Interview with Andrew Wright


Good-quality Project Management Is Vital for Successfully Delivering Change

Interview with Andrew Wright, PhD

Author, Educator, Innovator
Fellow, Association for Project Managemen
United Kingdom

Interviewed by Yu Yanjuan
Journalist, Project Management Review: PMR (China)
International Correspondent, PM World Journal

Introduction to interviewee

Andrew Wright, PhD, ChPP, MIoD, FAPM is a successful, innovative leader with proven experience in the effective delivery of sustained business change, with over 20 years project and programme management experience and expertise in applied AI.

He also teaches and mentors project managers at all stages of their careers. He has been a visiting lecturer at UCL, the University of Cumbria, and University of Manchester, teaching Project Management on their programmes. He has been actively involved in the Systems Thinking SIG of APM and currently Chair. His publications include Project Success and Quality: Balancing the Iron Triangle, Managing Projects in the Health World.


Part Ⅰ  Project management in my eyes

Q1.      Do you love project management or is it merely a job for you? How will you describe the profession of project management after working for over 25 years?

Andrew Wright:         I must love it – I do so much pro bono work! PM is a young profession still finding its feet – there are many people with the “project manager” job title that are not trained or qualified, something that would be completely unacceptable in established professions, but we are progressing – we have a Chartered status. That will need to become mandatory for certain responsibilities.

Part   AI and project management

Q2.      In your opinion, how will AI influence the profession of project management?

Wright:          It depends on what you mean by AI. If you mean “big data” analysis, few organizations have access to large quantities of good-quality data relevant to projects; accurate data is only logged by people reluctantly – it is seen as an unnecessary chore e.g. accurate time-sheeting. It will need a major culture change and financial investment for any organization to decide what data to collect, implement the IT systems and manual processes to collect it and then use it intelligently to transform their performance. One client of mine was willing to do this and reversed their declining profitability, but it was at the insistence of their new US owners (or else!) Typical “AI” applications like Chatbots cannot replace PMs in dealing with stakeholders or managing risks, for instance.

Knowledge-based technologies offer a lot more potential because they can explain and justify their recommendations/actions. I’m currently working on a knowledge-based AI system to improve project success rates. Project success is heavily dependent on meeting the customer needs first and delivering more benefits than they expected. This demands good-quality management, yet many organizations suffer from a focus on project schedule and cost, to the detriment of quality so they don’t deliver the benefits. This software will make collecting the right data much quicker and easier, thus justifying greater focus on quality by forecasting the impact on the project and the business case/benefits.

Q3.      How should an organization be prepared for digital transformation?


To read entire interview, click here

Editor’s note: This interview was first published in PMR, Project Management Review magazine, China.  It is republished here with the permission of PMR. The PM World Journal maintains a cooperative relationship with PMR, periodically republishing works from each other’s publications. To see the original interview with Chinese introduction, visit PMR at http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/

How to cite this interview: PMR (2021). Good-quality Project Management Is Vital for Successfully Delivering Change: Interview with Andrew Wright; Project Management Review; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/pmwj102-Feb2021-Yanjuan-Interview-with-Anderw-Wright.pdf

About the Interviewer

Yu Yanjuan

Beijing, China


Yu Yanjuan (English name: Spring), Bachelor’s Degree, graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China. She is now an English-language journalist and editor working for Project Management Review (PMR) Magazine and website. She has interviewed over sixty top experts in the field of project management. Before joining PMR, she once worked as a journalist and editor for other media platforms in China. She has also worked part-time as an English teacher in training centers in Beijing. Beginning in January 2020, Spring also serves as an international correspondent for the PM World Journal.

For work contact, she can be reached via email yuyanjuan2005@163.com  or LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanjuanyu-76b280151/.

To view other works by Spring, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/yu-yanjuan/