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ProjectOutcomes: Workshops overview
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John Smyrk

Industrial experience

Spent first six years of working life as a technical assistant in the steel-making industry with BHP in Newcastle and Vickers Ruwolt in Melbourne.

Moved into the field of laboratory instrumentation with Watson Victor in Melbourne and process control with Worthington Corporation in Sydney until a return to full-time study at Monash University in 1970.

Academic background

Gained an Honours degree in Econometrics and a Masters Degree in Operations Research from Monash University.
Became an academic—teaching quantitative methods, mathematics and systems analysis as a lecturer/senior lecturer at various universities around Australia until the early 80s.  During this time held appointments at:  Melbourne University, Swinburne University, University of Newcastle and Macquarie University.

Left full-time academia to start private consulting practice.  Held part-time academic appointments at:  Mt Eliza Business School, Institute of Administration, Australian Police College (later the Australian Institute of Police management).

Joined the part-time faculty of the National Graduate School of Management at the Australian National University (ANU) in the mid 90s.  There he developed and delivered a postgraduate course in IT strategic planning.  Currently Visiting Fellow with the School of Management, Marketing and International Business in the ANU College of Business and Economics—teaching project management and playing a prominent role in the development of the School’s PM programs.  Has taught PM in a number of programs run by the ANU in China.

Consulting experience

Through his private consulting practice (Sigma Management Science) John originally provided specialist technical services supporting advanced analytical software used by customers of Computer Sciences Corporation and General Electric.

This activity progressively expanded into business planning and management information systems with major assignments being undertaken for American Express and General Electric both in Australia and overseas.

In the early 80s completed a research engagement with VicRoads (the Victorian state roads authority).  This assignment involved the design of the vision control system for a high-speed road linemarking machine.  The work resulted in a number of patents being awarded to the Victorian State Government.  The Principal and two VicRoads engineers are identified as the inventors of the system.

During the late 80s developed a significant capability in IT strategic planning—achieving a position of some prominence in that field with major assignments for Australian and overseas corporations.

Currently specialises exclusively in project management advisory services for corporations and government agencies both in Australia and overseas.  These services are centred on the Principal’s ProjectOutcomes professional development program in project management—complemented with selected consulting assignments.

Project experience

Participated in numerous engineering/technical projects (as a team member) throughout the 60s and early 70s.  From the mid 70s until the early 90s John managed all of Sigma Management Science’s consulting engagements.  In the most significant of these he was engaged to guide a major business process improvement initiative for a large manufacturing multinational—with sub-projects in eight countries around the world over three years.

In the 90s he was commissioned by a number of organisations to guide the development of their respective project management frameworks and develop their programs of professional development.

This coincided with an academic move out of IT strategic planning into project management.

Since then his framework of project management has been adopted by a large number of organisations around the world.  Two notable clients are the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Tasmanian Government.  (In both cases the professional relationship is now approaching ten years).

John’s workshops in project management have been adopted as the standard programs of professional development by a large number of organisations in Australia and overseas.

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