APM Group Chairman Alan Harpham passes away in UK


Alan Harpham, 5 December 1945 – 6 January 2014

11 January 2014 – London, UK – Alan Harpham, Chairman of the APM Group and a well-known advocate for the project management profession, died on 6 January 2014 following a heart attack in England.  He had been in the hospital recently for unrelated health issues.

According to the APM Group announcement:

As Chairman of the APM Group from 1996 to the present day, Alan Harpham worked tirelessly to build APMG’s international networks and reputation. He provided steady and considered guidance to APMG through many years of considerable growth for the organisation. He was appreciative of other people’s views and had a way of finding common ground when these views were opposed. His ability to embrace diversity of thought acted as a catalyst for improvement and change.

140111-pmwj19-alan-IMAGEAlan’s international work built professional communities on a foundation of respect; he was an ambassador for APMG’s Accredited Consulting Organisation Scheme, and a thought leader in the project management world. Alan managed to write several books and leading articles during his time with APMG, and combined all of this with many hands-on charitable activities.  In a sense he was a classic portfolio person with fingers in many pies. He was a dedicated mentor and coach to more junior members of staff.

One of our favourite stories about Alan was when the phone rang late at night at his home. A  distressed elderly lady  explained that she had a burst pipe and she needed urgent assistance. Alan assumed she was one of his wife’s parishioners, noted down her address and quickly got up so he could go stem the leak. When Alan arrived he gave her quite a shock – the lady thought she had rung her son.  Alan applied this can-do attitude to everything and never seemed to run out of energy.

Everyone at APMG sends their condolences to Alan’s wife and two sons. He will be greatly missed but he leaves a long legacy.


Alan had also been serving on the Board for PM4NGOs.  According to their website: Alan is Chairman of the APM Group with a portfolio of pro-bono interests: chair of the Ecumenical Partnership Initiatives, where he is also a chaplain to the Ambulance Service. He serves on two University Ethics committees and one private company in health.

Former director of: P5 – the Power of Projects, MD of Nichols Associates, and the MSc in Project Management at Cranfield University. Before that he was a civil engineer with John Laing. He is a former Council member of the APM.  He has written about programme and project management and spirituality in the workplace and is looking to combine these two topics. He has written a book – The Spirit of Project Management, co-authored by Dr Judi Neal of the University of Arkansas, director of the Center for Faith and Spirit at Work. He is a hill walker and a keen rugby supporter.


According to Miles Shepherd, PMWJ advisor and past Chair of both APM and IPMA, “This is very sad news. He was a good friend and staunch supporter of APM.”

According to PMWJ managing editor David Pells, “Alan Harpham was a good friend and a real champion for project management professionalism.  We met in 1990 when I attended his workshop at the INTERNET’90 Congress in Vienna. Even at that time, he was an experienced project manager with a lot of knowledge to share with us younger people.  We met often in the years since then, most recently at the IPMA World Congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia last October.  He was an accomplished leader, very knowledgeable and a great spokesperson for the PM profession.  He will be missed by many friends and colleagues worldwide.”

Source: The APM Group