CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Vicki is a Business Program, Project and Change Manager who has worked on major change programs in the Utilities, Transport, Finance, Energy, Mining, Oil & Gas and Healthcare Technology sectors in Australia, NZ and the UK. With 36 years professional experience, Vicki has worked on restructure and transition programs, workplace change programs, company launches, regulatory change programs and major IT programs.
Vicki uses her qualifications (B.Bus and Cert in Business Excellence and Company Directors accreditation) and her extensive experience to plan and launch new change programs or bring focus to programs that are under pressure.
What I enjoy most about being a project manager is:
Bringing clarity to a business embarking on a complex undertaking.
The joy of working with a team of people who share the same goal – there is nothing better than a high performing team ‘in the zone’.
Seeing a project team succeed (often ‘against the odds’) and seeing how proud they are of their achievements after a successful delivery.
The three most important skills I use to successfully deliver projects are:
1) People and change management skills – project management is a people profession – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – no ‘method’ is going to save you if you can’t engage people.
2) Structured thinking – ensuring the project has a clear map of what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved and a clear vision of the ultimate business outcome.
3) My leadership style – I try to maintain calm and use humour to defuse tense situations and maintain perspective. I’m not always successful on this count but I try really hard to be.
I build and nurture my professional network by:
I am so fortunate in my role as a National Manager of a team of 20+ (and growing) very talented Program and Project Managers that my job allows me to learn from the best! I have an in-built network of talented people I can go to for advice. I am very very lucky.
At the start of my career, the one thing I wish I had known is:
I wish I had known that projects go off-track one day at a time…there is no ‘laissez-faire’ way of running a project. Learnt this lesson big time when a major project blew up on me (with some interesting consequences) early on in my career.
Women who have inspired me so far in my career journey are:
A tough question….I have been blessed to work with so many women who are talented program and project managers…..here are my top 3;
1) Inge Brown – taught me about staying calm under pressure and maintaining focus (despite the noise) on the business outcome ALWAYS
2) Louise Shaw – taught me the value of structure, detail and hard work in a project setting.
3) Kerryn Fewster – taught me that project management is about people and that a sense of humour is essential.
The most valuable advice I have ever been given is:
“A method is an aid to thinking not a substitute for it” (Lesson = Methods won’t save you)
“People are the final frontier” (Lesson = Win people over and your project stands a high chance of success)
“Does it pass the red ears test?” (Lesson = Don’t do anything on a project that you wouldn’t be proud to defend in the future -i.e. don’t cut corners)
My advice for women on finding success as a project manager is:
Get some Change Management qualifications not just Project Management qualifications.
Find great mentors – i.e. find a way to learn ‘on the job’ with a seasoned (i.e. 20+ years experience) Program or Project Manager.
Hello amazing women of the project management world!
My observation after two decades of working in the project management industry is that our voices as women are simply not heard enough online in articles, podcasts, and across social media channels. Let’s change that!
- 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.
- Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to be inspired by daily posts as we celebrate all of these wonderful women in project management! Feel motivated by their stories, achievements and perspectives.
- Tell us how you feel and support other women by including #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement in your social media posts.
- Join our FREE exclusive Celebrating Women in Project Management Facebook group – a new space for women in project management to come together and discuss ideas, give advice, provide support, and network with women from all over the globe.