Research at Leeds Beckett
About John Heathcote
John's corporate experience saw him involved in the establishing of supplier frameworks/partnerships at Tier 1, 2 & 3 of the contracting chain. Since being at university he has employed those skills and knowledge in applying theory to practical application to enhance SMEs competitive positions. "There's enormous potential amongst many SMEs to dramatically improve their competitive position if they are able to achieve a greater market-focussed approach supported by changes in the business. The team have been able to dramatically assist some SMEs in improving turnover and winning more regular work; where there's an open minded management team and a will to innovate a little."
Regarding his work on Project Management Maturity, and PMOs: John runs the MScs in [Strategic] Project Management. Many requests he receives about PM involve an aspiration to bring the PM performance of the whole project department up. To meet these challenges (in the three organisations, where interventions have been made), the team found reducing the amount of formal methodology and improving governance, together with light, but on-going training support, has allowed the development of team learning cultures and dramatically improves project performance. It is the principles that matter, not reams of process!
Part of that Project Maturity development involved planning and contract management training.
Of particular use to teaching is the facilitation of project and programme reviews. Most of the organisations the team works with seek to create interventions to lock-in to new projects the learning from preceding ones.
Closely aligned with reviews, is the facilitation of value management/engineering workshops. These can lead to innovation in the design of project solutions.
Course Leader for:
- MSc Strategic Project Management
- MSc Project Management
- Advanced Professional Diploma in Contract Management for PFI/ PPP
Module Leader for:
- Project Strategy
- Programme Management
- Strategy; Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- Contemporary Issues & Project Futures.
Ongoing research includes:
- Tensions between modern organisational structures and project approaches. The issues that persist in organisations demonstrate a dichotomy in approach between project work and other more traditional approaches; this work examines the dichotomy hypothesis with a view to deconstructing the principles behind common problems. Impact: Arriving at a discourse that will permit common problematic issues to be more readily resolved.
- Use of SCM in SMEs. Working with SMEs to develop SCM inspired market offerings that challenge the existing competitive dimensions. Impact: Allowing SMEs to develop market-led strategies for greater competitiveness.
- Work with MSc students in Germany looked at the efficacy of team working practice, in the area of innovation.