Interview with Tom Taylor, keynote speaker at ICPME 2020
Can you provide an abstract for your keynote address at the congress?
We have been attending these excellent AEIPRO events for several years, making various contributions.
One of the main features is meeting familiar friends and new colleagues as speakers and delegates to find out what is happening round the world and in Spain in projects and project management.
So this year, in these circumstances, my theme is “What have YOU been doing?” I will start things going with some personal explanations. And then hopefully engage with some debate with diverse attendees with their interesting and encouraging stories.
What is dashdot?
Dashdot was set up fifteen years ago, in UK and successfully continues as:
- A flexible vehicle for ranges of management services and products…
- That have short, sharp impact with immediate effects and benefits…
- From half-day to a few weeks or months, from on-off to regular, from intensive to occasional / intermittent, from public and open to confidential and discreet.
Recent and current activities include consultancy on Business aspects, Work Winning, Training and Mentoring, and Project Troubleshooting. And not forgetting extensive writing and publishing.
How will project management change with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Good question! How did project management change with calculators, planning software, mobile phones, world wars, university education, penicillin, artificial intelligence, agile, gender diversity, professional bodies and qualifications? And congresses, conferences and events? Project Management tends to absorb the good aspects and moves on.
The recent and current COVID-19 pandemic is causing many changes in many sectors and locations. And all changes hopefully need definition, ownership, organisation and project management to be effective – and good project managers for best results. The recession impacts and responses which are following will be demanding also, but in different ways – lots more change. Will the project management community be prepared, ready and willing – personally and collectively? I hope so.
Project management education will be affected in formats, contents, foci and case studies; but so will all other education. It is happening already.
In this century we have been aware of the general speeding up of life and less tolerance of failure – including for projects. In pandemic terms there have been illustrations on the speed of lockdowns and responses. Also with expectations of vaccine developments and availabilities in months rather than previous years. How is this kind of faster project management going to be taught and examined?
The next big challenges, which has been on the horizon for some time, will be global warming and the environment. It may be too late for effective mitigation, so lots of adaptation and plenty of crisis – all needing project management – absolutely.
You write many books. Which do you recommend?
We have written and published a dozen or so titles covering project management, design, humour and business. We are in the process of transferring titles onto a new website – hopefully for early July - where they will be available in low-cost pdf versions – very modern.
By chance this year we have updated existing business titles on “Recession Survival”, “Recession Recovery” and “Advisors” – for businesses of all sizes. There is also a new title on “Pandemics – impacts and responses”. So they might be the current and topical recommendations. Although “Time Matters – time management techniques for avoiding or recovering delay on projects and programmes” may be useful. I could go on.
The congress will be virtual. Will the audience be able to participate?
Well this is an AEIPRO Congress “in” Spain! Certainly normally the local and visiting delegates participate fully in the social sessions in break times and evenings – absolutely – no doubt. During the daytime education and technical sessions it may be difficult to judge if they are “participating” fully. But I always believe they are smiling and nodding their heads – on the inside – politely and wisely. So it may all be no different in a virtual environment. I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Alternative or Additional Answer.
These are interesting times in the virtual worlds and in the worlds of projects – with virtual meetings, webinar training and other disconnected connections. We are all still finding our ways to make these effective or productive and enjoyable. It is important that project managers have confidence and techniques in leading – or at least joining - their teams in such matters This congress will be another, new and different challenging opportunity for testing and trying virtual engagement and participation. I am looking forward to it.