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Principles of Project Management in HE


16 Jun, 2017

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Event overview

This event is supported by SUMS Consulting

Principles of Project Management in HE

The range of projects that are happening in the sector is vast.  Often the people asked to lead them are first time project managers tasked with managing projects on top of their day job. Sound familiar?

Whatever the project there are sound principles of project management that you can apply to ensure you achieve your goals.

The day will include keynotes and workshop sessions from experts and experienced project management practitioners as well as interactive workshops where you can network and reflect on practice.

The event will be opened with a keynote presentation provided by Professor Peter McCaffery.

Who should attend?

Higher education professionals who are or aspire to be involved in programme and project management.

Learning outcomes

You will:

  • Consider the demands of a key sponsor of programme and project management and the requirements for an effective project manager
  • Work together to reflect on your own practice and identify any development needs
  • Engage with the presenters and reflect collectively on the learning from the implementation of projects in the higher education sector
  • Network with the other delegates during the forum and be provided with the contact information to build your own professional support network
  • Consider how you might further develop your skills to improve your professional practice

When and where?

Date: Friday, 16 June 2017

Time: 9:30 to 15:30

Venue: Woburn House, London

Prices: AUA Member £100 +VAT, Non member £200 +VAT


09:30 – 10:00  Arrival and registration

10:00 – 10:10  Welcome and introduction

10:10 – 11:15  Opening Plenary

Sponsoring an effective programme and project

Professor Peter McCaffery, Consultant in Higher Education

11:15 – 11:30  Refreshments

11:30 – 12:20  Session One

Establishing and maintaining a project in a university: achieving your objectives. An interactive session

Dr Christopher Sarchet, SUMS Consulting

12:20 – 13:30  Lunch and Networking

13:30 – 14:20  Session Two

Putting benefits realisation at the heart of the project

Lee Jenner, Imperial College

14:30 – 15:20  Session Three

Delivering real change and making it stick

John Forshaw, Consultant

15:20 – 15:30  Wrap up and depart

Session information

Opening Plenary:

Sponsoring an effective programme and project

Professor Peter McCaffery, BA (Hons), M.Sc (Econ), PGCE, Ph D, FCIPD, FCMI, FRSA 

Professor Peter McCaffery has over thirty-five years teaching, research, leadership and management experience across a range of institutions from Further Education colleges to U.S. Ivy League University, including twenty years as a senior university executive during which he has sponsored a wide variety of projects.

A Churchill Fellow, and Idlewild Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Peter is a national lead for the Leadership Foundation for HE and the Higher Education Academy derivative of his international best-selling guide: The HE Manager’s Handbook: Effective Leadership and Management in Universities and Colleges (Routledge, 2nd edition, 2010)

Session one:

Establishing and maintaining a project in a university: acheiving your objectives. An interactive session

Dr Christopher Sarchet, SUMS Consulting

Session Overview:

You will work in groups to establish a project either, for example, to provide a new timetabling system and process for a University or to improve the student experience at a University.

The workshop will commence with the identification of the benefits, the methodology to be used and issues to be addressed. Your groups will be issued feedback on project to date (circa six months into project) and asked to review the recommendations as project board members.

Volunteers will feedback to the whole group with an emphasis on practical learning recommendations.

About the speaker:

Christopher Sarchet has worked in two universities since 1994 and been the programme manager and project manager for a wide variety of projects delivering change that has transformed the services of both institutions.

Christopher completed his doctorate on managing change in English Universities in 2009 and established the Managing Change in Higher Education themed network for the Association of University Administrators in 2010.

Session two:

Putting benefits realisation at the heart of the project

Lee Jenner, Imperial College

Session Overview:

We often assume that the successful delivery of a project will automatically translate into the delivery of the changes and the benefits outlined in the original business case or proposal.  To what extent do we keep the target benefits and outcomes alive and visible during the project?  How would we do that?  What impact would it have on the project, the project management, and the outcomes that are achieved?

I propose that keeping benefits at the forefront improves the likelihood of creating real and lasting change and makes a significant difference in the way that people engage with the project.  In this session we will explore what that means in practice, why and how it would make a difference, and some of the challenges, specific to Higher Education, of taking this approach.

About the speaker:

Lee has recently joined Imperial College London following 8½ years as a Change Manager and Project Manager at UCL.  Her career in Project Management spans 30 years, two continents and multiple sectors including Finance, Manufacturing, and Logistics.

Session three:

Delivering real change and making it stick

John Forshaw, Consultant

Session Overview:

In this session you will learn the realities of working on projects and programmes to deliver real and lasting change: how do we know if we are working on the right projects and programmes in the first instance; what can go wrong; how can we try and avoid the pitfalls; and what can be done even before the project or programme launches to help ensure its success?

Using examples from projects and programmes in Higher Education and elsewhere in the public and private sectors, you will explore how to keep major stakeholders on side and how the changes that have been planned and implemented can be sustained once the project and programme structures disappear.

About the speaker:

John has over 20 years senior experience of delivering high profile projects and programmes across the public and private sectors ranging in value from tens of thousands of pounds to hundreds of million.

John has acted as Senior User and Project Assurer on multiple projects boards including the construction of a state of the art Arts & Media building, student accommodation, and the establishment of new Government sponsored national laboratory.

These projects and programmes have been delivered in regulated, politically sensitive environments, working with a wide range of stakeholders including students, academics, senior management, and national and local government.

John’s experience of Higher Education includes one of the sectors first dedicated Change Management Units. Most recently he was Director of Planning and Performance at the University of Salford where his responsibilities included strategic and operational planning, performance improvement, and overseeing the University’s strategic projects portfolio.

John has a MBA from Manchester Business School and is a qualified PRINCE 2 and MSP Practitioner.


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