APM Conference Hot Topics

Back at the beginning of June, we were proud to exhibit at the APM Conference held in Coventry. The event spanned across 2 days, including an exhibition, awards ceremony, subject-matter expert talks, roundtable discussions, a networking dinner and much more. The event was packed with delegates attending from across the globe, from Australia, the Netherlands and Qatar to name a few. 

This years’ theme was all around ‘Navigating Tomorrow’ – a timely topic for many project professionals currently at a career junction.  

There are many highlights from the event, notably the changes to the APM Project Management Qualification (APM PMQ) exam, updates on new pathways to gaining your Chartership qualification status and the announcement of new President elect of the APM…. Dr Yvonne Thompson. 

Unsurprisingly, there were some key themes and hot topics spoken about that the attendees all seemed to want to discuss… these were: 

  • AI and EI 
  • Maximising the multi-generational workforce 
  • Chartership qualification 
  • Futureproofing your career. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the continued importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI)

In a highly engaging workshop from Eddie Obeng, we deconstructed AI as a concept and irradicated audience concerns about AI taking over jobs. Eddie made it clear that AI should be used as a tool, just as we use other tools to enable us to do other roles in everyday life e.g. remote controller enables us to control the TV.  

AI offers numerous benefits, including predictive analytics, automated workflows, and enhanced data processing capabilities. By leveraging AI, project professionals can predict project outcomes by analysing historical data to forecast potential risks, automate routine tasks, and enhance decision-making with data-driven insights.  

However, whilst AI can significantly improve efficiency and decision-making, it is essential to address challenges such as data privacy, security concerns, and the ethical implications of AI-driven decisions.  

Emotional Intelligence is equally crucial in project management, focusing on the human aspects of project execution. Many organisations have successfully integrated AI and EI, resulting in enhanced project delivery, higher team engagement, and a more innovative and creative work environment.  

Striking the right balance between leveraging AI for efficiency and maintaining the human touch through EI is essential to avoid a depersonalised workplace. 

Maximising the multi-generational workforce

Ask any attendee at the conference and they’ll tell you that the highlight talk was the opening keynote from Dr Paul Redmond, talking all things generational workforce.  

Today, we are a workforce that has 4 generations working alongside each other under one ‘roof’. Each generation brings unique working styles and preferences that need to be acknowledged and integrated to create a successful and collaborative environment.  

Baby Boomers, for instance, tend to value structured environments and clear hierarchies, often preferring face-to-face communication and traditional meeting formats.  

Generation X, on the other hand, appreciates flexibility and autonomy, thriving in environments where they can balance work and personal life effectively.  

Millennials, known for their tech-savviness, often favour collaborative tools and digital communication methods, valuing feedback and opportunities for growth.  

Generation Z, the youngest cohort, is characterised by their preference for rapid, digital interactions and a preference towards socially responsible work environments. 

To effectively manage these diverse preferences, project professionals should implement a range of strategies. 

  • Create a flexible work environment that accommodates different communication styles and preferences that can bridge generational gaps. This might include offering both in-person and virtual meeting options to suit various comfort levels.  
  • Consider attention spans. It is beneficial to design meetings and tasks that cater to different needs – Baby Boomers might prefer longer, detailed sessions, while Millennials and Generation Z might favour shorter, more focused interactions.  
  • Regular training sessions on using new technologies can help bridge the digital divide, ensuring that all team members are comfortable with the tools at hand. 

APM’s Chartership Qualification

The Chartership Qualification is more accessible than ever! At the conference, the APM spoke of their routes to Chartership including the new route which was explained to the delegates. Being recognised as a Chartered Professional is the route most project managers are looking to take as they futureproof their career within the industry.  

You can read more about the various routes to chartership with the APM here: **** 

Our discussions over at the CITI stand were about supporting professionals in obtaining this status, which pathways are suitable, and aiding the chartership journey.  

Did you know that we, CITI are the ONLY APM-approved provider of support packages for Chartership?  

Find out more about our support packages here.

Futureproofing your career

An overarching topic of the APM Conference was all about how you can futureproof yourself and your career as a professional in Project Management. Here are some tips and advice from fellow delegates: 

  1. Embrace continuous learning: 

The project management landscape is constantly evolving, with new methodologies, tools, and technologies emerging regularly. To stay relevant, commit to continuous learning through certifications, online courses, and workshops.  

  1. Develop your technological proficiency: 

With the increasing integration of AI, machine learning, and other technologies in project management, developing a strong understanding of these tools is essential.  

  1. Enhance your soft skills: 

While technical skills are crucial, soft skills such as leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence are equally important. Effective project management often hinges on the ability to lead diverse teams, resolve conflicts, and communicate clearly. Invest time in developing these skills through leadership training, mentoring, and practical experience. 

  1. Stay dynamic: 

The ability to adapt to new situations and embrace change is a significant asset in project management. Being dynamic not only helps in managing current projects more effectively but also prepares you for future shifts in the industry. 

  1. Network and build your professional relationships: 

Attend industry conferences, join professional organisations, and participate in online forums to connect with other project management professionals.  

At the conference, there was a post-it-note wall of advice. We have shared these photos here! 

Post it board at APM Conference June 2024

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