International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) Launch of Complex Project Management Report

International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) Launch of Complex Project Management Report

Senate Alcove, Parliament House

Thursday 13 October 2011



Thank you Stephen

I would also like to acknowledge Chris Jenkins who, amongst his many roles including of course CEO of Thales Australia and the Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Defence Industry Innovation Centre, is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the ICCPM and Chair of the Australian Industry Group and many more.

Peter Fritz, the Managing Director of Global Access Partners (GAP) who have played a very important role in the development of the report I am launching today.

Mr Harry Dunstall the Acting Deputy CEO of the DMO, ladies and gentleman.


I have been the Minister for Defence Materiel now for just over a year.

It’s been a very busy time.

This year the Government has approved 30 major capability projects worth more $5 billion over the course of the past 12 months and there is a lot more to come.

These are very complex long term projects that require management by people with the right skills supported by the right systems and the right tools.

As the report released that I officially release today makes clear – “the problems we increasingly face are beyond complicated”. This is particularly true in Defence.

That’s why Stephen Smith and I have announced a series of reforms over the past year.

And the challenge is only going to get more complicated, more complex in the decade ahead.

As everyone here knows in the next ten years we will spend around $150 billion on Defence equipment.

The biggest mountain we will have to climb is the Future Submarine project – potentially the biggest and most complex Defence project Australia has ever embarked upon.

That creates an enourmous challenge.

In the next 10 years we will invest hundreds of millions of dollars to boost skills in the Defence industry and let me spend a moment to focusing on the importance of developing skills across the range of tasks that we do in the Defence industry.

One of these is the SADI program and I am sure that is well known to everyone here.

Another is the Defence Engineering Internship Program which will begin next year.

The purpose of this program is to encourage engineering students to take up a career in the Defence industry.

It will allow third year engineering students to complete a twelve week Defence industry placement in a small to medium sized company as part of the practical component of their studies.

But there is a lot more to do to ensure we have got the skills, systems and tools we need for the future and one of the things we need to do is look at the recommendations in this report.

Another thing and it is an announcement I made a few months ago

Is to get Skills Australia to work with Defence and the Defence industry to map out the range and breadth of skills we will need over the decade ahead and how to build them. As this report points out it is more than just skills.

I was talking to Peter before the official proceedings began and Peter Fritz said to me “complex project management is about people” and I think he is right, it’s about people working together. The best illustration I have seen of that in the past 12 months is the way we work the different problems of the Projects of Concern.

We have a list of projects that we work harder than any other projects, project with problems that need to be resolved. We do that by getting the leadership in Government, Defence and Industry around the table to work those problems, we do it everyday and twice a year I come together with the leadership in Defence and the companies responsible for those projects to work them. The outcomes are significant, I held the most recent of those only a couple of weeks ago and it tells me that what Peter (Peter Fritz) says is right; that complex project management is about people, its about people working together.

An important part of this is complex management skills.

The International Centre for Complex Project Management makes a very important contribution to meeting this challenge.

The complex project management (CPM) taskforce report I am launching today “Complex Project Management – Global Perspectives and the Strategic Agenda to 2025” recommends 9 high level policy initiatives and more than 60 specific actions.

Out of the recommendations of the Report is the establishment of a dedicated Complex Project Management Specialist Research Centre.

The Centre will be called the International Complex Project Management Knowledge Development and Dissemination Centre.

As the name suggests, the aim of the Centre is not only to develop and disseminate knowledge but also to provide practical solutions to industry and government to tackle project management issues and support better project performance and outcomes.

The taskforce that produced this report consisted of representatives of global corporations and the governments of Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, together with leading academics and practitioners from around the world.

Can I take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of these eminent individuals and especially pay tribute to the leadership of Mr Stephen Hayes CEO of ICCPM and Peter Fritz CEO of Global Access Partners in bringing this taskforce together.

I also want to acknowledge the work of the Defence industry and the Defence Materiel Organisation in assisting in bringing the taskforce together and the work that they have done.

I commend the ICCPM on this important work I look forward to the work you will do in the future to help meet us the capability challenges that lie ahead.

Thank you.