Our Client and Her Challenge:
Carla Mulvaney was a Business Manager at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.
When an important, but potentially tricky, project came Carla’s way, she knew she needed to develop her skills as a project leader, but how? She felt particularly nervous about getting her challenging project ‘off the ground’, while taking on and managing remote subcontractors to do the bulk of the work.
The answer came to her before she’d even started looking. Her Institute hosted a review for another project, with invited outside experts. One of these experts was Penny Pullan of Making Projects Work Ltd. As Penny explained what had worked well on projects in the past, Carla was impressed by her calm and straightforward way of talking about her experience. ‘Penny has a nice energy and is very matter of fact about some really big projects’, thought Carla to herself as she realised that she’d found the person she’d like to work with to develop her capability. Funnily enough, Carla’s boss, Sam, had the same idea at almost exactly the same time!
Penny and Carla met up for a half day of one-to-one, focused training in the aspects of Project Management that Carla needed for her project. These ranged from risk to change, via planning and people management. Penny explained all the concepts using examples which Carla could relate to easily and simple graphics to make it even clearer. Carla found she was able to absorb all the concepts easily and was keen to apply them to her new role. ‘It didn’t seem like work. It was so easy working together; it flowed’, said Carla.
To support Carla as she took on her big project (Armchair Involvement), Penny provided telephone and online coaching to suit Carla over the next few months. Penny also provided materials, books, contacts and reassurance, with the bonus of quite a bit of confidence building.While all were useful, the chance to report progress and to have Penny’s input as new situations arose was particularly helpful.
The effects were immediate. Carla felt fired up and able to achieve the goals set out for her project. Further discussions with Penny helped Carla realise that she had the ability to manage such an important project. Penny’s coaching gave Carla the confidence to reinvigorate her project. In fact, Carla’s team have developed an online Master Class, and a plethora of new case studies for their website in just three months.
What Do They Say Now?
Carla says: ‘Others have noticed a change in me, in my confidence. The skills were always there – I just didn’t know I had them.’
Carla’s manager, Sam, says: ‘Following the sessions with Penny, Carla has come up with creative suggestions for Armchair Involvement and has seen them through. This has taken the programme to the next level, so I’m delighted.’