ICCPM Members get exclusive discount to PGCS Symposium

ICCPM Members get an exclusive 10% discount to attend the
2023 PGCS Project and Program Management Symposium in Canberra in August.
This event is also running with hybrid delivery.

PGCS Symposium Program

ICCPM has assembled a selection of experts in support of Stream 1 at this year’s PGCS Project and Program Management Symposium.
This stream will explore the unique attributes of complex projects and programs, focusing on the “challenges of delivering major projects and programs in a complex environment. The knowledge needed to build the foundations for successful delivery include an appreciation of systems engineering, complex project management and risk management supported by the skills needed to navigate a major project or program through to a successful conclusion.
Papers in this stream will include case studies and practical presentations focused on the skills and techniques needed to craft success.


Tuesday 22 August –

Identifying and Responding to Complexity in Major Projects and Programs
Collin Smith, CEO International Centre for Complex Project Management

This session will lay the foundation for the Stream. Using real examples, it will explore what makes a project, program or portfolio complex, and the implications for their delivery. It will provide an update on ICCPM’s review of the Project Categorisation Framework (PCAT) and the upcoming release of the new Complex Project Leadership Competency Standards, and present examples of their application.

After this session you will:

  • Understand the difference between Simple, Complicated, Complex and Chaotic project contexts and the implications for project delivery.
  • Appreciate the importance of the skills and knowledge outlined in the Complex Project Leadership Standards.
  • Understand that organisations need to operate systemically to deliver complex projects, programs and portfolios, and that there are tools and frameworks available for doing this.

About Collin Smith
Collin is the CEO and Managing Director of the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM). He has over 23 years of commercial and management experience in a variety of senior roles across various industry sectors.  Before joining ICCPM, Collin was the Program Manager of QUT’s Executive MBA in Complex Project Management. Before moving to Australia, Collin spent 8 years as a Director and Principle Consultant for a boutique business transformation management consultancy in South Africa with a particular focus on strategy development and change management.

Harnessing Emergence in Complex Projects: Rethinking Risk, Opportunity & Resilience
Dr John Bensley, Associate Professor of Practice, QUT Graduate School of Business

This session will present findings from the 2020-21 ICCPM International Roundtable Series and the implications for the delivery of major projects. This thought leadership series was supported by CASG to help project professionals stay at the forefront of complex project delivery. This session will use a variety of frameworks and models to explore the nature and impact of emergence for major projects and the capabilities and competencies needed to harness emergence in practice.

After this session you will:

  • Understand how worldview and mental paradigms shape how we see, understand and deal with emergence in complex projects.
  • Appreciate the practical capabilities and competencies project leaders need to harness emergence.
  • Appreciate how our view of complexity informs our approach to emergence and risk.

About Dr John Bensley
Assoc Professor John Bensley is the MBA Director within the QUT Graduate School of Business with expertise in systems thinking, the management of innovation, product management and analytical psychology. John works with other University academics, Graduate School staff and industry professionals, to design, develop and deliver transdisciplinary education programs that meet the specific requirements of post-graduate MBA, Executive MBA and Digital MBA students. With more than 30 years management, marketing and operational experience from the mining and telecommunication industries his passion is understanding the determining effect of the human equation within organisations and helping people sense-make in complex environments.

Wednesday 23 August –

The New Gotthard Base Tunnel: Full Life Cycle Management and Maintenance of Major Infrastructure
Thomas Gut, Head of Lifecycle Management and Maintenance Gotthard Line, SBB Switzerland

This presentation will present the New Gotthard Base Tunnel case study. It will explore the complexity of the project and strategies that have been implemented. It will explore how SBB balance maintenance and operational demands of major infrastructure.

After this session you will:

  • Appreciate the lived experience of lifecycle management and maintenance on a major project.
  • Learn how the New Gotthard Base Tunnel project works with multiple stakeholders with different requirements to deliver workable solutions.
  • Be aware that complex infrastructure projects require a reinvestment of several times the initial project cost during their life cycle.

About Thomas Gut

Thomas is the Head of Lifecycle Management and Maintenance for the Gotthard Line, managed by the Swiss Federal Railways SBB Ltd. Before joining SSB in 2014, Thomas gathered international experience in Ecuador, Qatar, Mexico and Belgium in a range of consulting and government positions. These positions, combined with his board appointments, were excellent preparation for engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders in his current role.

Managing Wicked Program Delivery
Alex Walsh, Executive Manager Engineering, ASC Pty Ltd

The UK nuclear program started at Sellafield in the 1940s. The site has been the host of the first plutonium production reactors for the weapons program (the Windscale Piles), fuel re-processing facilities for the UK nuclear program, the first nuclear power station to generate electricity (Calder Hall), the prototype Advanced Gas Reactor and numerous facilities for the storage and treatment of nuclear materials.

In the early days of the nuclear program, the UK national imperative was defence and decisions were made with little thought given to the long-term solution for the decommissioning, remediation or disposal of wastes generated. One of the Windscale piles suffered a significant nuclear accident in 1957 and the damaged core remains in place. Many of these facilities are now old and do not meet modern standards. The wastes in some of these facilities have not been characterised and can only be accessed remotely. The site is congested and interconnected. All of this makes Sellafield, one of the most complex high hazard facilities in the world.

The program to deal with this legacy at Sellafield is projected to take over 100 years. The technologies to deal with some of the problems are not mature.

After this session, you will have an awareness of;

  • An approach to delivering outcomes in extremely complex environment.
  • How decision, calendars, assumption and risk can help prioritise research and development and studies in time to specify projects.
  • Reference class forecasting as a tool in decision-making for initiating the right project.
  • Importance of collaborating with industry during all stages of the project life cycle, including studies and concept design
  • The imperative to break complex problems down into simple project scopes. Complexity increases, uncertainty and risk.

About Alex Walsh

Alex has over 40 years practicing as a nuclear and mechanical engineer in the civil nuclear and defence industries. He has held senior engineering and project management leadership roles in the UK, France and Australia in complex nuclear programs. Projects include the UK Vanguard and Astute Submarines, the Sizewell B and Hinkley Point C Nuclear power stations, surface warships, Collins Class submarines sustainment, Air Warfare Defence (Hobart class) and Sellafield legacy remediation program.

Alex and his wife previously worked in Australia on the submarine programme in 2013 and 14. In January 2022, Alex returned to Australia to take on the engineering challenge of extending the life of the Collins Submarines and preparing for the AUKUS nuclear powered submarines.

Governance and Controls in Complex Projects
Dr Nam Nguyen, Director Research & Development, International Centre for Complex Project Management

This session will explore the potential sources of complexity in major projects and programs and how governance and controls need to be approached differently. It will use practical examples to explore different approaches and their impact.

After this session you will:

  • Understand the potential sources of complexity in major projects.
  • Appreciate the importance of approaching governance and controls of complex projects differently.

About Dr Nam Nguyen

Dr Nguyen is a systems thinking expert with more than 20 years’ experience teaching, researching and consulting with various companies and organisations in Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe. He has held several management and leadership roles, most notably being the Director Australia and Southeast Asia with the Malik Management Institute, Switzerland, a world leading organisations for holistic general management, leadership, governance and transformation solutions. Nam has consulted to a wide range of Australian state and federal government agencies including Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). Nam is a recipient of the prestigious Davos Australian Leadership Award for being at the forefront of his chosen field – systems thinking and complexity management. He is an Honorary Fellow in the University of Adelaide Business School; an Adjunct Professor at FPT School of Business, Vietnam; a Certificated Talent of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetics (IASCYS) and a Vice President (2014-16; 2018-24) of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR).

PredAptive delivery: Predictive + Adaptive
Alex Lyaschenko, Project Planning & Delivery consultant

Predictive and adaptive project delivery approaches have their own set of advantages and challenges, leading organizations to explore a hybrid model. This presentation aims to investigate the effectiveness of hybrid
project delivery in mitigating existing drawbacks and identifying potential new challenges.

While some project management experts argue that debates between Agile and Waterfall delivery are irrelevant and all projects are inherently hybrid, the significance of hybrid projects comes into question. However, the consensus remains that all projects require agility.

The integration of Waterfall and Agile methodologies into a hybrid approach goes beyond a simple combination of methods and techniques. It necessitates the adoption of fresh philosophies, standards, and tools. Predaptive delivery requires an effective solution to address the complexities of dynamic and unpredictable environments, as well as the demands of the competitive labour market. It achieves a balance between predictability and adaptiveness, optimizing value creation while navigating these challenges.

To uncover innovative strategies for enhancing project portfolio delivery, it is vital to delve into the fundamental elements of project management DNA. This includes understanding the distinct characteristics, complexities, and uniqueness of projects, as well as identifying the most critical challenges within project portfolios that require resolution. By exploring these foundational aspects at a profound level, new insights and approaches can be uncovered to improve project portfolio performance, leveraging AI-based methods and tools.

About Alex Lyaschenko

Alex is a Project Planning & Delivery consultant with over 20 years of experience in project portfolio management across different industries and countries. Alex worked within multiple portfolio and program offices, helping organisations build their vision, mature project delivery practices, develop standards, implement PPM tools, and upskill project delivery teams. As a speaker, he participated in different Project Management conferences, and his articles were published in PM magazines

The Future of Tendering is Here: RPV, AI and the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication
Toby Buchanan, Commercial Director, APAC, nPlan
Taylor Burns, Risk Engineer, nPlan

The process of tendering for large-scale construction projects is broken. Contractors are incentivised to make overly optimistic assessments of timescales and capabilities, and are rarely given the time or incentives to develop rigorous schedules with a high percentage chance of success. Owner-operators have no effective way of:

• quantifying the feasibility of schedules submitted by bidders,

• effectively comparing schedules produced by competing bidders, and

• quantifying the risks inherent in the schedules they are presented with, in a human bias-free way.

The bidding process has not helped to build trust between owner-operator and contractor, nor set the winning bidder up for success. Until now.

In this presentation, Toby Buchanan of tech company nPlan will tell the story of how Rail Projects Victoria have embraced AI to level up tender assessment and selection for the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication – creating a new paradigm for tender analysis in the process. This session is not to be missed!

About Toby Buchanan

Toby Buchanan started his career delivering major projects with Lendlease in Australia and the UK, before joining AI technology company nPlan in 2018. Since then, he has worked with clients in the UK, Australia, North America, and Asia. He now runs nPlan’s operations in the APAC region out of the Sydney office, and will be joining the symposium in person in Canberra.

About Taylor Burns

Taylor Burns started his career delivering a range of multidisciplinary civil infrastructure projects with Transport for NSW and Public Works Advisory in Australia before moving to Europe where he focused on integrated cost and schedule risk analysis for mega projects. He then joined technology company nPlan in 2021. Since then, he has worked with clients in Australia, North America, and Asia as a risk engineer providing project insights through the use of nPlan’s machine learning products.

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