We are daughter and father – one event producer, one project manager – both highly experienced in turning people’s creative vision into reality.
Beneath every successful creative enterprise, you’ll find a bedrock of project management. Things like planning, negotiating, managing risk and coping with change can be daunting. But they’re what we do best.
We believe in helping people to help themselves, and we’d like to show you what we’ve learnt along the way.
When I left school in 2011 I didn’t go to university, I went to Dubai. Instead of studying any old degree, I wanted to become an event producer.
Two years earlier, I stood before Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, watching Michael and Emily Eavis looking down from the wings at Jay Z’s historic headline performance. I knew I’d never perform on that stage, but the thought of organising a show that entertained so many people was a massive inspiration.
Moving to Dubai at 19 was a big risk. But by three years in, I’d worked on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and shows featuring J-Lo, Pharrell Williams and none other than Jay Z. Since then I’ve worked on the Rio Olympics and with global brands like Chanel, Samsung and Diageo.
Those first few years taught me there’s some hardcore project management beneath every creative production. Without it, creativity can’t flourish. But I learned the rules the painful way: through experience.
There haven’t been many options for creatives to easily acquire some management skills. Other than going down the corporate route, taking a training course, or doing a degree thick with waffle, there’s been no way other than learning the hard way. Until now.
You can see how I’ve kept my own creativity going here
I was flying to Sarajevo with the Royal Air Force to help run the national elections in 1998. It wasn’t going to be easy setting up and operating 3000 polling stations in four countries freshly torn apart by civil war.
On the plane, I read a project management manual. It wasn’t a great read, but it gave me the structure we needed to deliver the project successfully. I’ve been delivering all kinds of project around the world ever since.
Two things I’ve learned: formal methods aren’t always appropriate; and it doesn’t have to be complicated. The principles of good project management are simple and universal. In the creative and events industries people don’t have time to fight through a jungle of jargon.
This is why we developed Creative PM, a completely new method for people working on fast-moving, creative projects. It covers all the key principles, but with no fuss, no jargon – and no need to read a manual the size of a doorstep. I’m also writing the Plain English series, translating the official manuals and industry knowledge into language everyone understands. The first title, PRINCE2 in Plain English is available now. More coming soon…
And you can see how I’ve kept my own creativity going during lockdown in The Perfect Library.