Archives for Culture in Project Management

APM benefits summit 2015 – Videos available

The APM benefits summit 2015 took place on 25th June in London with clear objectives set out:

  • To establish #APMbmsummit as the annual ‘must attend’ UK conference for Benefits Management
  • To further the science and art of Benefits Management worldwide
  • To provide a forum for sharing knowledge and good practice
  • To provide delegates with great networking, learning opportunities and professional development
  • To support the development of a growing community of benefits management practitioners and stakeholders
  • To provide an oasis and motivation in the busy lives of delegate

The PM Channel were present at the APM benefits summit and are hosting the talks from the conference at where you can enjoy the talks whenever you want wherever you want.

What better way to kick of the day than with Eddie Obeng who’s talk we have available for FREE!

Eddie Obeng video

Eddie Obeng speaking at the APM benefits management summit

Eddie Obeng: Eddie’s talk is titled “Our quest for success in the project management temple of doom”. An interesing title, but as always, a very engaging talk. Why do some high profile projects fail? The world is changing much more rapidly, than we realise, but are we properly equipped for this? Eddie argues that it is our job as a modern day “Indiana Jones” to enter the temple of doom and grasp the project management “holy grail” of success.

Eddie Obeng is the founder of Pentacle Virtual Business School and professor at the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Henley Business School. He is an educator, innovator and author.

Colin Morris: Colin’s talk is titled “Realising the benefits of delivering major infrastructure projects”. Colin explores the unique challenges to managing benefits that are presented by the scale and breadth of the high speed 2 railway, he discusses how the planning of HS2 will transform the way Britain thinks about transport and the construction will transform the way Britain thinks about infrastructure.  Colin is the strategy director for HS2 Ltd.

Stefan Sanchez & Alan Brown: Stefan and Alan’s talk is titled “Benefits and better business case”. Large projects in the public sector usually have multiple formal approval processes. Stefan and Alex describe how and when using the better business case approach should be used and the crucial role of benefits. They both have in depth knowledge and practical application of this. Stefan and Alex are both director of Value People Ltd.

Mike Ward & Richard Peel: Mike and Richard’s talk is titled “Improving benefits management at Sellafield”. Over the last few years Sellafield Ltd has been on a journey to improve its maturity in programme management and to achieve its overall site objective “excellence in programme and project management”. This talk provides an insight into the key elements of the journey and some of the techniques and principles applied.

Mike Ward is the head of portfolio and programme management capability at Sellafield. Richard Peel is a programme management consultant for the Sellafield improvement programme.

Bridget Jackson: Bridget’s talk is entitled “Over optimist in government projects”. Optimism bias in public sector projects is not an new phenomenon, but it is one that persists frequently, undermining projects value for money.

Steve Messenger: In this interactive workshop, Steve explores how Agile can help to deliver benefits incrementally whilst maintaining control and ensuring benefits realisation. This talk also inlcudes audience participation with real examples and opinions form audience members.

Steve is the current Chairman of the DSDM Consortium, a role which entails setting the strategy for DSDM and leading the DSDM Board of Directors. From his experience, Steve provides training and consultancy to large organisations and has been asked to speak at a number of conferences in Europe and the USA.

Benedict Pinches: This workshop presents the findings of research to investigate evidence presented in existing scholarly literature on the success of ICT and other investments in realising the benefits expected at the start of a project. Benedict will also highlight the potential obstacles for benefits realisation.

Benedict Pinches is the managing director and founder of the Oxford Major Programmes; a company dedicated to revolutionising the management of major projects and programmes.

Matt Williams: Matt argues that projects and programmes need to sit within an investment portfolio aligned with organisational goals and objectives if business value is to be created and benefits realised.

Matt Williams is the managing director of Connexion Systems, a provider of innovative services and systems that enable project organisations to maximise business value generated from portfolios of capital investments.

All these talks and many more from other conferences around the world are available on The PM Channel.

Cultural Differences in Project Management

Cultural differences in international project management are very important. A project manager who works aboard has to take these differences in consideration if he wants to succeed. Global project team are confronted with balancing Western project management practice with local business custom to deliver high-quality result.


In an interview with The PM Channel, Bill Young recent past president of AIPM (Australian Institue of Project Management), who work and lives in China declare that “50% of joint-venture project between Western companies and Chinese companies fail”. Understanding cultural differences is one key to the success.

Cultural differences are perceived by an international project manager to be the biggest challenges in China. Additional problems relating to project management in China reflect poor quality, workers hiding problems from management; weak team ethic, corner-cutting, poor internal communication and inadequate involvement by middle management (Wong, 2008).


Understand these cultural differences will help you to work around them and articulate the issues. Paul Hesselman advises to gather the maximum information about the culture of the country beforehand. That will help you to understand: what type of people you have to deal with and how people will react to you?

John Saee declares that communication and good relationship is very important especially in China. For Chinese people building a solid relationship in business and with the Chinese government is very important. That is why Western companies have to understand and work around cultural differences to be successful.


But Bill Young also advises people to understand their own culture first and to get critical about it. He also gives three useful tips for a project manager who would like to work aboard:

  • Understand the business culture of the country. Every country has a different national culture and different ways of thinking about business.
  • Encourage project managers who work with a side partners to understand and respect these differences.
  •  Be careful with stereotypes, people have different ideas and perspectives.

The PM Channel interviewed three international experts about cultural differences (Bill Young, John Saee and Paul Hesselman), who share their own experience and give advise on how to work within a different culture.

Bill Young – Cultural Influences in Project Management

BILL-YOUNGBill Young who lives and works in China gives a candid account of the importance of cultural influences in projects and business. Western culture is very different to Chinese culture and you must get to understand how Chinese people think and work in business.  He also encourages people to start by being self critical of their own culture.  Bill concludes by giving three helpful tips to support the successful handling of cultural influences.

William Young PhD (Melb), MBA, M.Eng, B.Eng (Mech), CPPD, FIEAust, FAIPM. William has over 30 years’ experience in engineering, business, and project management. He has been responsible for a diverse range of process chemical and mining developments working across Australia / NZ, in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. He is the former President of the Australian Institute of Project Management (2007-2011), and current President of the Asia Pacific Federation of Project Management (apfpm). He is a member of IPMA’s Research Management Board, and is a ‘Global Advisor’ to the electronic PM World Journal.

Find this and other great content on The PM Channel!


John Saee – Project Management in China

China is the world’s largest emerging economy and the most preferred destination of foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years, China is driving contemporary global economy. As a consequence, most leading Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are increasingly setting up R&D operations in China (Li and Zhong, 2004). While China’s physical and technological infrastructure is increasingly transforming at lightning speed, but institutional and cultural realities are much slower to change, which presents huge challenges for project consultants, project managers and teams (Wong, 2008). In the interview with The PM Channel Dr John Saee describes the important characteristics of the Chinese culture and particularly on communication context.  He also explains why western method in Project Management is not applicable in China.

John-SaeeDuring the past 24 years, Professor Dr. John Saee has held senior line managerial and leadership roles in industry and academia internationally. Whereas, his academic leadership roles cover three continents – Australia, Asia and Europe including France, and Germany. Professor Dr. Saee has authored more than two hundred publications and fifty made up of books and research articles, which have been published by globally leading and respected publishing houses and refereed academic and professional journals and refereed international conference proceedings in Australia, Europe, Asia and the USA.

Watch Dr John Saee interview on The PM Channel – Online project management training and development.


Paul Hesselman – Be Aware of Cultural Differences

Paul-HesselmanCultural differences are very important in Project Management. It is very important to take this aspect in consideration if you are going to work aboard. You have to make sure you are prepare and you know a lot about the other culture.

Paul Hesselman describes the importance of being aware of the cultural differences that may exist in different parts of the world.  He gives a couple of his own personal examples of how these differences presented themselves to him.

Paul is a highly experienced project and program manager who is able to reflect practical experience with theory. In addition to his extensive experience in all project disciplines, Paul is also a manager and a trainer / coach of professionals. He is a board member of IPMA years in the Netherlands and has been active in IPMA internationally as a team lead for the renewal of the regulation of the IPMA certification.  As one of the first IPMA certified project managers in the Netherlands since 1995 Paul assessor for this individual certifications. Paul is co-author of several books and articles on project management and is rated speaker at national and international conferences and seminars.

Watch the interview of Paul Hesselman on The PM Channel.