Tuesday, 17 November 2009

BPUG Members Annual Conference, 11-12 November 2009

By Melanie Franklin, CEO at Maven Training

Best Practice User Group Members Annual Conference took place at the Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Bristol on 11-12 November 2009. The Conference Theme was 'P4: People, Portfolios, Programmes and Projects'.

Conference delegates enjoyed two days of valuable discussions, presentations and ideas generation across the whole range of OGC PPRM guidance, with special emphasis on 'people' aspects. Past delegates of BPUG conferences have praised them for their wide spread of topics, the quality of the session leaders and the opportunity to network amongst others in similar work circumstances.

I gave a presentation on the importance of emotional intelligence in achieving project success. There was broad agreement in the room at the start of the presentation that building capability and being able to answer the question ' how do we things well' is more important these days than sorting out 'what we do' which results from the implementation of methodologies. That is not to say that the methods offered by PRINCE2 and MSP are not important for project and programme management, its just that many organisations have implemented these now, and are looking to upskill their workforce for successful project delivery, and not just successful following of a methodology.

Interpersonal skills and technical skills combined deliver this 'how to' knowledge. Excellence in interpersonal skills are a result of developing 'emotional intelligence' which involves self awareness - an unflinching assessment of our strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and how we demonstrate these through our personality and self management - a willingness to tailor some of our personality traits to the situation. We discussed how emotional intelligence grows over time, as we learn from our mistakes, and therefore, it is essential to constantly ask ' how could i have done that better' when engaging with people. We all agreed that we would never get anything done on a project if it weren't for the people around us, so increasing our ability to inspire, motivate, delegate and manage is not optional, its mandatory.

There were a number of questions at the end including the importance of building personal relationships if we are to get the most out of some of our more impersonal meeting formats such as teleconferenes, virtual teams, webinars and email. The removal of face to face communication presents us with even greater challenges for which emotional intelligence gives us a number of solutions

If anyone attended the conference over the two days it would be great to hear your thoughts!

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