PA launches Raspberry Pi challenge for pupils & students

26 August 2014 Consultancy.uk

For the third year in a row PA Consulting Group is organising its so-called ‘Raspberry Pi programming’ competition, a programming challenge for pupils and students. This year, PA is tasking entrants to ‘revolutionise people’s health and wellbeing’, using a Raspberry Pi computer and some additional hardware and software.

The ‘Raspberry Pi programming’ challenge was first launched in 2012 by PA, in response to the falling number of students that pursue a career in programming and coding. With the annual challenge, the consulting firm aims at stimulating interest in the IT industry, explains Anita Chandraker, head of IT delivery at PA Consulting Group. “The competition gives entrants the opportunity to discover what they can achieve through coding in a fun and informal way. Our aim is to help support the teaching and learning of computing, science, design and technology and also inspire the UK’s next generation of tech experts.”

PA launches Raspberry Pi challenge for pupils & students

Entrants are given the challenge to – with the help of a Raspberry Pi computer (a low-cost, credit-card-size computer) – invent something that will help people lead healthier lives. Ideas could range from wearable technologies that ensure patients take their medication on time, to a health and fitness programme tailored to an individual’s needs, or a system that could streamline a hospital’s processes to make it more efficient.

Teams can participate in four different categories:
- Primary school award: academic years 4-6
- Secondary school award: academic years 7-11
- Sixth form & college award: academic years 12-13
- Young entrepreneur award: open to all university undergraduates

Alan Middleton - Anita Chandraker - PA Consulting

Besides winning a £1,000 prize money, the winning team in each category will receive the opportunity to turn their concept into a real-life initiative. Some of the winning innovations from previous years include a robot to help with the household recycling, an automatic pill dispenser, a forest fire detector and a device to help less-mobile people answer their front door. “It’s so encouraging to see the passion that young people have about technology, especially as it is now part-and-parcel of our every-day lives. As computing skills are so vital, we should foster the future generation of technology enthusiasts,” says Alan Middleton, CEO of the international consulting firm.

Teams have up to 30 January 2015 to submit their project. See the PA site for more information.

×

Event explores the future of project management

03 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Dada Enterprises, a business consultancy based in London, recently featured on a panel of speakers to explore the key forces impacting on future projects and organisations at the University of West London (UWL) Claude Littner Business School. This was as part of a special evening organised by AK Optimize to commemorate the inaugural West London Project Hub. 

This packed event pulled together dynamic speakers who explored topics facing the future of project management in the UK. The diverse topics included artificial intelligence, project management apprenticeships and future talent management, how to deliver a major project like Thames Tideway, PMOs delivering strategic value, project leadership and Brexit and its implications for project managers.

The event kicked off with an opening address from Amerjit Walia, Director of Project Programs at AK Optimize, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Association of Project Management (APM). Walia explained that the inaugural event was part of a strategy which aims to make the UWL Claude Littner Business School a centre of excellence for project management. 

Jonathan Norman, Knowledge Hub Manager at the Major Projects Association, then introduced the Major Project Knowledge Hub. This Knowledge Hub aims to improve major project initiation, delivery and innovation through the sharing of knowledge and best practices as defined by an active, global user community. It is an open access source of insight, activities and events designed to encourage knowledge-sharing, collaboration and better planning, initiation and execution of major projects within the UK.

Event explores the future of project management

Sachin Melwani, Managing Director of Dada Enterprises, author of ‘How to Brexit Proof Your Project Strategy’, gave an overview of the constantly shifting Brexit timeline, the various Brexit options available and the potential project delivery impacts. Sachin then shed light on the operational impacts of Brexit, and the practical measures that firms can take to mitigate them. He argued that impact assessments are a major priority, and companies should seek to push ahead on them sooner rather than later. Failure to do so could also leave firms exposed to heightened contingency planning and transition costs as they scramble to be ready – and the cost of contingency planning at the last minute inevitably comes with a sizeable premium.

The event, which coincided with the National Apprenticeship Week 2019, was set-up by Caspar Bartington, Education Manager at the Association for Project Management (APM) – Europe’s largest professional body for project management. 

Steve Wells, acclaimed futurologist, was also on hand to explain the core question of how humanity can be kept at the centre of the AI story in the face of powerful technological shifts reshaping the world and straining the old social fabric. Steve put AI in the context of the other highly disruptive changes happening in parallel which are creating a more complex and multi-faceted business world (e.g. trade tensions, data security, war, terrorism, natural disasters).

Richard Lewis, Client Programme Manager at Tideway London, provided a dose of reality by explaining how topics like apprenticeships, Brexit and AI were not just theories but ‘real’ issues that had to be dealt with at Tideway London to secure the resource base and improve safety management and construction planning. As Client Representative for the Tideway programme (valued at £3.4 billion), Richard reports to the COO and is responsible for the performance of the Programme Management Contractor. Acting as the key client representative to programme-wide external stakeholders, Richard chairs the Alliance Management team consisting of three joint ventures. Richard gave an overview of the Tideway programme, outlining its pioneering engineering initiatives and value for London.

Finally, Stuart Easton, CEO of Transparent Choice, an expert in project prioritisation, explained how companies should constantly measure strategic alignment. This enables businesses to eliminate waste from their supply chains and eliminate the subsequent costs they incur, while allowing for heightened focus on key projects. Easton explained that an AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) is "the way" forward, and no shortcut will work in its place.

Related: Dada Enterprises event explores Brexit impact on project delivery.