Intro to PPMpractitioner

It’s my Birthday today. I’m celebrating in style, as usual. This year, things are a touch different. Time for something new.

It’s not quite 5AM, early I know. Ridiculously early some might say! I was wandering around my apartment, gazing across the roof tops of the neighbouring buildings in Nottingham’s trendy and vibrant Lace Market area, contemplating what I would do today. I was due to head out running, my usual 50 minute route around this historic city, but thought I would do something a little different. Mark the day in a distinctive way. Time for a change.

What better way of marking this day, than passing on my knowledge and insight to the world. Spread a little know-how about the very things that interest me in my profession, specifically around the areas of leadership and management of projects (plus programmes, portfolios, and strategic initiatives).

I’ve blogged since 2004. Not only through a few personal blogs (though sporadically at best) about things that interest me from a personal perspective. But for several of my past employers; consulting firms, that have charged me with producing superior thought leadership (not only in blogs, but briefing papers, white papers, strategy documents and even content for books).

Time for something different. Producing superior thought leadership for everyone, not just those able to subscribe to such information sources.

I logged into WordPress and quickly set up and published my first post, as “PPMpractitioner”. I have yet to figure out the details, but hope that future readers find what I write beneficial.

What qualifies me to write this insight…

I’m an accomplished, seasoned project and programme specialist. I have managed sixty plus projects, several programmes and project portfolios of up to £25m in value over the last seventeen years. These have delivered complex business change and technology-enabled transformation initiatives for a range of blue chip organisations. I have directed relationships for services firms with their strategic customers, including Microsoft and Royal Bank of Scotland. On this basis I thought that “PPMpractitioner” might be a worthwhile name for this new blog.

I’m currently working as an interim programme manager. Engaged for the last year at Capital One, an international financial services firm. The last few years have proved to be a very taxing time for my client, they have faced some game changing challenges and subsequently embarked on strategic business change, technology-enabled transformation and business process outsourcing programme, critical to the very survival of the business in the UK. They have invested heavily at a cost of over $100 million (according to the national press). For certain when the programme is delivered the organisation will be very different (to be expected with nearly 50% of the workforce disappearing (according to the national press)).

I relish my role. It’s challenging, complex, varied and rewarding. There are not many roles out there where you work at the cutting edge of your clients’ business transformation delivery, where on the one hand you will consult to executive and programme sponsor level, on the other be responsible for hands-on delivery of change (through leading multiple projects), and as a bonus, provide cutting edge programme advisory. A more varied role than that of a project manager or portfolio manager (roles I have performed countless times before and enjoyed).

So my intention for the “PPMpractitioner” blog is to focus on the profession and day-to-day challenges of PPM practitioners, like myself.

In a few hours I will arrive at work. In previous years, my daily commute consumed as much as seven (yes, 7) hours per day. Today, I am rather fortunate, a rather “taxing” 5 minute walk. Even healthier, it is downhill. Usually it takes me longer to queue up for my skinny café latte from the coffee shop six floors beneath me. This commute is certainly an agreeable change. I fondly recall one of my earlier Birthdays; I commuted over 150 miles to the office, travelled three and a half hours door to door. Usually worked in the office until 6pm and arrive home after 9pm (if I was lucky).

On one occasion, I arrived home after an eight hour journey home (a long drawn out story, mainly to do with the shocking state of the UK rail network when electrical storms prevail). Ludicrously returned to the office later that morning (after 3 hours in bed), to what would have been the next working day. Some colleagues called me crazy, I like to think I was dedicated and driven. It certainly would have given me lots of time to blog!

Please enjoy the posts and I hope you gain value from my insight and guidance.

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