By Eimear Dodd Journalism MA student, @TheCity_Dublin editor, @Irish_TechNews

Who is Niall Murphy?

Niall Murphy is the President of the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI) and Software Development Senior Manager at Oracle.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

We are gearing up for the national conference of the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI) on May 4th in the Aviva Stadium. This flagship event will feature some of the country’s top experts in project leadership including Cathriona Hallahan, the managing director of Microsoft Ireland, and Félim Harvey, partner in PwC.

Business leaders in Ireland are increasingly appreciating the benefits that good project management delivers. Building on the success of last year’s conference, we are eagerly anticipating the top-notch line-up this year. We are also moving to a larger space within the Aviva Stadium to accommodate the demand.

What are your plans for 2017?

I’m looking to grow the professional project manager community in Ireland. We are expanding our range and frequency of events in line with our robust membership growth. We are running more regular events this year, which are also better attended than in any year previously.

We are expanding our volunteer-driven Transition Year schools programme. We train teachers in the fundamentals of project management, which they then impart to their students.

We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. We will start our teacher support programme earlier this year, such was the great feedback from teachers last year.

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date?

I visit ft.com every day – great for in-depth news and international perspective. I like the cold hard facts approach to key issues such as Brexit.

In Ireland, sometimes there is an over-dependence on information and opinions originating from the UK and USA. To get balance, I read Der Spiegel English edition every week. This often gives a different perspective on current issues that you do not get in news from English-speaking countries.

I also like the freshness of Rob of the Green podcast. They are great, and on such a diverse range of topics. I like the people-centric approach and learn something new every time I visit.

Why might project management skills be useful for those in the tech industry?

A lot of the work in tech companies is delivered using projects. Project teams are constantly being formed to deliver a specific product or service by a deadline. It is usual for a person in the tech sector to be a member of several project teams simultaneously. In addition, the project team members are not only in Ireland, but spread across the world.

Multiple simultaneous global, virtual project teams can be extraordinarily effective. However, to be successful, this situation demands a high level of project management expertise and sophistication, especially in areas such as communication. Project managers are these experts.

Could you tell us a little about the Ireland Chapter of the PMI? What’s the theme of this year’s conference?

The Chapter is a member organisation of professional project managers. The 1200+ members are drawn from across the whole spectrum of the economy, such as information technology, engineering, financial services, manufacturing, management consultancy, health services, pharmaceuticals and public sector. Members represent all levels of professional experience.

The global political and economic environment has rapidly changed and, in some ways, is becoming less predictable. Brexit has emphasised this trend and project managers must deal with this situation, and others, in the selection and execution of projects. Therefore, the theme of this year’s conference is ‘Challenge in Changing Times’. A recent survey of our members revealed the ongoing impact of Brexit. 70% said it is increasing the complexity of their projects; while two thirds said extra resources will be needed over the next 12 months to execute projects.

What can people look forward to at the 2017 conference?

We have a unique mix of business leaders and motivational speakers. GAA legend Jim McGuinness, an All-Ireland winning Gaelic footballer who now coaches at Celtic FC, will deliver the highly-anticipated keynote on ‘Motivation, Leadership and Winning’. Peter de Jager, distinguished author and speaker on change management, will explore how the bar is constantly being set higher in his talk on ‘Better isn’t Good Enough’.

How can people book tickets/when does it usually sell out?

Full programme details, speaker bios and tickets are available at projectireland.ie. To avoid disappointment, I would encourage people to book soon. We are experiencing strong demand and expect a full house.

Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?

Anyone can join the Ireland Chapter of PMI. You do not need to have any particular educational background or professional accreditation. If you are working on projects, or just have an interest in project management, then you could certainly benefit from joining. For details, visit www.pmi-ireland.org or www.facebook.com/pmiireland.


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