Two shows for one

Today was what’s becoming a slightly rarer event for me, a day out of the office.  I’ve been two two shows at the NEC Birmingham, which serendipitously were being held on the same day.

First was the Project Challenge show, when a whole host of companies are touting their wares.  I was there for two main reasons though, to hear about the changes to PRINCE2 which are in the pipeline, and also catch up with a company called Project In a Box.  I’ve been using their software for years, and wanted to talk to them about the product.  It was an interesting talk, and I think I’ve been signed up as a beta tester for their new community edition – which will be interesting.  I was able to make my usual pitch for mac-based software, and they were sympathetic.

Then it was off to Andy Murray‘s talk about PRINCE2 2009.  This was a really clear, focused talk about the changes – unfortunately my notes are far from clear – I wish I’d took my laptop with me (though I was travelling light today), as I’d have been able to transcribe them into a mind map.  I’ll do a posting of my own scrawls, and how these translate into a mindmap later on tonight, as there’s a lot of useful information.  The good news is that the ‘essence’ of PRINCE2 is still there in the 2009 version.  What has gone however is much of the structure of my own teaching notes, so I’m going to have a major rewrite on my hands over the summer – looks like those quiet hours on the clearing hotline may not be wasted this time round.  I’ll talk more on this once I’ve scanned my notes in and got some meaningful notes.

Then it was onto the Education Show, which I try to go to every couple of years.  This is principally aimed at school, rather than university audiences, but I’ve always got something out of each time I go.  This time I talked to some people from Birmingham Council looking to improve school attendance.  My colleague John Colby has done a lot of work in this area, and it was interesting to make some links between school and university attendance.  I’ve also bought some ‘silly’ teaching tools, a giant die (as in dice), and some egg timers so that I can time presentations and ‘break out’ sessions’ a little more accurately.

All in, it’s been a good, if unconventional day.  I’m now catching up on emails, and progressing my PhD application.  I didn’t realise when I registered that there was a time limit on the application process, and I now have less than a month to complete the application – gulp!


4 comments so far

  1. […] than a month back I went to the Project Challenge Show, and found out a little more information about this from a talk given by Andy Murray.  I’ve […]

  2. Andrew B on

    It’s interesting to hear you have been using Project In A Box for a number of years now. I am fairly new to PRINCE2 but have discovered and now promoting a PRINCE2 software solution using the Mindjet MindManager platform. It turns standard PRINCE2 project documentation into very visual project dashboard with easy one click access to most documentation/files. I would welcome your comments on the software and how it compares to Project in a box.

  3. Erik on

    I’d like to point out another solution: Principal Toolbox. I’ve been working with Principal Toolbox for quite some time now. Principal Toolbox supports working with PRINCE2 very well, but also offers the option to tweak the PRINCE2 model and configure it to your own needs. The Principal Toolbox is very flexible and really easy to use. Take a look at for more information

  4. Erik on

    or for English text

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