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Isambard Kingdom Brunel - Britain's greatest engineer but how did he rate as a project manager?
In 2002 Isambard Kingdom Brunel was awarded second place in the BBC’s popular Britain’s Greatest Briton of all time poll. Jeremy Clarkson’s view was unequivocal: “Brunel built modern Britain, and Britain built the world. That makes him a pretty dammed great Briton in my book”
Brunel’s legacy is everywhere, magnificent buildings, bridges, railways, tunnels and the beautifully refurbished SS Great Briton, now moored in Bristol Docks.
During the summer Jim Dale spent several days in the company of the Curator of the Brunel Museum. “Examining the challenges that Brunel confronted, seeing great structures that he built and being privileged to read his detailed journals were very thought provoking. While life in Victorian Britain was very different delivering projects required the same mix of technical, behavioral and contextual competence”.
While we can all agree on Brunel’s talents as engineer how did the great man rate as a project manager?
Jim, an APM Registered Project Professional and Practitioner Qualification assessor take a lighthearted look at Isambard’s track record using the following key competencies:
BC09 Professionalism and ethics
TC03 Stakeholder Management
CC02 Health & Safety
TC14 Project Quality Management
TC02 Project Success & Quality Management
The assessment produces a surprising array of different scores. In many areas the esteemed candidate scores maximum marks, but in other areas there are clearly areas for improvement!