In our Meet the Member series, we speak to a range of project professionals about their experiences as a project manager, and their advice for fellow PMs.

Today we chat to Benjamin Hanley MAIPM, a Consultant at MI-GSO|PCUBED about how he is crafting a lucrative career in project management.

1. What attracted you to working in the project space?

I became interested in project management during my undergraduate studies, where I was working ‘on the tools’ full-time on various construction projects. Having defined deliverables, tight deadlines, and at times the pressure cooker to achieve these are what attracted me to projects.

I was able to tailor my studies, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to develop as a project professional and continue to love working in this space.

2. You’re currently working as part of the team for The Maintenance and Engineering Centre of Excellence (MECoE) at BHP. What does this role entail?

After many years working in both the corporate office and site-based roles for Shell, I pivoted towards consulting, commencing as a Consultant for MI-GSO|PCUBED, a consultancy firm dedicated to project, programme, portfolio and change management.

My first client engagement was with BHP as a Project Controls Specialist in the Project Management Office (PMO) within the MECoE, supporting the successful planning, management and control of Program and Project activities.

The MECoE enables maintenance and engineering teams to achieve exceptional performance through driving maintenance excellence from best in class equipment strategies and a defect elimination culture.

As a Project Controls Specialist, I am fortunate to work together with Business, Technology, and other Function resources across BHP’s global offices. This role includes governing and reporting the scope, schedule, quality, integration, and deployment of projects, as well as supporting the management of risks/issues, financials and organisational change management.

3. As you look to the future, where do you see your career taking you?

With my pivot towards consulting and my background in project coordination and controls, I can see my career taking me in one of two directions. The first could be to expand on previous management experience of smaller projects and step into a project management role for a larger project.

Alternatively, the second direction could be to continue my current pathway within PMOs and advance to a Lead or Management position. I have worked in the resource sector nearly all of my professional career so there is also an opportunity that one of these directions might lead to a role within a different industry.

4. From November 2018 to October 2019, you were an AIPM Future Project Leaders (FPL) QLD Committee Member. Could you tell us what it was like to be a member of the committee?

The vision of the FPL Committee was to engage with tomorrow’s leaders to assist them to realise their potential and shape the future of the profession.

The Committee Member role involved active engagement with the FPL community to provide opportunities and forums for all FPL’s to build their soft skills and improve their job readiness; and a platform on which to build a professional cohort and a career-long network of fellow project leaders.

The FPL Committee disbanded in late-2019 with the members of FPL now represented at the Chapter Council level. I was attracted to the committee as I saw an opportunity to further develop my skills outside of my consulting role and equally saw an opportunity to give a little back to the project profession. I met and worked alongside many amazing people and would recommend becoming a committee member for anyone interested.

5. You’re now an AIPM QLD Chapter Councillor. Could you provide us with an overview of this volunteer role and how it has supported you in your career?

Nominating for a position on the QLD Chapter Council was the next logical extension of my FPL Committee Member role and aided with my pursuit of volunteering for the profession.

The Council has supported my career through the opportunity to represent QLD as a Committee Member on the PMO Community of Practice (CoP). The PMO CoP has provided numerous opportunities for me to meet like-minded PMO professionals, both nationally and internationally, while supporting my current client engagement.

6. Lastly, what advice would you give to someone looking for a successful career in project management?

I am a huge believer in continual personal and professional development, and my biggest piece of advice for project professionals is to actively manage their personal and professional development.

Some examples of this include volunteering on committees/councils, actively seeking opportunities to understand inputs/outputs of your current role, and tertiary studies/professional certification.