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Network Meeting Fall 2020 (virtual)
10 November 2020 All day
The 29th NETLIPSE Network Meeting took place virtually last Tuesday, November 10th from 13:00 to 16:00 hrs (CET). This was our second virtual meeting. Typically, our Network Meetings take place somewhere in Europe for two days and are filled with interactive workshops, networking sessions, presentations and/or site visits. Our virtual meeting via Microsoft Teams was still a success however, with interesting and interactive sessions around the very current topic of ‘Project Resilience’.
Programme and presentations
Following up on our spring meeting on crises situations in large projects, we explored the subject of project resilience and the ability of project teams to turn crisis situations around. The second Covid-19 wave triggered us to think about more systemic uncertainties and how to make large project more resilient against these known unknowns.
In the first part of the meeting two project presentations provided examples of project resilience from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. They also gave us some pointers for building resilience into projects by prioritizing the project goals, intensifying collaborations and taking small steps together.
Hendrik Wiegand from Rijkswaterstaat (the Netherlands) illustrated this in the complex tunnel project the A24 Blankenburgverbinding. Paul Fishwick from the British Department for Transport demonstrated his takeaways from several railway projects.
The case studies provided for a fruitful discussion on ways to build effective client-contractor collaborations in the face of crises. They also highlighted the importance of empowering the project team to deal with uncertain situations. The presenters agreed on the importance of sometimes pausing and reassessing the project in order to recalibrate it with the bigger picture and the project goals in mind.
In the second part of meeting the Research Café took place in which we looked at the doctoral research by Maximilian May and his supervisor Martina Huemann. They presented us which different perspectives and models of project resilience and their relevance for practice.
With these theoretical concepts and the practical examples from the presentations in mind, the delegates broke up in smaller groups to discuss experiences with project resilience and the ways to develop it. The breakout sessions allowed everyone to reflect on the topic and engage in a discussion with peers. Again, we highlighted the-often implicit-personal skills and mindset of project managers to take a step back and be prepared to adapt the project to a new situation.
After the discussions, Mauri Mäkiaho from the Finish Transport Infrastructure Agency (Väylä) presented their experiences with the most recent IPAT assessment of the deepening of Vuosaari fairway and harbour project. Based on the useful insights gained from this, he announced that Väylä has agreed to a 4-year IPAT assessment programme and planned two more IPAT assessments for 2021. Moreover, the agency has made IPAT assessments and the training of their staff as IPAT Assessors an integral part of their quality management approach. If you’re interested how an IPAT assessment can help your project and organization, don’t hesitate to contact us.
To organize a NETLIPSE Network Meeting as a virtual meeting is in itself an example of resilience. We look back at a successful meeting, where we all adapted to the limitations and opportunities of getting together and sharing experiences in our current times. We’d like to thank all speakers and participants for their input, creativity and of course, resilience.
We do miss the ability to freely network over coffee however, and sincerely hope that our next meeting can take place face to face. Not the least since we’re invited by the Interregional Agency for the Po river (AIPo) to beautiful Parma in Italy for the next Network Meeting in spring 2021.
In order to improve our activities and collect ideas on interesting speakers and potential topics for discussion, all participants will receive a link to an Evaluation Form shortly.
During a virtual Network Meeting the ability to document the event is much more limited. We did however, get everyone to pose for the screen shot right before the coffee break. You can find [our group picture here].
Next Network Meeting
We hope to see you (again) at our next Network Meeting on May 17-18 2020 in Parma, Italy. Please save the dates, and if we need to organise this one virtually as well we’ll inform you as soon as possible.
If you have any questions regarding NETLIPSE, our publications or events, please feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.