Simply put, good project management should deliver high quality projects in time and to budget. Where our heritage is concerned however, some may claim that project management is an alien function, carried out by professional project managers who do not have a feeling for what they are dealing with.
That may often be the case, and possibly result in a product that isn't quite right. Similarly projects managed by the 'conservation' profession may also not achieve the right outcome due to poorly practiced project management. This was the one of the conclusions that came from the CIOB Conservation Project Management conference held in London earlier this year.
The obvious solution would seem to involve amalgamating the conservation expertise of the heritage professional with the project management expertise of the project manager.
At the very least it should be ensured that proper project management is practiced by all conservation professionals. The integration of project and heritage management methodology would result in all actions being managed and controlled whilst ensuring due consideration is given to economics, use, historic significance and complex technical aspects of a heritage project.
Heritage management requires an understanding and ability to manage historic significance. An integrated project and heritage management approach ensures that issues related to the historic significance of a building are kept to the forefront during the project lifecycle, from project initiation to completion and also in the eventual use and on going care of the site.
The EHTF conference will look at these issues and through case studies consider how and why project management decisions were made We will ask what would have been the outcome if a different project and heritage management methodology had been put in place and debate the benefits of an integrated approach to project and heritage management.
John Edwards, TFT Cultural Heritage and CIOB