50 years ago very few people or organisations had even heard of project management let alone applied it successfully. Paul Steinfort had and did and you might say he was lucky enough to be able to, particularly in Darwin after Cyclone Tracy where he was engaged to manage the upgrading of 33 public buildings to new cyclone standards and rebuilding projects, including all schools and preschools.
That challenge set the course ahead for Paul and from there he went from major project to even more major projects. Paul Steinfort and Associates (PSA) was born of a call to take project management where it had not been taken before. Initially the business was in Melbourne, but it also quickly got calls from other states and then, even further, from overseas.
Initially project management was applied in the building, civil and military engineering fields. But as the calls to Paul kept growing it became clear that project management had a much wider sphere and potential. However, at that time very few people were familiar with or even knew what project management could do. There were a few who could see its future, even then though they didn’t see how much it would catch on.
Initially there was solid resistance to project management from traditional professions such as Architecture, Quantity Surveying, Building, I.T., Finance, Banking, Insurance, Sport, Government and so many others. But with time came the realisation that project management was not only here to stay but also that it brought more effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy wherever it could be applied and the exponential growth in project and now program, portfolio and strategic management just goes to show how it did grow.
PSA Project Management grew with all of this and more recently opened up to new directorship through PSA Project with Garry, David and Carl now also adding input, outcomes and income to the group.
Garry’s background of 30 years with PSA is featured in this newsletter and David and the others have been and will continue to be featured and are now key to its success. Meanwhile Paul has continued to take project and program management to where it has not been taken before, the most recent examples of that being in Nepal (see June Newsletter) and now into the deep red centre of Australia.
The same core processes apply, but where this latest engagement in central Australia is now mostly working is in appropriate ways to engage, communicate, develop the project scope and design within a culture that is many centuries older than ours yet is still needing to work in today’s world.
The other challenge is how to communicate most effectively when English is not the first language in these indigenous communities, right here in the middle of Australia. What has been applied in other challenges like this is Pragmatic Action Research, Soft System Methodology, Rich Pictures and, more recently, Storytelling as Methodology. Paul is using a combination of these and aligning with the previously published PSA Community Program Methodology in the Central Australian Indigenous Homelands of Utopia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8_5UlcgSQ
The results of that work in progress will be reported to the International Research Network of Organising by Project (IRNOP) in December this year https//www.irmop2018.org/. In a paper titled “Time to Value - Reflecting upon 50 years in project management – a skilled hand and a cultivated mind”. This dinner for IRNOP will be at the MCG in Melbourne, the venue where PSA were Project Managers for the full redevelopment from 1985 through to 2006.
Find out more about how PSA’s nationally accredited Certificate IV in Program Management can benefit you and your organisation.
Browse through all of PSA’s current and past issues of its newsletter the PSA WAY.
PSA’s diverse project work has been has graced many publications including, The Age, The Herald Sun, Engineers Australia, AIPM Magazine and many more.
You can also find information about “What enables Project Success” by Paul Steinfort, PhD & Derek Walker, PhD as well as many other papers and articles.