer education to meet that gap. Q. What key attributes do you believe a board and/or CEO should be seeking in their project directors? A. Demonstrated capability is fundamental but project directors also require the courage to challenge the issues that risk project failure and manage stakeholders through that process, and the humility to build a unifying culture across a group of diverse teams. To be successful in their projects these leaders need be able to bring technical and commercial innovation to their projects to ensure that these business-defining projects not only meet time and cost constraints but create value in the future for organisations. Q. There have been a number of government projects which have failed to meet budget and deliverables (such as the NBN and Queensland Health IT Payroll System). Do you think the same rules apply to the government sector as to the private sector? Or do you think there are specific measures that need to be applied in each instance? A. There are fundamental rules that apply to the successful planning and delivery of all projects, regardless of industry or government sector. Most of the value is identified in the formative stages of strategic planning, resulting in clarity of business objectives and translation of these to robust project objectives and plans. The effort required to develop these project plans into detailed scoping of projects is often under-estimated and under-done. Above all, the success of a project is determined by the project leadership capability, both within the project organisation and the business or government executive who is held accountable for sponsoring the project and ensuring effective governance and assurance is maintained throughout the project life-cycle.


The Executive Leadership in Major Projects (ELMP) program develops project leadership capability and capacity to produce project leaders who are inspirational, strategic, collaborative and agile. What to expect The program runs for eight weeks and comprises three face-to-face, two-week residential blocks plus an in-organisation project. The program will run across a period of one year with a small group of 20 project peers. Coaching and mentoring Experiential learning complemented with an integrated coaching and mentoring program is core to the program. International project experts share their experiences and valuable lessons learned throughout the units of study. You will also explore a range of case studies examining issues unique to major projects. Assessment and action plans At the beginning of the program you will take part in a customised leadership capability assessment with leading executive recruitment firm Korn Ferry. This will enable you to evaluate your skills and competencies and pinpoint any gaps. Throughout the program, action plans within each unit will identify learning priorities for you to focus on. Designed with industry A group of executives with extensive project experience from industry and government, including representation from Woodside, BHP, Telstra, Lend Lease, Westpac and the Department of Infrastructure, provide invaluable insights to the program content, ensuring that current project issues and innovative solutions are incorporated.

Program overview The units of study explore leadership concepts to the project context—leading self, leading others and leading the project. Unit and their learnings include:

BE THE LEADER To find out more about the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership, contact Leona Spencer or visit the website: E: T: + 61 2 9036 9072 W:

project MANAGER 33 13




The restoration of the historic Port of Echuca is one of the council’s recent highlight projects.

COUNCIL RAISES THE STANDARD The Shire of Campaspe project management team oversees about 100 projects a year, including road works, rebuilding storm pumps and the refurbishment of community buildings. Senior Project Manager Gary Biddle directs a team of 10 and includes AIPM certification (RegPM) as a priority for all of them. He explains that becoming a registered project manager is about much more than a piece of paper. “It adds credibility to us as a team, and demonstrates that we follow a discipline. That in turn adds credibility to the shire and their use of public money,” he says. “It reinforces to the team that we are adopting best practice: this is what we do and how we do it. All of the people in the team that are currently registered PMs are in more senior positions and they provide mentoring for those that come into [the program].” The former project engineer says he is a “typical accidental project manager”, now with experience spanning 30 years. Transitioning the council to a project manager framework in 2008 was a struggle, but one that has paid off.


Top: Gary Biddle Below: Keith Baillie

“I think the organisation is very much in control of our capital works program. We manage cash flow very accurately. We have a strong governance process. Our decision-making process is clearly documented and authorised at the appropriate levels.” Shire CEO Keith Baillie says former mistakes informed the decision to become an AIPM corporate member. “When I commenced with the Council in 2007, a high profile project had just experienced a significant project overrun that Councillors were not aware of until after the facility was opened. I wanted to ensure we had a robust and repeatable process in place. I am keen on solutions that span industry, not just local government, so AIPM seemed a sensible way to go.” In 2007 the council delivered $12 million of projects, with this year’s delivery to exceed $31 million. Baillie says that AIPM certifications have been pivotal in achieving capital works goals. “Council has been able to lift its capacity whilst having confidence there will be few project issues, and when there are, issues are identified early and brought forward for resolution.” The council’s approach has been acknowledged as a success, with others looking to emulate it, including their neighbouring council of Greater Shepparton.

AUSSIE PMS EARN TOP DOLLAR THE SKILL EXCHANGE The NSW chapter kicked off its second mentoring program on July 10, sponsored by Tracey Brunstrom & Hammond, with a focus on sharing knowledge and experience within the AIPM membership and to create further opportunities for networking. Stephen Choi chose a mentor at the NSW Chapter’s program launch event last year. A project manager at sustainability-focused property consultancy Viridis, Stephen was mentored by experienced program and portfolio manager Robert Ma, who specialises in IT and telecommunications. “There were a lot of people in the construction industry but I found it useful to speak to someone who was in a different industry but applying the same processes. It was really good timing as I had just started a difficult new project. Robert asked me really key questions as to how I was handling stakeholders and project issues.” Mentor and protégé agreed that the ideal relationship was a two-way exchange of skills and ideas. “Robert’s role involved quite a lot of delegation and due to the fast paced environment telling people exactly what they need to do. With me there wasn’t a rush and I think he appreciated that time to step back and reflect on his own management skills,” says Choi. “There is a cultural supposition that a mentor relationship is charitable and the mentors look after the young people. But it is more like an independent peer review. The whole mentoring relationship is really important for any industry and any level.” For more information, contact the NSW Chapter Coordinator on

Project practitioners in Australia top the salary chart over all other countries, according to the 2013 PMI Project Management Salary Survey. This is consistent with initial findings from the AIPM Salary Survey 2014, to be released shortly. Australian PMs earn the highest annual median salary of US$134,658, followed by Switzerland with US$133,605.

BE QUICK FOR CONFERENCE CONCESSIONS Book your AIPM National Conference tickets by July 31 to receive an earlybird discount. This year’s conference will be held at the Brisbane Entertainment and Convention Centre from October 12-15.



fter a successful two and a half years guiding the AIPM, CEO Margie O’Tarpey has retired. After taking some time off she will be doing some strategic consulting. During her tenure the AIPM’s financial performance has improved, member services and engagement have been enhanced and professional development programs such as RegPM and endorsed courses have been refreshed. “When I came into the organisation the AIPM was in a fairly challenged financial position. There was a need to align strategic and business planning, to improve business systems and to enhance the culture of staff and management,” says Ms O’Tarpey. With her signature passion, Ms O’Tarpey also focused on improving communications, with a substantial review of the website, Project Manager magazine and introduction of a monthly e-news. “I believe I have left the organisation in a good place in terms of moving forward. The next stages in my view would be a more representational external focus on the professionalism of project management and project managers, involving government and captains of industry in that conversation; looking at our international relationships and certification program, and a consolidation of AIPM’s governance and constitutional reviews,” she says. From July, Kayleen Lenzo, Finance and Operations Manager, will be managing AIPM as the National Manager Corporate Services until the Board finalises its current recruitment process to find a replacement CEO.

I have left the organisation in a good place... The next stages in my view would be a more representational external focus.” project MANAGER 35





here is another reorganisation just announced. IT has now been merged with Finance under the banner Shared Services and headed up by Trent Cash, the old Finance Manager. Suzanne Teck, the current head of IT, isn’t mentioned, neither is the PMO. Finance never liked the PMO or Suzanne. Better start looking for a new job I guess… again!” Sound familiar? We wrote some time ago about a project management office’s contribution to sustainability from an environmental perspective. We could probably also write a compelling article about its contribution to financial sustainability in a business. Instead, with scenes like the above happening in offices across the country, we thought we would provoke some discussion by asking the question: how sustainable is the PMO?


The Oxford Dictionary definition of an endangered species is: “A species of animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction.” That definition must apply to many PMOs, especially the enterprise PMO. Project and program management offices are by their nature focused on delivery of a project or program, so while they have a defined life and role, they are for a period of time reasonably sustainable. But the enterprise PMO or portfolio management office is seriously endangered by a range of characteristics. It is: • Usually Opex funded (and s0 a target for cost cutting) • Usually aligned to a senior stakeholder (so a victim of re-organisations) • Usually lacking a clear mandate (so success or otherwise is often difficult to determine) • Usually under resourced and/or resourced with junior people (so struggles to deliver relevance) • Often provides quality assurance (process,


deliverables etc) so adopts a ‘police’ culture. In such cases they are generally avoided by project managers • Often caught in the middle between business needs and organisational capacity, especially if involved in project approvals • Often the bearer of bad news in terms of reporting • Often not the ‘owner’ of the enterprise project management tools • Sometimes involved with benefits realisation, possibly embarrassing senior managers.


To survive in any business, and to ensure the PMO survives, the PMO manager typically spends a huge amount of time building relationships with key business managers and, more importantly, marketing the value of the PMO. This is time that could be better spent providing real value to the business through analysis, support and leadership. With a successful PMO, it is often the absence of problems that they deliver. Sadly, it is only when problems arise from their extinction that their value is recognised. Organisations often report difficulties the organisations face as a result of continually culling and later reintroducing PMOs. Challenges the organisation as a whole faces, regardless of where in the organisation the PMO lives include:

• Retaining staff and staff satisfaction • Retaining knowledge of policy and process • Retaining knowledge of project history • Retaining knowledge of systems • Providing adequate support to project managers

and other system users • Ability to influence sponsor and PM behaviour, and hence deliverable quality • Consistency and timeliness of governance information.

Illustration: Tanya Cooper


The above list should be seriously considered prior to any re-organisation involving a PMO. The work they do will need to be done by somebody else within the organisation or not done at all. The consequences of the loss of their work are often not well understood. Nature shows us that species facing extinction must either change and adapt, or move location to a more favourable environment. So what do we do? Do we agree that life in a PMO role will only last two years maximum? Do we advise people to join a project or program PMO instead? Or do we advise them to keep fighting and adapt, do the best job they can and continue to believe in the value a good PMO can provide to an organisation? In the long run, it is our belief that what we do

matters. We believe our work aligning projects to strategy, supporting governance, improving project delivery and helping deliver business value is worth the investment in our effort. Martin Vaughan, AIPM CPPD, is the Managing Director of Core Consulting Group, a Melbourne consulting business specialising in building project, program and portfolio management capability.

WANT MORE? If you’d like to debate or discuss issues like these, join the AIPM PMO special interest group. For more details, visit or contact your local state convener: ● ACT: Ian Pye, ● VIC: Gary Yorke, ● NSW: Kestrel Stone, kestrel@elemental- ● NT: Ralf Zenke, ● SA: Tony Wood, ● WA: Mirella Luketich, Mirella.luketich@

project MANAGER 37




• “Initially I thought sustainability

• “The NSW chapter is assisting our members sustain and grow their careers through a number of initiatives designed to add value and promote project management as a profession. Over the coming months, we are expanding mentoring with the aim of delivering a program that is beneficial to both mentors and mentees, increases member

practices were the domain of construction and all those industries other than my own i.e. information and communications technology. I have now discovered that the Federal and ACT Government have active ICT sustainability programs in place with performance indicators such as power usage effectiveness in data centres, desktop energy per end user (kWh), desktop computers off after hours, desktop computers to printer ratio, desktop devices (including laptops) per end user and internal copy paper per end user (reams per year). As a result of the focus, these indicators have been improving over time. AIPM ACT members operate within these sustainability plans and will have to look for opportunities to make a positive impact on the performance measures. Our members are involved in a number of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) projects replacing PC workstations with a thin client solution which will reduce the carbon footprint of their clients. The pilot program with Volunteer Australia to provide pro-bono services to the not-for-profit sectors now has ten ACT AIPM members involved and feedback from all parties has been positive.”

EVENTS ● July 31 Women in Project Management Laugh & Learn ● Sept 4 Project Management Achievement Awards ACT


engagement and learning opportunities, whilst supporting cross industry knowledge transfer. Additionally, the chapter recently hosted a series of very successful LinkedIn events highlighting that an effective LinkedIn profile is essential to career competitiveness and effective networking. The chapter will be holding a forum on August 21 with a focus on shaping your career with seminars on careers, finding jobs and personal journeys. The forum will be followed by the Project Management Achievement Awards attended by the Governor of NSW—Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO.”

EVENTS ● August 21 Shaping your career forum ● August 21 Project Management Achievement Awards NSW



• “Sustainability is a label added to a whole

• “I run a project management consultancy

EVENTS ● July 16 Building bloopers

EVENTS ● CPD events are scheduled for Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba in August.

heap of things. My definition of sustainability is the assurance of continuation and the improvement of a situation for the betterment of the stakeholders with a long-term view. In the Territory, it’s about getting community engagement, beneficial outcomes and sustainable careers for locals. The Northern Australia Sustainable Futures program, for example, addresses key challenges in regional development, basically trying to get remote communities to become self-sufficient and sustain ongoing development. There are many more examples of sustainable projects in the territory; gas, oil and mining companies are contributing to sustainability to the remote communities through infrastructure development and long term employment and training.”

with Rik Jones ● August 27 Project Management Achievement Awards NT

and so am very conscious of the effort required to achieve a sustainable business. My goal is to work with my clients to develop a flow of work which is achievable within the constraints imposed by their environment whilst maintaining a quality of output that meets their expectations. I see a solid strategy, realistic business plans and quality associates as essential. My office is 26 metres from the high tide mark at Moreton Bay and so I am reminded every day of the importance of ensuring that my business does not leave a footprint on our natural environment. As a chapter we represent the PM community rather than just our members. We are advocating in government for better PM protocols, to improve the way projects are run.”

sustainability as can be seen in projects such as the Adelaide Desalination Project (pictured), which guarantees drinking water even in drought. The plant, finished on time and within its budget of $1.83 billion, delivers 100 billion litres of water a year— about half of Adelaide's supply. It also has




• “In my experience in state government there

• “Given that sustainability is this issue’s

• “To celebrate International Women’s

SA SAMI ABOU-HAMDAN • “South Australia has a commitment to

Images: courtesy of NEXTDC; courtesy of Hatch Goba

by SA Water at Adelaide Oval, a venue that has just had a $535 million revamp to turn it into a world-class sporting arena, on August 14. There will be speakers from Adelaide Oval, SA Health and Medical Research Institute and Santos.”

one of the lowest carbon footprints of any desalination plant in the world. Looking at sustainability in a cultural context, the chapter kicked off a busy season on June 5 when we discussed how project risk is managed in the indigenous Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, and on June 11 we held interest groups for our emerging project professionals. Our quarterly PMO catch-up of brainstorming and workshops on June 18 will be hosted by Rowena Huddleston and Tony Wood. Our big event in August is the project management showcase presented

has been a turnaround not just to deliver value for money but to look for the best options with the least impact on existing properties and the environment. Managing roads infrastructure in Tasmania, we have needed to have a strategy that will last for the pavement’s long-term design life. And now we are looking for alternative products as well; there is a section of highway in Tasmania where they have used recycled glass in the pavement. Also, other byproducts from industry may yield alternate base materials rather than being waste. In Australia a lot of the time people focus on deliverables, schedule, budget; there isn’t that person that says ‘have you thought about this?’ We are doing that more.”

EVENTS ● July 24 Professional development with Futurist Fae Robinson ● August 29 Project Management Achievement Awards Tas

theme, it’s fitting that our next leadership forum in July will further explore the topic. One of our most popular site visits was last month to the Victorian desalination plant near Wonthaggi. Fifty members toured the $5.7 billion facility that is capable of providing 150 gigalitres of water a year. We will double the number of site visits this year to introduce members to more experts running major projects. In August, we hold our annual Victoria Forum, themed around teamwork. Speakers include Dr Collette Burke, southern infrastructure manager for Leighton, and a keynote on what a project manager learnt at NASA about orchestrating high performance teams. It culminates in the PMAA gala dinner that night.”

EVENTS ● August 21 Project

Management Achievement Awards Vic


EVENTS ● August 14 PM showcase at Adelaide Oval ● September 12 Project Management Achievement Awards SA, in conjunction with presenting partner ElectraNet

Day on March 8, we teamed with the Water Corporation of WA and the National Association of Women in Construction to host a sold-out event at Mt Eliza House in Kings Park. More than 200 people heard Water Corp CEO Sue Murphy, WA Minister for Women’s Interests Liza Harvey and federal MP Alannah MacTiernan speak on the UN’s campaign to eradicate poverty. Sustainability was also the topic for our May Breakfast Forum where Water Corp’s Kevin Guppy spoke on a 10-year plan to droughtproof Perth. Thirty people attended a Five Bar Event organised by the Young and Emerging Project Professionals group to hear the City of Vincent Mayor speak about the Beaufort Street Festival.”

EVENTS ● June 26 site visit to Fiona Stanley Hospital

project MANAGER 39





an Sharpe (CPPD) has worked with a wide range of global organisations as a senior advisor on portfolio, program and project excellence. He is the National Director of the AIPM and holds regular workshops on project leadership. He lists a “humbling” career highlight as being asked to work on developing leadership with NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Success’ high-performance teams.

• What is the most effective leadership style? I think style is a misnomer. Style is situational. There are times when you say “this is what we do” and there are times when you say “come with me”. The main thing is that leadership is not about skills, it is about attitude. They only way we call on attitude is how people consistently behave. We are a social species and are strongly driven by the context we are in. If you are leading you need to be aware of team social context. What is the way we do things around here? The attitude you bring strongly shapes the context your team has and their performance. Leaders work with social context to diagnose team performance, risk and drive high performance. Focus on behavioural health: if people are habitually late and nothing is said then it’s tolerated, it’s okay to break your word. There’s one simple and very powerful question which I ask all clients; which takes up more time, tech issues or people issues? Nobody ever says technology. Even NASA agrees that people issues are more difficult. They have had major failures that come down to broken behaviours becoming okay. Since 2003 NASA have invested 62 years of worth of work effort in building high performance leaders and teams. This shows a staggering investment in terms of performance. • How do we change our leadership attitude? I challenge someone to call themselves a leader without any kind of self reflection. It is hard to have the right level of reflection between being delusional and too much tough love. We need to see how effective we are through the opinion of others. If nobody is following you, you are not leading. If you are not saying “I am the root cause in terms of success or failure”, I question if you are really interested in leading.

WANT MORE? Ian Sharpe recommends: ● 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey ● Multiple titles by Warren Bennis ● How NASA Builds Teams by Charlie Pellerin ● The AIPM Advanced Professional Practice workshops on leadership, risk, governance and procurement. For more information, visit


• What is the difference between leadership and management? Management is a process. People confuse it with the job title. There are managers that lead and managers that don’t lead. We talk about management of process and definable outcomes. Leadership is around vision and engagement of people. • What are the key leadership challenges particular to project management? I would say people are the key leadership challenge ever, anywhere. Leadership is situational. It’s a different style if you are looking to do global outsourcing or if you are running a business transformation with three companies merging into one with fearful staff. Every highly successful senior project manager and project director I know in the industry is not just managing processes, they are leading people.


Each issue we will be asking industry experts for their advice. Next issue we are discussing procurement. Submit your questions by searching for AIPM at

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Project Manager June/July 2014