Amanda Oakenfull Celebrating Women in Project Management

Amanda Oakenfull Celebrating Women in Project Management

Amanda Oakenfull


Location: Melbourne, AUS

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As an experienced executive, Amanda has over 20 years of professional experience in the public and private sector, where she has successfully delivered large transformations in the Defence, ICT, Telecommunications, Engineering and Health sectors from initial strategy development through to implementation delivery and on-going benefits realisation.

Amanda’s career has developed with a specialisation in Portfolio and Program Management delivery and recovery, contract management, business strategy, management and advisory. This has been consolidated and proven through her successes in the development of the Defence industry in Victoria, the corporate performance analysis of the Defence Material Organisation at the portfolio level, and delivery of Telstra, Sensis and Health Industry Programs. She has also been engaged as a trusted advisor and also brings her deep experience to her role as a mentor within the Australian Institute of Project Management – PMO Program, upskilling the next generation of Portfolio and Program specialists.

Delivering the right solutions both strategically and operationally has been key to developing and maintaining successful outcomes and relationships for Amanda’s clients. Amanda’s rare depth of understanding of delivery, implementation and operations provides the strong foundations that enable her proven success.

What is your project management super power?

“My superpower is creating and leading high performing teams.”

How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?

By focusing on supporting freedom career choice, and removing the language that separates us (such as ‘gender’) instead utilising language that articulate the outcomes we are trying to achieve such as ‘choice’, ‘respect’, ‘diversity of thought’.

As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?

Revisiting and reinvigorating the core PM tools of the trade that have been lost over the last decade. These include Scheduling, Logs, Dependencies, to name a few. The profession has become reliant on technology to cover these aspects, and we have forgotten ‘how, why and when’ to use them. Many of the PM ‘tools’ are misused and create problems.

The other aspect is Governance. There has been a trend of over application of governance to cover the lack of PM skill outlined above. This creates a drag effect on delivery, which hinders our ability to deliver.

How do you recover from difficult situations?

Take personal ‘blame’ out of the equation. It doesn’t matter. Place the focus on the issue at hand and fix that problem.

No one (or an extreme few) get up in the morning with the pure intent to derail a project, it happens due to circumstance with people making the best decision at the time with the information that are aware of. Remember that and move on with fixing the problems.

What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?

Front in early and do not let what is a niggle escalate to a conflict. Be a leader. Without exception, in my experience, conflict has occurred with a lack of leadership.

Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?

People, people, people.




Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.

  1. If you’re a woman working in project management, I want to hear from you! Submit your profile today to make sure to be included in this years event which has already begun.
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