Organisations today are constantly faced with the challenges of fiercely competitive and changing environments driven by regulatory modification and internal restructuring. They must, therefore, continuously adapt to the environment if they are to survive and prosper. Now, especially with the increased scrutiny over budgets and “doing more with less,” efficiency and effectiveness are key factors of successful organisations.

As part of their competitive advantage strategy to change, survive, and grow, top management have been moving to project management. The ability to successfully execute projects is what drives the realisation of intended benefits and the achievement of business objectives.

But there is continuous pressure for businesses to be innovative and deliver greater value.  So traditional project management methods that had worked in stable economic times, have become less reliable and applicable.  It is then that the organisation needs to respond quickly but with control and quality.

This conference focuses on how companies should exploit or upgrade and change their resources to ensure that programmes and projects deliver. It comprises essential areas such as people, culture, strategy, tools and techniques and processes. Experts bring their views on the topic and panels allow debate on priorities and challenges, inviting the audience to take part in the conversation and to share their experience and problems.


  • 09:15 - 10:00

    Registration and Coffee Break

  • 10:00 - 10:15

    UNICOM'S Welcome and Introduction to Sponsoring Bodies

    Alec McCutcheon, UNICOM Seminars Ltd

  • 10:15 - 10:45

    The Evolution of Project Leadership

    Dr James Barr, Oxford Business Psychology

    Over time, two strands of ideas about leadership and project management have evolved, often out of phase. This presentation describes the evolution of project management from being unsystematic and reliant on the skills of individuals, via an attempt to control through bureaucracy to today's more fluid, agile approach. Meanwhile leadership has evolved from the idea of the 'great man' through 'scientific management' to an emphasis on emotionally intelligent, authentic leadership. The talk reviews what forms of project leadership work best today and what will be the next steps in evolution.


    James Barr

  • 10:45 - 11:15

    Clarity. Simplicity. Predictability.

    Joey Flint, Marija Ball, BBC Design & Engineering

    In the years we worked in the BBC we've been trying to accurately reflect to our stakeholders what we are able to deliver as an agile team. In the past two years we have used a variety of tools and have seen various degrees of success. This informed what we do now. We have found that to be predictable you don't have to spend a day in sprint planning. It's about striking a balance between developers spending most of their time developing and having enough planning in place. We would like to share the current practices and tools we employ, why it works for us, and what our next challenges are.


    Joey Flint

    Marija Ball

  • 11:15 - 11:45

    Tea & Coffee Break

  • 11:45 - 12:15

    Digital Interviewing Project – Putting people at the heart of delivery

    Neil Cochlin, Programme Director, Met Police

    The squeeze on public sector finances has necessitated organisations adopting a robust stance when deciding which projects and programmes to invest in. Balancing benefits return with risk helps that prioritisation. The multi-million pound Digital Interviewing Project offered significant benefits but at one point found itself cancelled. This presentation will cover how the ambitious IT and construction project overcame numerous hurdles to achieve its goals. In doing so, it has left a legacy for the most vulnerable victims and witnesses encountered by the Metropolitan Police Service.


    Neil Cochlin

  • 12:15 - 12:45

    The Swindon Area Signalling Renewal Project – Getting Back On Track

    Spencer Hobbs, Network Rail

    As project manager for the Swindon Area Signalling Renewal, a multi-million pound project to renew the signalling system along the Swindon stretch of the Great Western rail line, Spencer employed multifaceted project management skills, innovation and lean and agile principles to lead his team (after the project missed its original commissioning milestone) to successfully meet the revised commissioning dates.


    Spencer Hobbs

  • 12:45 - 13:45

    Lunch Break

  • 13:45 - 14:15

    PMO – Making a step change using a best practice model

    Stephen Woods, SCMMS

    This presentation explains how you can leverage a best practice models such as CMMI and P3M3 to help you make a step change in the capability of the PMO and Project Management in your Organisation. The presenter will share with you his experience at establishing and re-invigorating PMOs at major Financial, Retail, Insurance and Transportation Organisations.


    Stephen Woods

  • 14:15 - 14:45

    Agile Benefits Management: How to Quantify All Benefits and Deliver Them Incrementally

    Tom Gilb, Senior partner at

    Common Agile methods intend to deliver benefits and value, but they are not equipped to do so in practice. You have to add to an agile framework, like Scrum, a number of tools. Direct Quantification of all benefits, so they are unambiguous clear and trackable in agile delivery steps. Much better stakeholder analysis. A method to estimate the ‘benefit power’ of all architecture and design strategies. A method for decomposing big strategies into smaller benefit deliverable strategies. A method for dynamic prioritisation of delivery steps based on value for resources wrt risks. This presentation will present these tools and participants will get a free digital copy of the book “Value Planning”.


    Tom Gilb

  • 14:45 - 15:15

    Panel Session: Resistance to Change.

    All speakers with questions from the floor.

  • 15:15 - 15:45

    Tea and Coffee Break

  • 15:45 - 16:15

    Get the Skills to Thrive

    Joanna Newman, PMI / Vodafone

    What skills do our project management community need to thrive in the next 5 years? How do we prepare them for the challenges that automation and robotics will bring? What soft skills will be needed to navigate the hyper globalised ‘always on’ environment and how to build engagement in an oversaturated workplace. Join me as I sift through leading research from PMI, APM, CMI and FTSE 100 companies about the skills needed to thrive in 2022.


    Joanna Newman

  • 16:15 - 16:45

    Evolving Project Management for the Digital Age

    Allan Kelly, Software Strategy Ltd

    In the digital age change is fast and those who don't keep up are quickly left behind. Business innovation and technlogy innovation feed off one another while traditional project management struggles to keep pace with an accelerating cycle. IT Project are no longer something that happens on the side, the business is technology and the technology is business.

    The project thinking needs to evolve too. And it's more than just Agile, it's digital business, it's cloud, it's DevOps and continuous delivery, dual track, minimally viable teams and much more.

    In this presentation Allan Kelly will set out some of the ways in which project management must evolve if it is to keep pace with the changing nature of business and the technology landscape.


    Allan Kelly

  • 16:45 - 17:00

    Chairman's Closing Summary. Close of Conference

  • 17:00 - 18:00

    Drinks and Networking


Marija Ball

BBC Design & Engineering

James Barr

Oxford Business Psychology

Neil Cochlin

Met Police

Joey Flint

BBC Design & Engineering

Tom Gilb

Senior partner at

Spencer Hobbs

Network Rail

Allan Kelly

Software Strategy Ltd

Joanna Newman


Stephen Woods

SCMMS Solutions Ltd

UNICOM’s Advisory Panel

Dorothy Graham

Software testing consultant, speaker and author

Dan North

Dan North Associates

Paul D. Nielsen

Director and CEO, Software Engineering Institute

Dave Snowden

CTO Cognitive Edge


Media Partners


Call for Participation

We are looking for speakers willing to share their experiences and stories about your work in the field of Programme and Project Management. If you wish to submit a proposal to present at this event please fill in the  speaker response form.


  • Case study; Building the BBC in the north
  • The project profession
  • The Digital project Manager
  • DevOps: new best practices for the project manager
  • Project Management: Organising project based change
  • Combining value & project management into an effective project Management model
  • Earned Value management
  • Project Management skills that employers seek
  • Project leadership; team building
  • Managing complex projects
  • Project Governance and metrics
  • Agile transformation: value stream; People connections; Agile and high performing PMO; Developing transformation agent – leadership;
  • Project Assurance.


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End-User Organisations

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