bd2’s Project Manager, Rory Clarke and I, attended the ‘Deliver Conference 2017’ hosted at the Comedy Store Manchester drawn by an excellent line up of speakers and some interesting subject matter.

The conference was headed by Brett Harned – a Digital PM Consultant who gave a brief overview of the previous day’s sessions and outlined what would be happening throughout the conference.

The first speaker was Lawrence Kitson, a product lead and service designer, with “The perfect kick off” which wasn’t far off the title. The speech  was about how he recently had the perfect start to a project and how that cascaded into a project with very little issues throughout. He talked about how he had constant communication with the client throughout and that the majority of this was face to face, working on the project with the team. Added to the good communications was thorough the documentation so the rest of the work went smoothly.

The second speaker was Liz Calder, a Business Analyst who talked on the subject of saboteurs.  She explained how Saboteurs can be anywhere in your organisation, in any role, and the impact on your project can be significant. She talked about the differing ways people can behave when faced with change and her experiences of projects where the presence of saboteurs created unexpected challenges and how she managed them.

Then we had a few ‘lightning talks’. The first was by Rebecca Troth, who talked about being new to project management and the struggles you can experience with the pressures and presumptions of the role. Another lighting talk was delivered by Saniha Ozem who touched on the issues with understanding the language and jargon used by other team members if you are not that technical.

Following the lightning talks, there was a Q&A panel with 5 of the speakers from the day.

Then Suze Haworth, a senior PM from Tribal Worldwide, discussed ‘banishing the ballpark’ and how estimates don’t work. She talked about how clients demand it, developers hate it and PMs struggle to deliver a project when it’s done badly.

Finally, Mark Channon talked about how The Telegraph’s app product team used a variety of data sources – surveys, qualitative website data, current app data and market data – to determine that creating an app would be the right approach to meet their customers’ needs. Testing this hypothesis was an iterative process, from diary studies and focus groups to problem interviews and solution testing, right up to build.

Overall, we enjoyed what was an excellent and really well attended event which is in its fourth year – we’ll definitely be heading back next year.