Liz Moody

Liz Moody

Liz Moody is a Senior Lecturer in the Open University Business School. She has managed a number of large programmes and change projects in a variety of settings and sectors.

Location England


  • HI @PetrusvanEeden I hope you persevered and managed to download the program eventually?

  • @PeterBlagdon Covid-19 must have thrown up issues in so many sectors - interestingly though, I am reading that many organisations are being forced to crack on with projects and complete them in what would previously be seen as unrealistic timescales. What is possible will change in the future

  • Hi @JaneHowes it would be interesting to hear a description of that process if you can provide one

  • Can you expand on BATNA @KevinMann It stands for Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement - but how do you work with that?

  • Great you can apply this to a real life scenario Dean - thanks for sharing

  • @AdiFloyde @RosemaryHorea interesting debate - I wonder who would have to observe that there was a need to change the leader? Would you expect the leader to stand down based on their own opinion or the team's? What happens to the project and to the team when the leader changes? what happens to morale if the leader is the cause of the issues?

  • Tratar con personas y lidiar con la complejidad son ciertamente dos presiones

  • @WentingPu you make an interesting point but I wonder whether you and your peers consider there to be any danger in having a team that is very similar in its opinions, experiences, skills and personalities - one of the features of good teams is they are prepared to challenge each other, to disagree but respectfully. Perhaps the trickiness is worth the effort?...

  • It is interesting that in this model, the team can go back a stage before moving quickly through the remaining stages. Some will spend more time to get to norming - but things change, people leave teams and the dynamics can change too

  • Clarity around scope is vital

  • La participación y el compromiso a lo largo del proyecto es un aspecto importante: ¿cómo respalda esto el director del proyecto?

  • That's an interesting observation Dean

  • Good points Carol - however I wonder if anyone has ever had to manage a team that they did not pick, and whether this makes a difference. Also how do we achieve energy and respect and psychological safety. I guess the question is how does the PM achieve this?

  • These are good and interesting points Rosemary

  • I think you have highlighted the main points Abi - if the team is aligned around the same goals, expectations and is clear about the expected outcomes of the project then communication will be really key to keeping them on track. Support and encouragement will help with motivation.

  • @Nicolenakeightley @ianbarnes I was wondering if Ian's comment re the increased risk of overspend on a building project due to iterative approaches is something you have found in your project - how do you avoid waste and spend?

  • Thanks for your comment and observations @Ewar I was wondering whether there are aspects of managers' behaviour that you highlight as being part of Agile that could be encouraged in linear projects too though or do you think from your experience that the method prevents the team being so involved?

  • I think you are spot on Ian - often real world concerns kick in meaning that in truth we are most often dealing with a hybrid of the two

  • Thanks for your great example Ewa - there is an interesting distinction between the unforeseen and emergencies that occur whether a linear plan or other method is used in which case we take "corrective" action or even suspend or delay aspects of the plan and another aspect of iterative planning which means that the plan emerges. The tasks, actions,...

  • Good point @AnnisaHusni so perhaps we should add diplomacy to the skills of a project manager?

  • @ianbarnes Thanks for pointing out that yes, indeed Bill has a different perspective in that we specifically chose his company and the nature of an event as a project example that most people could relate to, even if only as a member of the public. He speaks very much as someone who has been a practitioner, without formal training but with a lot of experience...

  • I take your point @IanThysse but if you think back to some of the rhetoric around the decision to host the London 2012 Olympics which was announced before and during the financial crisis, there were always people who felt that the economic argument did not add up. Other than that I think that increasingly the major infrastructure projects in most countries...

  • @ianbarnes I take your point Ian but if you think back to some of the rhetoric around the decision to host the London 2012 Olympics which was announced before and during the financial crisis, there were always people who felt that the economic argument did not add up. Other than that I think that increasingly the major infrastructure projects in most...

  • @BeckyHoulihan good points Becky - glad you felt challenged but also made an excellent stab at thinking it through

  • @TimWade thanks for letting us know Tim

  • @LudlowThompson Thanks for taking the time to post here Ludlow. Hopefully you realise that other people are in the same boat, are interested in what you have to say and to respond to your questions and ideas too. Keep on learning! best wishes

  • @WentingPu I would say it is - the use of communication is the enabler in a process where two (or more) parties are seeking to achieve an outcome through their exchanges of views, wishes and requirements.

  • @PhilipHardy here's your chance Philip! So far so good. The online environment is one where communication can be easily misunderstood as being about sending emails! If we consider that communication is a two way process then it becomes really important to check that the message has been received and understood. This is something we are all learning to cope...

  • Hi @AnnisaHusni perhaps the easiest thing to do is to think of the stakeholders that MDT mentions and to try to map them to the pyramic above. If there are local residents/communities or the general public then it is unlikely that MDT would perhaps observe - so the lower level of interaction is "observation" as you move up the pyramid the level of engagement...

  • Good point @EdwinYamitRamírezRojas however even where there is no alignment it can be useful to understand why your aims diverge from them. Buen punto incluso cuando no hay alineación, puede ser útil comprender por qué sus objetivos se apartan de ellos.

  • Nice analogy @EwaR

  • Leadership is coming through strongly from you all as a theme and that is good to see. The Association for Project Management is very clear that of course the technical skills in Project Management are important - and there are some in the course as well as the predecessor to this course starting 29 October - Business Fundamentals: Project Management. But...

  • @EdwinYamitRamírezRojas @RodrigoTressino Welcome! Mucha gente está de acuerdo en que la gestión del tiempo y la negociación son fundamentales junto con una buena comunicación. Sorry for my google translation!

  • Great analysis @NidhiSeth

  • Welcome everyone to the course. We hope you will all find something new to learn from the course itself, but also importantly from each other. We have a really interesting mix of project contexts - countries, sectors etc. but also mix of experience and reasons to learn. let's make the most of this! Look forward to hearing your views

  • Hi everyone. Thank you for completing the course, leaving your interesting comments and sharing your experiences. We have all learned from these. I just wanted to ensure that people know that there is if you need help from their Community Team about how the course, upgrades or tests work

  • Hi @KalukuwaHappy I am sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to you on this query but I had to refer to FutureLearn, as although this is an OU course, the policy and mechanisms for accessing the tests is their responsibility. For your information and anyone else who needs it, then please contact contact, and their Community...

  • This is an interesting discussion - when I thought of iterative originally I thought of the need to change to reflect 'downstream' feedback or changes. From your comment @DonnaSouthon and yours @emmaneedham it sounds as though you are introducing an additional dimension of "upstream" influence that may not always be there - Politics, rather than politics? ...

  • Thanks @PatrickDombwa for this insight which I think is a great example of why project and team leadership is emphasised in this course

  • Thanks for sharing this - I hope that this course has given you some new perspectives and useful learning

  • Liz Moody made a comment

    While I agree each has a role in representation, I think that the language of politics and foreign relations has been (in my opinion) reduced to trade and the language of deals since the middle of the 20teens

  • Hi I am originally from Edinburgh, now living in England and working in Higher Education. I am very interested in learning and also how the UK is going to fare outside of the EU.

  • Thanks very much for joining Anthony - please do recommend it to colleagues if you feel strongly enough about it

  • Hi Lisa - the course is scheduled to run 3 time per year at present. The next run will be in March. We are just finalising the date of release but marketing information should be available soon - watch out for that. Thanks

  • Hi Philip I will refer your query to the platform provider, FutureLearn. I am afraid that as the authors and mentors do not manage pricing or upgrades we can't help. I will check that they have made clear that submitting and failing a test early on is clearly communicated with the consequences of that.

  • An interesting analysis Chris - the trouble with saving the day is that it requires a lot of goodwill and creates so much stress - so as you hint it really is not sustainable or conducive to dependable results. thanks for your comment

  • That's great to hear - well done!

  • I am so glad - well done and thanks for contributing your ideas

  • @TonyJ Well done and thanks for your participation in the course. There will be more to come! Watch out for notifications and please get in touch if we can help.

  • Thanks for participating so fully in the course and best of luck. Please watch out for future communications on how to take the next step on PM with the APM. Good luck in your career.

  • I think this also speaks rather well to your earlier example on your differing view with others in the team about teaching?

  • Hi Christopher - were you able to view the transcript though?

  • Hi everyone - we are looking into this. Please be patient while we see if there is a technical problem or can provide better advice on how to upload. Thanks Liz

  • How about portfolio - building a new town; programme within portfolio - building the road network; project within programme - road signage?

  • Hi Christopher I think that one way to think of the difference is that QA sets up processes to ensure that quality is designed into the project - e.g. inspections and testing. Quality control ensures that the final product is fit for purpose. I worked in a factory and part of the QA process was sorting fruit (to take out those unfit for bottling), washing,...

  • These are good points which have come about as a result of quite provocative statements in the list.

  • Hi Keith I think from your answer you have understood that the question is really getting at wider aspects of how people judge the success of a project. If for example the project delivered the outcome on time, within budget and the end product was to the accepted standard that is one dimension of success - if however it transpired that the project manager...

  • Hi John I think this is an issue at your end of things and I believe you had a response to this?

  • Hi John - sorry you are having problems with the video - we have tested it from our side and passed the information on to FutureLearn. It is working for us so difficult to know how to solve your personal problem with media from here. Luckily you have a sense of the video through reading the transcript.

  • Nice point @EngrUsmanMuktar unforeseen circumstances for sure - scope creep is a little different but I imagine that if the success of the project is determined by the "client" or sponsor then the more you can engage and communicate with them along the way, the less likely that overspend or running late will be a nasty surprise to them or something which got...

  • No problem Joe

  • The idea of safeguarding, well-being and development is an important aspect of what the APM believes to be the responsibility of project managers of teams.

  • @Lesley-AnneMclintock - I think that this is a really important point Lesley-Anne - how would it be if we never picked people for their potential? How would we ever make progress in the work place if only those more experienced ever get the chance? Interesting dilemma for managers and project managers alike.

  • I think you will find the rest of this week interesting Keith when we cover a specific instance where you just cannot pick the team. This is a surprisingly common occurrence if you think about it - after all when you change jobs you don't get to pick your colleagues. It is interesting to note how we cope with these exact situations in our lives.

  • Good morning

  • Thanks for this @YanaVladimirova - I hope you don't mind that I tried to translate your middle sentence to English to understand it and for other people to see what you said about meeting each morning to discuss "do / did / done" and what difficulties the team is facing. This sounds like a good way to help people to make progress using the power of the team

  • @NicolasAntartis this sounds like a project with a great deal of complexity

  • Hi @KeithRogers - perhaps there will be some suggestions from the course and your fellow learners about communication - setting the expectations and reinforcing these through whole team agreement on how the team will operate is one way - if everyone signs up then over time good teams begin to call each other out or hold each other accountable for not living...

  • Hi @DavidLiew an interesting point about the benefit of learning from failure as well as success

  • I wonder if you and other people have ideas about how to create this kind of team culture @AmrA

  • Thanks for commenting @NtandoyenkosiNcube - the important question of ethics is coming up later in the course.

  • Thanks for your comment @Rogersmeneueyaagu - it is interesting that you mention diversity as this is an important feature of this week's learning - also interesting that you think that the team has to be experts. I hope you enjoy studying this week.

  • Some excellent points here around authority and control Vivekk

  • Nice definition Bridget, I wonder if you can add to this what the differences are from the perspective of a Project manager too

  • Hi Jacqueline - in what ways do you think this would be different to a project team? Interested to hear this if you put yourself in the position of leader of the team.

  • These are good points Leo - the fact that the project may have a set start and end time (i.e. it is time bound) is one key difference to other teams that you may be part of?

  • Hi @emmaneedham -it would be really interesting to understand more of what you mean

  • Hi Joe - thanks for your comment - I think you can see from the authors' backgrounds that in fact they are neither slaves to agile methods nor waterfall. What the course is seeking to do is to explore in an objective way what the pros and cons of different methodologies are and allow learners to select the most appropriate approach.
    Thanks for giving us the...

  • @joed Hi Joe - I thought that he did mention this in relation to website building? This is from the transcript
    So teams can build prototypes or a series of minimum viable products to start building features and ask customers and stakeholders to review them periodically

    Did you want to expand on the concept?

  • Might this be what is meant by experts? They could be external?

  • @HarveyZhang Hi there - I think you could read this sentence as meaning that two separate questions were asked 1 about success and the other about overspend. Do you and your fellow learners think that 22% seems low? Perhaps, the question is whether you can have a successful project if you are overspent? Is overspending justified in any situation? What do...