Project Management Culture and Shifts within the Network

Written by Martin James Admin

Calum Sawford was appointed as Programme Director at the Martin James Group in June to lead our new Projects and Performance Team. Since then Loreal Stokes, former Head of Inclusion and Participation, has also joined the Team as Programme Manager.  

Their focus has been on designing and implementing a new process for project management across the Network, whilst developing the culture in which those projects are delivered. This is closely aligned with the SEED practice model which we are in the process of rolling out across the Network.  

Some of the key areas of Project Practice which Loreal and Calum, as ambassadors of the SEED Practice Model, are committed to embedding within our project culture include: 

Exceptional Reflection meaning encouraging colleagues to reflect continually on the project’s progress against its deliverables, highlighting expectations, dependencies and sharing lessons learnt with our teams.  

Adaptive Accountability involving embracing empathy within the Project Working Group, whilst adapting and providing support to colleagues, ensuring they achieve milestones collectively.  

Solution Orientation includes empowering Project members to overcome issues and risks to delivery by providing multi-purpose, repeat use tools and approaches to ‘optimise the whole’; meaning no short-cults or temporary fixes.  

And Risky Thinking, as we know disruptive solutions and outcomes often presents risks; but the Projects and Performance Team will maintain a focus on wider dependencies and leverage this to manage project risk pro-actively so colleagues can focus on ‘doing the disrupting’. 

Since both Loreal and Calum have begun embedding this process into our Network culture, Calum has had some reflections: “It is important to remember that projects are, by definition, temporary. The working practices we deploy to deliver, and the culture we deploy them in, are not. Therefore it is key to ensure our culture is evolutionary – meaning we can as Leaders encourage growth and continually seek improvement throughout our Practice Model.” 

Calum and Loreal will continue disrupting the Networks approach to projects. We are excited to see the positive impact that they create.  

Projects and Performance Team Mission Statement:  

‘To promote transparency and shared learning across MJN projects, to unblock and unlock the disruptive potential of MJN colleagues and empower them to deliver creative solutions, with controlled gateways to realising success and standardised approached to managing risk.’