On the spot with Tom Taylor


On the spot with Tom Taylor
On the spot with Tom Taylor

President of the Association for Project Management (APM), Tom Taylor answers two quick questions we fire at him about project management and its place as a discipline in the world today.

Why is project management so important?

The world seems to be full of projects and have delivered civilisation to the world. I have a feeling that managed projects are generally better than un-managed or dis-managed projects. That is why it is important, interesting and challenging. It is imperative to realise that it is project managers and project teams that deliver project management. I definitely think it should be considered as a profession – being unprofessional is unpalatable. When it’s done well it can appear to be quite easy, but at the time quite fraught. We are looking for Competence – with a capital C – that’s important.

How can the profession work towards a world where all projects succeed?

A world in which all projects succeed is an exciting and challenging target. There are a number of things we, as a profession, can do to reach this goal. Benefits management is just one area to investigate. It is all about setting and reaching targets – this will help to achieve overall project success. I wonder if much project activity is conservative so as to avoid the embarrassment of failure. Perhaps success is not a word you hear a lot in the UK because we tend to be modest. However, at the same time, success is not easy by any means but should be the expectation and the norm.

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