Archives for August2013

Stephen Jones – Earned Value and Agile software Development

It is considered that earned value management techniques were too difficult to implement effectively on Agile projects, and that earned value management  could not easily cope with changing requirements. This will be a discussion of “Agile”, what all the words mean and how earned value management techniques can be used effectively used on an Agile software development project.

It is notoriously difficult to accurately forecast final outturn costs for project involving software development. The difficulty is converting performance of the project teams to forecast a cost. Often the best method that project managers have is to use inaccurate estimates for the cost of work done.

Over the last 15 years, Agile software development methods have been developed to deliver higher quality software, better and faster, whilst being able to react to a changing (or poorly defined) client need.

Stephen Jones is Project Manager at Sellafield Limited working in the Infrastructure directorate. He is the Chairman of the Sellafield Limited’s Earned Value and Planning SIG and a member of the APM Planning, Monitoring and Control SIG. In addition he is a lecturer at the University of Warwick, and a Professional Supervisor for both Aston University and Kingston University London, as part of a Worked Based Learning Master Degree course in Professional Engineering, currently mentoring engineers both here in the UK and Indonesia. In 2011, he mentored the first ever Engineer to complete a Worked Based MSc, who then became chartered with IET. He is Chartered Engineer and Member of the IET, an associate member of the IMechE and a Member of APM.

Sellafield Ltd is the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy as well as fuel recycling and the management of low, high and intermediate level nuclear waste activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Sellafield Ltd has sites at Sellafield in West Cumbria and engineering, design and functional support capability are provided by employees based at our Risley office, near Warrington.

See this and other talks from EVA18 Project Control on The PM Channel.

Richard Newton speaks to The PM Channel

Richard Newton formed Enixus after holding a variety of consultancy and line management roles, working for a wide selection of organisations across the world. Richard’s core expertise is managing the delivery of complex change. This is supported by knowledge of disciplines such as process design, organisation design and technology exploitation, and functionally specific delivery/development processes such as new product development, software development and consultancy engagement processes.   He has also had strategic and operational roles with significant headcount, budgetary and P&L responsibilities which also enables him to understand change from the perspective of sponsors and those impacted by change.

Richard contributed five pieces to The PM Channel on building high performing teams, developing capability, productive stakeholder relationships, optimising project learning and combining project and change management.

Building high performance teams

Richard highlights some of the challenges faced in building project teams and outlines the culture of a high performing team.  He describes the important practical steps that a project manager can take to select, build and encourage, sustain and disband a project team and gives a couple of examples.

Productive stakeholder relationships

Richard outlines the goal and benefits of productive stakeholder communities for a project and gives tips and hints on how to develop them on your project.  He describes two examples of the steps he took to deliver more productive stakeholder relationships.

Optimising project learning

Richard sets the scene regarding project learning and asks two questions about project reviews and creating a learning culture.

Building delivery capability

Richard outlines what delivery capability of projects is and how there are five key aspects that can be improved.

Combining project and change management

Richard answers three questions: what are the differences between project management and change management; what are the tips for approaching change projects; and, what do project managers need to know.

APM Conference 2013

The PM Channel works in partnership with APM and was pleased to record in full some of the presentations at this year’s APM Conference 2013.

Douglas Oakervee CBE, chairman for High Speed 2.

Douglas Oakervee has had a distinguished career as a civil engineer and has vast experience of delivering major projects. Douglas was chief tunnel engineer of the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Authority. Subsequently he was senior resident engineer and later construction manager for the tunneled sections of the Railway in North Kowloon and the Tsuen Wan Extension.

Next he went on to set up his own company, undertaking the Tai Po Gas Reforming Works, the Eastern Harbour Crossing and the Kwun Tong By-pass in Hong Kong. In 1991 he was appointed to the Hong Kong Airport Authority as project director for the new Hong Kong International Airport.

In 2004 he became Director of P&O’s London Gateway Port and in 2005 executive chairman of Crossrail Ltd, until his retirement in 2009. In the same year he was appointed chairman of Laing O’Rourke Construction (Hong Kong) Ltd.  In 2003 he was installed as The Institution of Civil Engineers’ 139th president and was awarded the Institution’s prestigious Gold Medal in 2008. He was awarded the OBE in 2000 and the CBE in 2010.  In March 2012, Douglas was appointed as Chairman for High Speed 2.

Tim Banfield, director at the National Audit Office (NAO).
Tim BanfieldDuring an interview at the APM Conference 2011 Tim challenged project managers not to define success “in their own terms”.
Tim Banfield joined the NAO in 1988 having previously worked in local government and was appointed director in February 1999. Tim has specialised in the examination of defence acquisition issues for almost 25 years and has led or contributed to the production of over 100 published reports.
In 2009, Tim also assumed responsibility for establishing and leading the NAO’s pan-government work on project, programme and portfolio delivery.  In the past Tim has also been responsible for NAO’s work on the Millennium Dome and foreign affairs.
Karl Tuplin, senior project manager at British Atlantic SurveyKarl has spent a large part of his career in remote parts of the world delivering construction projects.  For the last 9 years he has been working for the British Antarctic Survey managing the design and build of a scientific research station in one of the most inhospitable environments in the world, Antarctica. Karl says “this project was a huge challenge and was as much about logistics and survival as it was about construction.”Prior to this Karl worked for Defence Estates, part of the MOD, again working on construction projects in different parts of the world. In particular he did two tours in the Falkland Islands spending a total of 6½ years there undertaking property management works and managing construction projects. Karl enthuses effusively about the Falklands believing it provides a fantastic experience for civil engineers with all the infrastructure and facilities of a large city condensed in to such a small remote place.
Bill Henry, Bechtel programme director.
 Bill Henry is the Bechtel programme director of the £3bn Crossrail and Reading programme. In addition to the on-network Crossrail works, Bill leads an integrated Network Rail and Bechtel delivery team on the £935m Reading Station Area Redevelopment (RSAR) Programme. Following the McNulty report on railway reform, this programme has been described as Network Rail’s “fulcrum breakthrough project”.
Bill’s career with Bechtel has spanned 38 years to date and has included positions within three of Bechtel’s global business units, with 12 years in the UK rail industry.
He moved to the UK in 2002 to take on a role as area director on the £9bn West Coast Route Modernisation. Bill was brought in by Bechtel in order to stabilise the project and drive high performance. This period, described by Bill as the most challenging of his career to date, was delivered on schedule and under budget, to critical acclaim.
Subsequently, Bill moved to the RSAR Programme, where he is leading the delivery team. The £935m programme includes the construction of a new station, depot, viaduct, as well as track and signalling upgrades. Due for completion in 2015, one year ahead of programme, the RSAR programme has already received numerous awards and recognition in the national media, as well as within the railway industry, and has been described as “the jewel” of infrastructure projects on the Western Route.
Rob Leslie-Carter, director at Arup London

Rob has worked around the world with Arup for over 20 years, and has spent the last ten years based in Australia where he was both Arup’s Sydney Office Leader and Regional Leader for Arup’s Project Management Group.
Rob has a track record of leading landmark projects including the Stirling Prize winning Laban Building in Deptford, and the Beijing National Aquatics Centre (aka the Water Cube).A chartered Civil Engineer by profession, Rob also has an MBA from Imperial College specialising in Project Management and Entrepreneurship.  He is a Certified Practicing Project Director (CPPD) with the Australian Institute of Project Management, and a visiting lecturer in Construction Management at the University of New South Wales.
Having relocated back to London at the end of last year, Rob is leading the Commercial Property business within Arup’s Project Management Group – currently APM’s Project Management Company of the Year!
To view these and more APM Conference presentations in full from previous years go to

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