Richard Taylor’s experience
LCP3: Leading Complex Projects, Programmes and Portfolios
Alliance Manchester Business School partnered with technology-led aerospace, defence and security solutions specialist, BAE Systems, to deliver a project leadership programme.
LCP3 - Leading Complex Projects, Programmes and Portfolios – launched in January 2016 in Manchester, with 30 BAE systems’ senior global leaders attending the first cohort.
Designed in collaboration with Alliance Manchester Business School, with support from the Kelley School of Business in the US and Curtin University in Australia, LCP3 provided participants with insight into the latest academic research into complex project leadership and equipped them with the skills to apply this learning to real life business issues.
The research was blended with Alliance Manchester Business School’s extensive experience in project and programme management, executive education, and BAE practitioner expertise to develop an exciting and challenging programme that enabled a step change in BAE Systems project leadership.
I had attended a number of leadership courses over my career and progressed over the last ten years or so through the APM qualification structure. However I felt there was more to learn as practices and technology are always evolving and I wanted to make sure I stayed current with new and emerging thinking in PM. I recognised also that projects were becoming more complex over time so learning techniques to make sense of complex projects and therefore how to lead them successfully would be very beneficial going forwards.
Overall the course provided an excellent all-round experience and I gained significant benefit for a number of reasons. The BAE Systems PM team had carefully specified the course to be relevant to the environments we face. The academic content was well structured and delivered by a first class team from Manchester University. Senior leaders from the company supported the modules and helped put what we were learning in the classroom into context. As LCP3 is a global programme, the participants were from all areas of BAE SYSTEMS – this significantly added to the richness of the discussion in terms of sharing challenges and solutions. I met a lot of new people who I had not met before so you feel like you have a wide support network that you could use if needed.
There has been a significant investment in the programme in the development of a full project lifecycle case study which is designed to bring the LCP3 concepts to life in a “real” project and put the delegates under stress. This was a key part of the LCP3 experience and supplemented the academic input by re-enforcing the concepts we were learning.
Finally, I would say that LCP3 is not an “easy programme” as the learning content is significant (over 300 hours) of which the majority is completed in your own time. However as with most training programmes you can get a huge amount out of it in terms of learning and development – it just needs the effort putting in on a continued basis.
Networking with my fellow participants was great and an aspect of the course that I particularly enjoyed. It was great to get diverse opinions on both problems and solutions. It was clear from the course that whilst you could think you are facing a new problem, someone in the company has probably had and solved a similar problem. This emphasised to me that it will be key for BAE Systems going forwards that we think globally across the company and not in isolation so that we can tackle the problems of tomorrow.
One of the key components of the course and something which makes LCP3 different to other programmes I’ve been on are the two reflective practice papers that you need to write and submit to the University for assessment. This requires you to take selected concepts from the course and apply them to real word challenges within your role. This requirement really made sure that I put into practice what I learnt. The key benefits from doing this were that it re-enforced the learning for me and provided real benefit to the company. I also applied lots of the LCP3 techniques with my team and other colleagues – this meant that they also had an exposure to the LCP3 techniques which they could then apply to their projects too.