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Mike Nichols, Respected APM Leader and Projects Industry Executive, passes away in London

PM PEOPLE NEWS

Reported by Miles Shepherd in UK

4 December 2013 – London, UK – The Association for Project Management (APM) has announced that Mike Nichols, its Chairman who retired at the November 2013 Annual General Meeting, died on Tuesday 3 December.

Perhaps best known for his dedicated work on APM’s case for the award of a Royal Charter, Mike used his considerable experience as a project manager to steer the profession in UK and beyond.  A career project manager, Mike was chairman and chief executive of The Nichols Group, specialising in large and complex infrastructure projects and major business change initiatives.

mike-nicholsApart from his highly influential role with APM, he was also a board member of the Major Projects Association, a member of BSI Standards Policy and Strategy Committee, Department for Transport’s Governance Panel for Crossrail, chairman of STRATrisk Steering Group and had recently undertaken a strategic review of the Highways Agency’s major roads programme on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. (photo: Mike Nichols)

He founded his own management consultancy, Nichols Group, some 30 years ago.  It has grown into one of the most respected independent consultancies in UK.  Mike had broad experience in management, ranging from his time as a director of British Leyland to direct management or advisor on numerous mega projects and programmes for the transport, telecommunications, energy and finance sectors in the UK and Far East.  He introduced improved project management to more than a hundred organisations and trained a generation of managers in programme management.  He also advised on PFI projects, outsourcing, franchising, placement of concessions and the Government’s Strategic Defence Review.

Mike’s long association with APM began when he became a member in 1980.  He was elected to Council in 2004 and transitioned onto the Board of Trustees on its formation and has been a dynamic Chairman.  He is widely respected for his championing of APM’s campaign for the award of a Royal Charter.  He was also the driving force behind APM’s vision of a ‘world in which all projects succeed’.

This vision was encapsulated in an article on ‘An absolute intolerance of failure’, published in the Times on 8th July 2013. In the article Mike explained the idea behind this concept. “We needed a challenging and inspirational vision that would stretch and excite us. We wanted to change the perception that has dogged project management for many years that projects do not succeed, which is evidently wrong. The new expectation will be that all projects succeed”.

It is a fitting epitaph that Mike was presented with the APM’s 2013 Sir Monty Finniston Award.  This is the most prestigious of the APM awards, awarded for an outstanding contribution made to the profession.  Mike’s contribution was not just his leadership to the Association at a critical time but his technical contribution to the management of projects at every level and in many parts of the world.  Not only has he made these contributions to the profession but he has been a good friend to many of us; he will be greatly missed for many reasons.

A full obituary will appear in due course, along with a tribute at http://www.apm.org.uk