The list of influential people in the project management industry is seemingly endless. But as we continue to celebrate our 30th year as specialists in project, programme and portfolio management training, we wanted to compile a list of 30 people we consider to be influential to others in the profession.
This is by no means a definitive list, but it captures just some of those people who have made their impact in the world of project management.
So, in no particular order…
Colin was a part of the team who brought PROMPT II to the marketplace, the predecessor of PRINCE and PRINCE2®. He wrote the majority of the PRINCE2 manual and is the lead author of all revisions to the manual up until the 2009 version. He was also the Chief Examiner for PRINCE2 since its inception until 2008.
Jeff Sutherland began his career as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force before moving into medical research and software development. He was one of the original 17 authors of the Agile Manifesto, and one of the inventors of the Scrum software development process. Then, together with Ken Schwaber, he created Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA'95.
Another of the 17 initial signatories of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, Ken Schwaber is a software developer, product manager and industry consultant. Ken is the co-creator of the Scrum development process, along with Jeff Sutherland. Together they have extended and enhanced Scrum at many IT and software organisations, and they are also the co-authors of the definitive Scrum Guide, which is made available for free by Scrum.org.
Adrian was a founder member of Project Manager Today magazine and Project Management Exhibitions Ltd. He’s a non-executive director of APM Group Ltd, and in 2011 he was the lead author of the 6th Edition of the APM’s Body of Knowledge. He then built on that experience to create the Praxis Framework™, which was launched in 2014.
Taiichi Ohno was a Japanese industrial engineer and businessman. As an industrial engineer at Toyota, he developed Kanban, a scheduling system for lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing. He is considered to be the inventor of the Toyota Production System, which includes his ‘seven wastes’ model.
A mechanical engineer and management consultant, Henry Gantt is best known for his work in the development of scientific management, and for being the creator of the Gantt chart in the 1910s. Originally designed to illustrate a project schedule, modern Gantt charts also show the dependency relationships between activities and current schedule status.
With a background in the technology, FMCG and entertainment sectors, Peter is the CEO of AXELOS, a joint venture company, created by the Cabinet Office and Capita plc, to manage, develop and grow the global best practice portfolio. He has lead the company since its inception in 2013.
Richard is the CEO of APMG International, a global accreditation and examination institute. As an experienced civil engineer, he was a member of the programme management team responsible for the re-development of the London Docklands in the 1980s. During that time, he was elected to the Council of APM and was one of the lead authors of the first APM Body of Knowledge.
John has 30 years’ experience in delivering projects in Europe and the Middle East, and for the last decade he has specialised in complex acquisition programmes. He is Chairman of the APM and has been a key player in developing APM’s new strategy, Inspiring Positive Change. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of three institutions — the IET, CIPS, APM — and is an APM Registered Project Professional (RPP).
Mark is the President and CEO of the PMI, the USA’s professional organisation for project management, a role he has held since 2010. Mark began his career at Price Waterhouse (now PwC), and this led to senior leadership positions with AssetTRADE.com, Quala Systems, Inc. and Castle Energy Corp, as well as the role of Chief Financial Officer for ChemLogix.
Dame Sue Ion
An engineer and prominent figure in the UK nuclear industry for decades, Dame Sue has represented the UK on a number of international committees as an expert on nuclear fuel manufacture and technology. She was a major project sponsor at British Nuclear Fuels, and was previously the chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB), which was set up to give advice on the sort of R&D projects and programmes that the government should sponsor and support.
Andy is a partner at RSM UK. He was the lead author for PRINCE2 2009, and was part of the mentoring team for the PRINCE2 2017 update. He is also the co-author for the current version of P3M3, and was a contributor to the APM Body of Knowledge 6th edition.
Sir John Armitt CBE
From 2007, Sir John was the Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the organisation behind the 2012 Olympics that successfully built the infrastructure, venues and facilities for the London Games. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the APM
Dr Martin Barnes CBE
A founding member of the APM in 1972, Martin was an active APM leader up until his retirement in 2009, including a five-year term as Chairman from 1986 – 1991. He was then named a Fellow of the APM in 1995. Martin also led the team that produced the New Engineering Contract (NEC), a group of contracts designed to facilitate the use of modern project management practices across all the contributors on a project — something that is now being used in over 20 countries.
Carol was recognised for her ongoing contribution to the profession by being named an Honorary Fellow of the APM in 2014. She was fundamental in the delivery of the Eden Project in Cornwall, for which she was named one of the 10 most influential project managers by the APM, she has chaired the APM’s Women in Project Management Specific Interest Group, and she was a contributor to the APM Body of Knowledge 6th edition.
Louise is perhaps best known, and most widely recognised, for her work as the Infrastructure Director responsible for programme managing a £2bn portfolio of projects on the London 2012 Olympic Park. She is also a StemNet ambassador, a Fellow for the Institute of Civil Engineers and was included in the list of the top 50 most influential women in engineering.
Douglas Oakervee CBE
Between 2012 and the end of 2013, Douglas was the Executive Chairman of High Speed Two, the company responsible for developing the UK’s new high-speed rail network. Prior to that he was the Executive Chairman for the Crossrail programme, and was also Project Director at Chek Lap Kok International Airport in Hong Kong, with responsibility for planning, design procurement and construction.
Sir David Higgins
Also an Honorary Fellow of the APM, Sir David was the was Chief Executive of the London 2012 Summer Olympics Delivery Authority, and is the former Chief Executive of Network Rail. He is currently the Executive Chairman of High Speed Two — he took over from Douglas Oakervee on 1 January 2014 — but will be stepping down later this year.
Professor Eddie Obeng
Eddie is the founder and learning director of Pentacle (The Virtual Business School) championing the concept of "New World Management". The APM awarded him the Sir Monty Finniston Award for lifetime achievement in 2011 for his contributions to the study and practice of project management.
The Honourable Anna Walker CB
Anna is the former Chairman of the Office of Rail Regulation, where she was responsible for overseeing the beginning of a £38 billion programme of rail investment. Before her role with ORR, she was the Chief Executive of the Healthcare Commission. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the APM in 2011.
Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young has played a pivotal role in the development and success of the MoD’s largest project delivery department, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). He developed the very first PPM professionalisation and improved workforce planning strategy, using the APM standard as a basis, and was instrumental in the DE&S achieving its first ever APM Corporate Accreditation in September 2013. He also supports and mentors junior members of the project management profession.
Ruth Murray-Webster has 30 years of experience as a consultant and practitioner in the areas of risk and organisational change. She is currently Director of the Change Portfolio for Associated British Ports and has previously held director roles at KPMG and Lucidus Consulting. She has co-authored four books on the people aspects of risk management, and in 2013 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the APM.
Michael F. Dallas
Michael F. Dallas is a as non-executive director of The APM Group. He also served on the Council for the Association for Project Management and chaired the UK Institute of Value Management. He was instrumental in the development of the British standard and the training and certification system in value management. He was lead author of AXELOS’s Management of Value (MoV®) guide, and has also published his own book, Value & Risk Management: A Guide To Best Practice.
Rod Baker APM
Currently a director and trustee of APM, Rod is also a non-executive director of APM Group. He is a director of GAPPS, a non-profit organisation that provides independent reference benchmarks for project management standards and assessments, and is a director of his own project and programme management consultancy.
Nigel is a Consulting Director at audit, tax and consulting services organisation RSM, where he helps businesses improve their project, programme and portfolio management capability. He was a member of the authoring teams for the 2009 and 2017 editions of PRINCE2, and was part of the team that developed the current version of P3M3®, AXELOS’s maturity model.
Robert is an international authority on business-led, programme and project management. He is a member of the British Standards Institute's committee MS2 for project management and is a UK Principal Expert on the equivalent ISO technical committee, TC258 (dealing with international standards on portfolio, programme and project management). He was part of the authoring team for PRINCE2 2017, and has also brought out his own book, The Project Workout.
Phil has more than twenty years’ experience of leading and delivering complex programmes and projects across a wide variety of industries, and over the last 15 years, has made significant contributions to the design, implementation and embedment of large-scale tailored versions of PRINCE2 at Network Rail (GRIP), Highways Agency (PCF) and TfL (PMF and Pathway). He was also part of the authoring team for PRINCE2 2017.
Part of the mentoring team for the PRINCE2 2017 update, Keith is also the lead author of PRINCE2 Agile®. He has 30 years' experience in IT and project management, and is the founder and director of agileKRC a company that specialises in bringing the benefits of agile and lean to organisations of any size. He has also been awarded the ‘Most Valuable Agile Player’ at the UK Agile Awards.
Michelle is an experienced project and programme manager who, for more than 15 years, has been providing a business-led focus to large change initiatives through her company, A&J Project Management. She was part of the mentoring team for the PRINCE2 2017 update, and is the PRINCE2 Chief Examiner.
An active professional project and programme manager with more than a decade of experience in financial services and healthcare, Elizabeth is the creator of the award-winning blog, A Girl’s Guide to Project Management. She has also written four books on business and project management.