On Tuesday 26th November 2013 in the heart of Birmingham ProgM SIG staged “Delivering more 4 less: using programme management to achieve transformational change in times of austerity." The SIG had promised an event that weaved together the four ‘C’s’ theme namely collaboration, change, community and competence, drawing on a wealth of experience from across the public sector. http://bit.ly/progmm4l
Merv Wyeth, ProgM Chair introduced the conference by describing how the event had been designed with the intention of providing delegates with a high return on their personal investment – i.e attendance and participation #eventroi. The big idea was that the day should be an enjoyable shared experience that offered an exceptional opportunity for learning, motivation and networking in the field of programme management.
Time and space was built into the programme to enable the audience to interrogate (police were present), and otherwise question, speakers. They were also given the opportunity to vote in polls on issues and questions that speakers posed, which offered additional insights into audience perception and sentiment which otherwise would not have been available.
The conference offered the chance for Jim Dale to provide a ‘sitrep’ on his ProgM-backed
Collaborative Change research namely “Using research to improve the delivery and effectiveness of change programmes and projects” previewed in last month’s show-case webinar. During his presentation Jim provided an update of the story so far, thanked those who had already participated either in an interview or by completing the survey. ProgM would like to extend the opportunity to all those currently, or previously, involved in programme management and related collaborative activity to participate in this important Collaborative Change survey.
On the day, Steve Wake, newly appointed Chair of APM Board, was available to round-up the proceedings and provide a special vote of thanks to his Board colleagues, the organising committee and our generous sponsors, BMT Hi-Q Sigma. He reminded those present of the ongoing Strategy 2020 initiative of “Listening, learning and leading” that complements events of this type.
One delegate (Neil White) wrote “A constant theme, running like a golden thread throughout the day, was that effective programme management is a necessary and complimentary bedfellow of collaboration, and an important ingredient in delivering successful transformational change.
Whereas projects are essentially objective and enable the effective development and delivery of ‘products’ (some of which are can be very big products!) it was recognised that programmes are much more subjective and must be sensitive to the environment in which they are operate.
Rather than see them as obstacles, programme managers must respect and be prepared to exploit the systems and organisations surrounding them to their mutual benefit.