Leaders’ Insights: Debbie Dore, CEO, Association for Project Management
1/ To what extent has the pandemic brought the industry you serve together and fostered joint initiatives and the sharing of best practice?
From the beginnings of the pandemic, the project profession has been at the forefront of delivering change for the benefit of businesses and communities, working in unison to meet emerging needs. Notable examples include the Nightingale Hospitals; the many manufacturing companies that pivoted rapidly to start making ventilators, hand sanitizer and PPE; and the supermarkets who quickly stepped up their online offering and increased their delivery capacity to keep the nation fed.
As the workplace has shifted to the online space, the importance of digital skills and data analytics has been emphasised. The Project Data Analytics Research Network, a joint initiative between APM, employers and academics, is an example of how the profession is putting itself at the crest of an emerging wave.
2/ What changes have you made as a result of Covid-19 in the managing of your association which you won’t be changing back when things are back to normality?
APM has implemented a ‘digital first’ approach to its membership proposition that promotes flexibility and safety. This has not only enabled our teams to remain safely connected during the pandemic; it has also reduced travel requirements and carbon emissions.
We’ve switched our events programme to a virtual events model with a focus on best-practice and knowledge sharing. This enable project professionals all over the world to connect, network and share without the risks associated with face-to-face events.
We’ve also Introduced online exams – an initiative that was delivered in a condensed timeframe at the start of lockdown measures in the UK – to ensure project professionals could continue their professional development with minimum disruption.
Remote working tools like MS Teams and Slido – although available pre-pandemic – have become invaluable by allowing continued collaboration among internal and external stakeholders.
While we do anticipate some aspects of traditional face-to-face working methods will return post-Covid, this digital first approach has yielded multiple benefits for our employees, members and partners.
Debbie Dore is a judge at the 2021 Association Excellence Awards.