I started my professional life as an architect in Montréal, Canada in 1974; as such, I worked within a project environment from the beginning. Architects traditionally represent their clients and are expected to act "in lieu" of the client in their relationship with the authorities (planning department, construction permit department, etc.) other professionals (engineers, urban planners, landscape architects, interior designers, etc.) and with contractors (suppliers, building trades). After having worked in most areas of my profession, from urban planning to architectural programming, design, specifications writing and site supervising, I decided that it was time to integrate all this knowledge. So I opened my own practice and started developing turnkey projects for my clients. This meant that I needed to look at the bigger picture. It also meant that I needed to work in harmony with all the players of the project.
After a few years, I joined a larger firm that shared this philosophy and became their director of development. That is when I started calling myself a project manager and that is also when I became member of PMI and got my Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential.
During that time we developed a recognized expertise in fast-track construction. Many of these fast-tracking techniques were later adopted by IT/information sciences and are today known as "agile and iterative development." As our expertise became recognized, we got to work on large, multiphased construction projects and started to develop a reputation for pragmatic and effective long-term planning and development. Today, this type of expertise would be called program management.
In 1996, I moved to the United Kingdom with my family. After more than 20 years of working in construction, I became a management consultant and have since practiced in a wide range of industries. I have come to realize that many organizations still don't understand how to integrate their project components to their business practices. This is especially true of the end-to-end process necessary to implement strategic decisions, realize benefits and, ultimately, create value. I intend to address these issues in my posts and hope that you will be interested in commenting.
I travel extensively and will therefore write from different locations around the world. I am preparing to leave for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the PMI Global Congress (where I will present a paper on the comparison between the three most recognized program management standards) and then deliver a 2-day seminar for SeminarsWorld®.