Do you remember your first moments in a project?
My first project was helping to develop a Professional Development Certificate course at MG Rover in 2002 in collaboration with the University of Central England as part of the ‘ Quality Launch’ team. The Quality Launch team focused on launching new products and ensuring the quality was up to scratch. That meant things like acceptable panel gaps around doors and trims, fit and finish of parts and robustness of interior components.
I was in that department as part of my manufacturing engineering apprenticeship with MGR and as such I experienced three-month placements in different departments. The Quality Launch department was my first apprenticeship placement.
The PDC course was a Problem Solving Tools and Techniques course as part of the Quality department, which would be used to introduce MG Rover staff to the myriad ways of identifying and solving problems. I still have fond memories of the Ishikawa diagrams, 5W and 1 H root cause charts and Pareto diagrams. Although, I’ve always been a bit weird!
It was fantastic to draw together the fundamentals of the tools to introduce them to people who had little or no previous experience of their use. I participated in the pilot course, held at the Technology Innovation Centre, and luckily I passed the course. It would have been embarrassing to fail a course that I authored!
I also have very fond memories of the two-day Introduction to Project Management, also held at MG Rover. The course started me on the project management path and helped me carve out my own career in the world. It was great to understand the principles of project management with a teacher who had genuine enthusiasm for the subject and it meant I could get stuck in to projects much more quickly when I got back to the workplace.
In fact, the main reason for creating the Fornix business was to help people understand how projects work. Projects can seem very complicated but with the right introduction and guidance everyone can participate in a productive and enjoyable way. Granted, there are always challenging times but with a sound project management introduction the focus can be on making things better rather than getting stressed.
It’s always a great experience to see the ‘lights on’ moment when we’re running a training course. The moment when things click into place and a person’s life has been improved. It’s such a privilege to be able to fill in the project gaps for someone, or for a team, so that they can make their working life more enjoyable and more rewarding.