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Project Management Blog

Aberdeen welcomes the ECITB Conference

04-10-2013

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This year's ECITB (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board) Conference saw representatives from the oil and gas industries take over the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre for one day of presentations and workshops.

The event, which is aimed at bridging the knowledge gap between technical engineers and those with project management skills, was this year tasked with challenging the "critical behaviours and non-technical competencies demanded in delivering North Sea projects today." As such, the event was given the tagline: "Bridging the knowledge gap."

Super speakers

In a bid to entice oil and gas firms from around the UK and wider world to descend on Aberdeen, a series of workshops were set up for throughout the day, featuring speakers from Europe AMEC, Wood Group PSN, Petrofac Facilities Management and Technip UK Ltd, among others. These were then covering issues as widespread as the gulf between session planning and knowledge transfer, whether it required a good leader to be a successful project manager and developing commercial insight.

Speakers from ECITB were also in attendance at the event, including chief executive David Edwards, who opened proceedings, and chairman Andrew Collinson, who brought the event to a close.

Busy years ahead

Before the event took place, organisers noted its significance, with an estimated £250 billion set to be ploughed into new oil and gas projects over the coming decade. As such, the need for effective and well-trained project managers was markedly clear - as a great deal of time and money would be invested into the industry in the near future.

Knowledge-sharing

For this reason, organisers also called on firms to exercise knowledge-sharing for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

When concerning the main issue at hand - that of bridging the knowledge gap - much of the material on the day focused on ways of changing the perception that few projects are actually delivered on time and within budget. Whilst this approach may be far from the truth, it is one that's held by far too many people, delegates claimed, so knowledge sharing could be integral to helping dispel this.

Then, work could be undertaken on a more informed basis, with all parties much clearer on what they can expect and what will eventually be delivered.

Oil & Gas Skills Report influence

Organisers also noted the recent Oil & Gas Skills Report, which would also come to feature heavily in the event's proceedings. Most specifically, special attention was paid to the notion that project management was one of the five critical disciplines facing major skills shortages. With this in mind, the ECITB enhanced its apprenticeships, project management and project control programmes.

Everything that the event sought to address was summed up by Edwards ahead of the doors opening to delegates.

"Good or bad project management can determine the success of the project," he claimed. "Good project management or project control is a key determinant to the success of a project. Everyone and everything has to join up if a project is to succeed in delivering what the customer wants."

Attendees were able to make contact with Adept Knowledge at the event via a prominent stand.

Author: David Howells

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