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Last week, after a four-day workshop in central London, I headed out to the leafy village of Bourne End for an experiment. For one afternoon, the Project Management Forum of the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) and the Association for Project Management (APM) met together to look at Global Project Management. Specifically, we were looking at the ‘Opportunities and Challenges faced by Project Managers Across Industries’. From the APM side, my co-chair of the WiPM SIG, Susie Boyce had driven this and we were all sad that she couldn’t join us on the day. Get well soon Susie!


Stuart Redding and I welcomed the room full of delegates. Most appeared to be ICR members and the gender balance was the other way around from most project management meetings I go to – a refreshing change! David Mannering, Head of Global Project Management at Quintiles, gave us an introduction to the clinical world. I found it refreshing that someone would take the time to explain the acronyms and jargon of their world to people from outside clinical research. Thank you David!

Helen Neal, who directs clinical management for Asia Pac for PPD, then entertained us with her real life stories of working in the Asia Pac region. With 7.5 time zones in her region, she had so much to tell us about the reality of making clinical trials effective in such a diverse and interesting area. She must like a challenge as she’s moving back to Singapore shortly. All the best with your move Helen.

Next on was Tom Taylor of the APM. I presented with Tom at the APM conference in 2008 so it was great to meet up with him again. He took us on a fascinating journey through time, showing how project management had developed and still is changing. We couldn’t just sit and listen as Tom had us answering questions and even ran a survey live!


I carried on with the interactive theme, facilitating a session where people had the chance to talk with others and share ideas. First step was to make sure that people were sitting with people they didn’t yet know. Once settled down, I asked the group two questions:
1. What are the best ways to establish and grow trust across your international team?


The results were:


2. Your three top tips for a global project manager are …


You can see the details of the outputs by opening up this pdf file. What a lot of fabulous ideas! It seems the experiment worked.

Thank you ICR/APM for a great day. You may also enjoy the summit I’m holding later this summer Virtual Working Summit. You’d be welcome to join in.

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